australian craft beer bottles lined up in a row

The 2018 Australian Craft Beer survey has revealed that Australians buy as much new beer as they do old favourites. The annual survey, which is run by Beer Cartel, questioned over 18,000 craft beer drinkers on their shopping habits. The survey shows the state of the craft beer industry, and this year’s results reveal how quickly the sector is evolving.

“On average, five out of every ten beers purchased by consumers are previously untried beers,” revealed the survey.

This is a huge amount, and could possibly be the reason why so many craft breweries have massive limited or seasonal release programmes. The survey also indicated customers were more interested in small vessels. Fewer than half of respondents bought a 500ml bottle/can every few months or more often.

These findings reflect the exploratory nature of craft beer drinking; consumers want to try several different, smaller beers instead of sitting with one large one.

Although alcohol consumption is dropping among younger consumers, their purchasing of craft beer is on the rise – artisan quality over quantity seems to the focus for most consumers.

The authenticity of artisan-quality craft beers is also an important trait for consumers. Coca-cola bought three Australian craft breweries last year, and when surveyed two-thirds of craft beer drinkers said they were aware of this. Of those, 57 percent said they had changed their purchasing patterns as a result – largely because they were worried about change in quality of the product.

The Australian Independent Brewers’ Association has released a seal, which independent breweries can put on their products to indicate their conglomerate-free to customers.

The average amount spent by Australians on craft beer was $56 (NZD $61) per week. The survey shows that the craft beer industry remains strong and customers are looking for smaller, more experimental brews.

The beer style most favoured by survey respondents was a Pale ale, closely followed by Indian Pale ale. Amber and Golden ales were next.