Leading craft beer retailer, Beer Cartel, has published the results of its 2019 Australian Craft Beer Survey, which details the thoughts and opinions of more than 23,000 Australian craft beer drinkers.

The report has many interesting findings, including the preference for cans overtaking bottles for the first time. Overall preference for cans has grown eight percentage points to 38 per cent, which the preference for bottles has fallen significantly to 27 per cent.

The Beer Cartel team said this results “reflects the changing landscape of vessels in Australia where the majority of craft brewers now sell beer in cans”.

Keeping in the packaging theme the survey also found that more craft beer drinkers prefer larger packaging options.

Beer Cartel Director, Richard Kelsey, said: “Consumers were asked for the preference between four and six packs, as well as cases of 16 and 24. Overall preference was for six packs (68 per cent) and cases of 24 (54 per cent) compared to their smaller alternative; four packs (38 per cent) and cases of 16 (42 per cent).”

Additionally the survey found that core range beers now account for the majority of craft beer purchases.

Kelsey added: “While past research indicated a large proportion of consumers are regularly drinking beers they’re never previously tried, the frequency of purchase of core range beers compared to new/limited release beers overall is much higher.

“Similarly core range beers are purchased in greater quantities, being mainly bought by the four/six pack and case compared to new/limited release beers that are mainly purchased by the single or four/six pack.”

There was also good news for the Independent Brewers Association (IBA), with awareness of its Seal of Independence growing steadily.

Kelsey said: “For the past two years a large focus of the survey has been on the importance of independent ownership, with a strong preference expressed by craft beer drinkers to purchase from Australian independent breweries as opposed to those owned by a large multi-national.

“In May 2018 the Australian Independent Brewers Association (IBA) released their Independence Seal to help consumers better identify those breweries that are independent.

“When surveyed in June – August 2018 one-third (33 per cent) of Australian craft beer drinkers were aware of this Independence Seal. This was despite relatively few breweries displaying it on their packaging. In 12 months since this first measure awareness has steadily grown to now sit at 41 per cent.

“Among those aware of the seal 58 per cent said it has had a medium to large impact on their beer purchasing behaviour, which shows the strength of the seal amongst those who are aware. This however is a 25 percentage point decrease from 2018 when 83 per cent of those aware of the seal said it was likely to have a medium to large impact on their beer purchasing.”

In terms of Australia’s best craft brewery, for the second year in a row consumers chose Balter as number one, followed by Bentspoke and Stone & Wood.

More details on the 2019 Australian Craft Beer Survey is available on the Beer Cartel website.


Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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