It is extremely embarrassing that America ranks No. 3 in terms of per capita whiskey consumption, as illustrated by the chart above. And who takes the No. 1 spot on the whiskey drinking scale? None other than France (pshhh). Other fun whiskey consumption facts, as illustrated by Quartz’s Roberto Ferdman, include:
- The world’s biggest American-made whiskey drinkers are Australians (not Americans.)
- Roughly half of the world’s whiskey is drunk by India.
- Most of it is made by UB India, the world’s largest whiskey company by volume.
- Beam, based in Deerfield, Illinois, is responsible for over 40% of US bourbon sales by volume.
Another fun fact: Japanese beverage giant Suntory is acquiring Beam, which makes Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, for $16 billion. The two companies control nearly 10% of the global whiskey market, according to International Wine and Spirit Research. Combined, they will obviously be going after a larger share.
This move is representative of an established trend: international liquor giants, like Suntory, are anxious to cash in on the success of the fast-growing, profitable smaller liquor brands. When final, the sale will mean three major Kentucky distilleries will be Japanese-owned (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Four Roses, which is owned by Kirin). A fourth, Wild Turkey, is owned by the Italian spirit company Campari, reports Kentucky.com.
So much for Kentucky bourbon companies being owned by Kentuckians, and America’s dignity.
Here’s the full per capita whiskey consumption infographic: