Imports of beer outpaced those of wine which held the top spot among imported alcohol beverages since 2015.
Korea imported around US$143.93 million worth of beer from January to July this year, up 51 percent from the same period a year earlier, the Korea International Trade Association said on Tuesday. Imports of wine stood at some $111.46 million, a mere 5-percent increase.
This is the first time beer topped imported alcoholic beverages since relevant data started being compiled in 1977. Whisky used to reign supreme until it was displaced by wine in 2015.
"With the increase of single households, more people tend to drink alone and they often try to taste a variety of flavors, leading to an increased demand for imported beer," a spokesman at the association said.
Korea's total alcohol imports stood at $498.21 million so far this year, up 11 percent from last year.