More craft brewers, fewer wineries

Australia’s 250 craft brewers employ 1200

As per-capita beer consumption in Australia declines rapidly, the number of craft brewers continues to increase. IbisWorld says, “Robust demand for craft beer has resulted in the number of craft breweries increasing over the past decade to 250 in 2015–16.

In contrast, reports the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory 2016, winery numbers recorded two consecutive years of decline to 2468 in 2016, down from the all-time high of 2573 in 2014.

According to IbisWorld, Australia’s widely dispersed craft breweries employ around 1200 people and enjoy annual sales of around $377million – about 9.5 per cent of the $4billion beer market.

The higher prices paid for craft beers, says IbisWorld, means industry revenues continued to grow – albeit at a sluggish 0.2 per cent a year between 2011 and 2016 – despite declining per-capita consumption.

Beer reviews

Fuller’s 1845 Ale (UK) 500ml $8

Amber malt and Golding hops set the colour and flavours for Fuller’s 6.3 per-cent-alcohol, bottle-conditioned 1845 ale. It pours a deep, glowing rosewood colour, blanketed with a steady, creamy head. The opulent, treacly, sweet-malt palate melds harmoniously with deep, strong, bitter hops. It’s a warming cold-weather beer, served at around 10 degrees.

Graf Arco Pilsener (Germany) 330ml $4.95

Graf Arco provides a textbook example of the German pils style: pale lemon-gold colour; pleasant grainy, malty aroma, seasoned with a herbal, hop character; and a palate of intense hops bitterness. Sweet malt flavours offset the bitterness to some extent, but the hops bitterness lingers on, clean and refreshing.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 5 and 6 April 2016 in and the Canberra Times