Changing Aussie beer tastes

Per capita beer consumption in Australia is in decline according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. While the apparent total consumption of beer increased marginally from 1.748 billion litres to 1.790 billion litres between 2005 and 2007, per capita consumption declined by one litre, from 107.6 litres to 106.6 litres.

But increasing consumption of mid and full strength beer, at the expense of low-alcohol beer, meant that Australia’s per capita consumption of alcohol from beer remained steady at 4.7 litres. At the same time consumption of alcohol from all sources increased almost immeasurably from 9.85 litres to 9.88 litres.

Whether looked at in absolute litres (1.790 billion) or litres of alcohol (76.8 million), beer remains Australia’s number one alcoholic beverage by a country mile. Wine comes second on 490.3 million litres total and 51.3 million litres of alcohol. Spirits and ready-to-drinks run neck and neck for a distant third and fourth behind beer and wine.

What the ABS beer figures don’t reveal, however, is the steady chipping away at the old state-based tribal boundaries as national and international brands monopolise the fast-growing premium beer segment.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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