How much beer do Aussies drink?

How much beer do Australians drink? A fair bit it seems, but less, per capita, than we did five years ago.

Figures released in May by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show we drank 104.7 litres a head in the year to June 2009 – well down on the 109.9 litres we enjoyed back in 2004, when we ranked fourth in the world behind the Czech Republic (156.9 litres), Ireland (131.1 litres) and Germany (115.8 litres).

The ABS figures reveal our clear preference for full-strength and mid-strength beer and a declining taste for low strength brews. Per person consumption of low alcohol beer (above 1.15 per cent alcohol, but less than 3.0 per cent) declined from 11.8 litres in 2007, to 10.4 litres in 2008 and 9.0 litres in 2009.

In the same period, per capita consumption of mid-strength beer (greater than 3.0 per cent alcohol but less than 3.5 per cent) increased slightly from 15.8 to 16.0 litres, while full-strength moved from 78.7 litres to 79.7 litres.

Our total intake of pure alcohol declined from 10.4 litres to 10.08 litres per person over 15 years between 2007 and 2009. Beer accounted for 4.54 litres of this in 2007 and 4.49 in 2009 – making it still our biggest source of alcohol nationally.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010

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