A new report says the world's appetite for beer hit a new high last year, with China leading the way.

The report released Wednesday by the research arm of a major Japanese brewery said it was the 27th consecutive year that beer production marked an increase. It attributed the rise to robust demand in Asia and developing countries.

The report commissioned by Kirin Holdings said 192.71 million kilolitres (50.9 billion gallons) of beer were produced last year, up 3.7 per cent from 2010. China was the world's largest beer producer — accounting for about 25 per cent — for the 10th straight year.

The United States saw a slight decrease in production from the year before but still ranked second at 11.7 per cent, followed by Brazil and Russia.

More to come