Beer consumption may be a proxy for social attributes that are very desirable. For instance, it is rare to drink beer all by yourself, just to get trashed. It takes too much beer to be able to get drunk quickly.
We drink beer with friends and family and the theory is that the more beer we drink the more friends and family relationships we possess. In a way, we can use beer consumption per capita as a gauge of social closeness.
Personally, I would not want to live in a country not in the top 20 on the list below...
Chart above can be found at http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-30/beer-reflection-world-economy