Actually this article by Charles Kenny (Chug for Growth Drink and be merry — it’s all for the common good) in Foreign Policy is more about beer consumption as an indicator of social and economic progress, but the point in this last paragraph is interesting:
“Indeed, beer may have been a force for growth for a long time. Colen and Swinnen note that beer consumption is higher in Protestant countries. What if the early success of Protestant-dominated economies wasn’t about Weber’s famed work ethic at all, but about the impact of breweries? Of course, it may be just as outlandish to argue that progress is driven by hops and barley as by the fear of eternal damnation — but at least it’s more fun to discuss over a pint.”
Interesting to be sure, and as Kenny notes, that statistic does challenge the old steretoype of the abstemious protestant. However, to be fair to my Roman Catholic friends, they have long considered beer a heavenly drink, as Mad Padre noted back in 2008.