Chinese people consumed more than 35 million tons of beer in 2006, with per capita consumption of 27 liters, according to the China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association (CADIA).
China produced 14.4 million tons of beer in the first five months this year, up 16.7 percent from last year's same period, according to Xiao Derun, an official with CADIA.
China's total beer output hit 35.15 million tons last year, an increase of 14.7 percent over that of the previous year.
China overran the United States to become the world's largest beer producer in 2002, and since then its beer output has kept growing by 10 percent annually.
Xiao said the rural and western regions, which see relatively low consumption of beer currently, would be potential driving force of China's beer industry development in the future.
(Xinhua News Agency July 30 2007)