Canadians purchased more alcoholic beverages last year than the year before, according top recent figures.

Statistics Canada reports more than C$16.1 billion in sales, up 4.9% from 2003.

Beer led with 50.7% share of sales, while spirits and wine both trailed at about 25%. Imported beer captured 11% of sales, up from 10.2% in 2003 and less than 3% a decade ago.

For wine sales, red accounted for half of sales. On average, Canadians 15 years and older spent C$623 on 107.2 litres of alcoholic beverages in 2004, up one litre from 2003.