By James Atkinson

Woolworths is bullish about the future potential for Australia's craft beer segment, which the retailer says is driving trend-defying beer sales growth in its liquor stores.

Woolworths general manager of merchandising, Steve Donohue, told TheShout that craft beer has been a strong performer in its outlets "for a good few years now", and the retailer is confident there is still further upside for the category.

In the US, he said demand for certain craft beers has reached cult status, with consumers lining up outside stores in anticipation of a new release.

With Australia's brewers producing world class beers, and rising consumer demand for better quality, more challenging brews – Donohue said the local craft beer industry is likely to follow a similar path.

Craft beer in Australia is still in an infant stage, Donohue said, "probably ten years behind the US".

He would not comment on recent data by Nielsen, which showed that beer sales had fallen by 5 per cent nationally in the 12 months to November last year.

But Donohue reaffirmed that Woolworths' beer sales have bucked this trend, with craft beer and cider (which it also includes in the 'beer' category) the main contributors.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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