Praguers get twice as much beer as in Berlin

In Prague you can get five beers for the price of two and a half in the German capital

Beer is Prague is half as expensive as in Berlin and is the cheapest in any major city in Europe.

At the same time, Czechs are the highest consumers of beer in the world, and are also among the highest spenders by percent of consumption expenditure on alcohol in Europe.

In Prague restaurants, beer is often cheaper than water on the menu. “While in Prague we have an average of more than five beers for Kč 200, in other major European cities it is often a maximum of two beers,” Adéla Denková, head of the analytical project Evropa v datech, said, according to daily Metro. The data was drawn from an analysis by Deutsche Bank.

“In second place behind Prague was Warsaw with four pints and in third was Lisbon with three and a half. In Berlin you get about two and a half beers for [the equivalent of] Kč 200,” Denková added.

According to a recent survey of the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM), beer is consumed by 86 percent of Czech men and 49 percent of Czech women. Male drinkers consume it about three and a half times a week and drink about 7.6 half-liters per week on average. Women on average drink twice a week and drink about 2.7 beers per week on average. Over the last several years, this has been dropping for men. It was as high as 9.5 half-liters in 2007. Figures for women have been more steady, ranging between 2.1 and 2.7 half-liters since 2004.

The Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses (ČSPS) says the year-on-year consumption of beer has been dropping, but additional research shows that Czechs are moving to stronger specialty beers and also to other beverages such as radlers, which are mixed beer drinks, and other mixed drinks.

So while the volume of beer consumed may be down a bit, the amount of alcohol consumed is not.

The Czech Republic has led the world in beer consumption for almost a quarter century, with 143.3 liters per person according to the most recent comparison. The beer ranking is published annually by Japanese brewer Kirin, and the most recent one was based on 2016 figures.

In total alcohol consumption, counting beer, wine and spirits, the Czech Republic is in ninth place in the world at 13 liters of pure alcohol per capita per year. Belarus is in first place, according to the World Health Organization.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) used different methodology and came up with a slightly lower figure. Czechs came in as the second-heaviest drinkers, tied with France, in both the European Union and the OECD. Lithuania was first in both cases.

Czechs drank 11.7 liters of alcohol, compared to Lithuania's 13.2 liters. The analysis counted the amount of pure alcohol in spirits, wine, beer and other beverages with higher than 0.5 percent content consumed by people 15 years old and higher, using figures from 2016. Belarus is not a member of the EU or OECD.

Recent figures from Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Union, showed that in 2017, Czechs were in fifth place in the EU for the percentage of their total consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages. Czechs spend 3.3 percent, while the EU average was 1.6 percent. Estonia was highest with 5.2 percent. The figures do not include spending in hotels and restaurants.

Across the EU this represented a total expenditure of over €130 billion, equivalent to 0.9 percent of EU GDP or over €300 per EU inhabitant, Eurostat stated.

The Anti-Drug Department of the Czech Government Office and at the Czech Ministry of Health are both concerned about the level of Czech alcohol consumption.

Some 1.6 million Czechs, out of a population of 10.6 million, are in danger of falling permanently into addiction, they claim. Every day, some 600,000 people consume alcohol, of which is disproportionately high, they said.

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