And the world’s best selling beer is?

By Sipho Hlongwane 26 August 2011

South Africans everywhere will celebrate that the title didn’t go to Budweiser. We were forced to partake of the US brew during the World Cup at official match venues, and we found it to be foul. And here’s another reason for South Africans to smile: the best-selling beer is in fact, partly owned by SABMiller. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

That’s the problem with being in the West (you know what I mean – with all the aid and McDonald’s chains and stuff, we ARE in the West here at the bottom of Africa) is that you forget that there is another world out there. And it always takes us by surprise, as if it isn’t actually supposed to exist.

Once again, Bud, Carling and Heineken fans will be appalled to learn that China has pipped their favourite tipple to the post. The world’s number one selling beer is called Snow Beer. It looks like watered-down Miller Genuine Draft, but still managed to sell 16.5 billion pints in 2010 alone. It has been the world’s best selling beer since 2008.

The beer is a joint product of SABMiller and China Resource Enterprises.

Unlike the more ubiquitous Tsingtao brand (which tastes like Amstel Lager, but with a lot less hops), Snow Beer is sold exclusively in China.

Reviewers of Snow Beer described it as “bland and watery”. Thank goodness SABMiller chooses to quench South African thirst with heartier fair, like Zamalek. DM

Read more:

  • SABMiller’s Asia chief Ari Mervis raises a glass to Snow Beer in Telegraph;
  • What is the world’s best selling beer in TIME.


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