Beer consumption in Russia continues to rise, according to figures released this week. Statistics published by Japan's Kirin Brewery Company place the country fifth in global beer consumption, with Russians drinking a total of 7.08 billion litres in 2002.

Russia has leapt up the league table in the last 15 years. In 1987 the country was placed eighth in the world, moving up to seventh in 2000 and sixth in 2001.

The US is currently top of the table having drunk 23.82 billion litres in 2002. China is just behind the US with a consumption of 23.5 billion litres. Germany holds third place at 10.04 billion litres, followed by Brazil with a consumption of 8.35 billion litres.

According to Kirin, global beer drinking has been increasing for the 17th year in a row.