Beer consumption falls

But mid-strength gains

ABS figures released in May reveal a decline in Australia’s “apparent” per-capita consumption of alcohol from 10.6 litres in 2009 to 9.7 litres in 2014 – the lowest level since the early 1960s. The bureau says the figures overstate consumption as they don’t allow for wastage and other factors.

The figures also show a steady decline in both total and per-capita beer consumption over the past five years, as well as changing patterns in the styles of beer we drink.

Consumption of low-alcohol beer fell from 156.9 million litres in 2009 to 93.4 million in 2014. Per-capita figures were 9.0 litres ad 4.9 litres respectively.

Mid-strength beer gained popularity, rising from 281.8 million litres to 328.8 million litres (per-capita 16.3 litres and 17.4 litres).

Consumption of full-strength beer fell from 1.9 million litres to 1.7 million litres per capita 107.9 litres to 92.3 litres).


Stone and Wood Limited Release Stone Beer 500ml $8–$10
Byron Bay’s Stone and Wood excel as brewers and marketers, building each year on its ever-changing, annual Stone Beer. This year it’s a black, 6.4 per-cent ale with deep, complex fruity, nutty flavours and moderate, toasty bitterness. The addition of wheat malt gives a lively boost to the sweet, plush mid-palate.

Little Creatures Return of the Dread Domestic Stout 330m 4-pack $18
Lion-owned Little Creatures produced Return of the Dread as a hearty, winter-only brew. The name salutes an earlier one-off batch, The Dreadnought. It’s a serious stout: dark as night and high in alcohol (7.2 per cent), with powerful roasted malt flavour, opulent palate and a mother load of bitter Fuggles hops balancing the sweet malt.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 19 and 20 May 2015 in and the Canberra Times