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Thirsty fans up beer sales

entertainment Updated: Jun 25, 2010 03:18 IST

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Millions of extra pints in England, stores emptied in South Korea and sales up in Japan — beer consumption has soared during the World Cup after falling globally in recent years.

In China, the world’s biggest market for beer, the amber nectar has been flowing freely since the beginning of the tournament, especially in large cities. In the central town of Zhuzhou, the country’s biggest brewer Tsingtao said that sales had almost doubled. Tsingtao said it had sold around 42,000 bottles a day, against 24,000 bottles before the tournament.

Japanese brewers hope this year’s World Cup in South Africa will reverse a previous downturn, after seeing sales fall by four percent since the last World Cup in Germany in 2006.

“We became even more hopeful after Japan beat Cameroon on Monday. Orders from retailers have been boosted thanks to the victory,” said Shinya Izumi, a spokesman for Kirin, a Japanese brewery which makes the beer of the same name.

During South Korea’s June 17 game against Argentina, the GS25 convenience store chain sold 345,000 bottles or cans of beer in South Korea— a 123 per cent increase on the previous week. And on June 12, the eve of the opening of the competition, Bokwang Family Mart, another chain of South Korean stores, said that sales of beer had doubled, with 45,000 bottles or cans sold. German brewers said that the national team’s fortunes would boost their own.

And in England, one of Europe’s main beer-drinking nations, the pubs have been full throughout the tournament, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA). During the England-USA match on June 12, nine million pints of beer were served, bringing in revenue of around 42 million euros, the BBPA said.

“The World Cup is a springboard for beer to post its best results in a decade,” said a study by Euromonitor International.