Craft beer’s popularity in Australia continues to grow

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th August 2014
Craft beer's popularity in Australia continues to grow
Craft beer’s popularity in Australia continues to grow

For the first time on record, the number of Australian adults consuming craft beer in an average four-week period has increased to more than one million, defying the downward trend of local mainstream beers, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

“In positive news for the Australian beer market, the last five years have seen local craft beers fighting the increasing popularity of imported beers,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Director – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research. “However, what the local craft market has gained appears to be at the expense of the local mainstream beers,” she said.

The proportion of Australians aged 18 and over who consume local craft beer in any given four weeks has quietly increased over the last five years, from 3.5 per cent (or 592,000 people) in the year to March 2010 to 5.7 per cent — or 1.04 million people — as of March 2014. According to Roy Morgan, this trend is all the more significant for bucking the overall decline in domestic beer consumption, which has seen the number of people drinking local mainstream beer in an average four-week period fall from 6.1 million (36.7 per cent of Australian adults) to 5.8 million (31.9 per cent) over the same period.

Young people leading craft beer trend

Roy Morgan Research said the growing popularity of local craft beer was being driven predominantly by those under 50, with 25 to 34 year olds leading the way.  In 2010, 7.9 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds drank craft beer in an average four weeks, but this has since grown to 10.7 per cent.

People from New South Wales (home of ‘hipster’ favourite, James Squire) and Queensland have taken to craft beer with particular zeal.  Between 2010 and 2014, NSW’s craft beer drinkers grew by 186,000 people, while in Queensland an extra 99,000 developed a taste for it.

Ms Smith said people from the demographic group Roy Morgan Research has called ‘Metrotech‘ are heavily represented among craft beer consumers. The Metrotech group is made up of people who are “young, cultured, connected, clued in and cashed up”.

“Metrotechs’ love of craft beer is unsurprising — their swanky rented apartments in areas such as Spring Hill (Brisbane) and Elizabeth Bay (Sydney) could be straight out of a premium beer commercial,” Ms Smith said.

“Of all the Metrotechs, the ‘New School Cool‘ persona has the highest proportion of craft beer drinkers: 20 per cent of these hip, young inner-city dwellers drink craft beer at least once in an average four-week period, compared to nearly 6 per cent of total Australian adults,” Ms Smith said. “As quality is typically more important than price for New School Cool, it follows that they’d opt for a craft beer over the more mass-produced mainstream alternative,” she said.