Vietnam has cemented its spot among Asia’s top beer consumers, with local drinkers gulping down 3.78 billion liters of the hoppy beverage in 2016.
Statistics released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that the average Vietnamese drank 42 liters of beer in 2016, up four liters from 2015.
Though locals are drinking more, the sector’s growth still managed to slow over the past 12 months, with beer production and consumption rising only 9.3 percent year on year – just 85.6 percent of the full-year target.
In January 2016, Vietnam increased the 50 percent special consumption tax on beer by 5 percent, a factor to which ministry attributed the slow growth.
The special consumption tax was again an additional 5 percent at the beginning of 2017 and is expected to reach a whopping 65 percent by January 2018.
Despite the tax burden, Trade Ministry projections still call for Vietnam’s beer production to reach 3.988 billion by the end of 2017, up ten percent year-on-year.
The Ministry also announced production forecasts for 2020 and 2035 at 4.1 billion liters and 5.5 billion liters, respectively.
Ho Chi Minh City-based Sabeco remains the country’s largest brewer, producing 1.6 billion liters of beer in 2016, followed by Heineken Vietnam at 1.1 billion liters.
Vietnam currently houses 129 beer making facilities of all sizes. Of the country’s 63 provinces and cities, only 20 do not have a brewer in their locale.
Despite enormous domestic production, Vietnam still imports over 3 million liters of beer and exports over 70 million liters of the beverage annually.