Beer Cartel has released their Craft Beer Survey for this year, and it provides a number of interesting insights into the craft beer market in this country. I thought I’d share what I found to be the most interesting parts of the survey.
First of all, there’s a fact that doesn’t necessarily surprise me, but does actually surprise me in its prevalence. That would be the importance of Brewery ownership to the Australian consumer. 99% of us are willing to buy from an Independent Brewery, which if I’m being honest, the only thing that surprises me there is that there were actually 1% of respondents who weren’t willing to buy independent.
The thing that I found most surprising was the attitudes towards Gypsy Brewing by the respondents to the survey. Only 85% were “happy to buy” from the Gypsies among our little family here in Australia. While I know there is a small sacrifice in consistency that comes from these brewers using unfamiliar equipment and from the lack of consistent access to this equipment, I believe that Gypsy Brewing is a very important part of the brewing market. They’re always younger companies having a crack at the game. It’s part of the Australian dream to be able to go into a profession and have a chance. On top of that, there are a number of Gypsy Brewers who are able to produce an excellent product, in fact the Old Man’s favourite beer at the moment, the Three Toes Pale Ale is made by a Gypsy Brewer, Merchant.
Then there was something that I personally definitely support, the addition of an independent brewers seal in the Australian Market. Already present in the UK and the US, these seals would help to identify an independent brewer. What I was very glad to see that our little community agreed with me on this one, with 82% indicating that these seals would have a medium or large impact on their buying habits.
What did not surprise me at all, however was the award for best brewery. Something of a People’s Choice award this one, which went to The Old Man’s favourite, Pirate Life Brewing. For those of you that don’t know, Pirate Life was founded by a couple of mates in Adelaide, with a name that came about because they “believe we live our life just like a pirate would, we are care free, relaxed and brew what we want to” and apparently, what they decided to brew was the country’s favourite craft beer. While I was personally disappointed not to see my favourite Batch Brewing there, I’ll happily wear the cap I bought there the first time I went to the brewery to any beer event I go to in the future.
The favourite beer styles of the nation didn’t prove to be much of a surprise either, with Pale Ale being our most consumed style at 92% and the IPA/Double IPA being the favourite style of the nation with 33% indicating that it was their personal favourite. Personally I’m a stout man myself, but I also love a good Pale Ale or IPA so I’m happy to see that I’m not too far off the mark there.
Going on from this, and what I found the most surprising of the survey, was the weekly spend on all this beer from the nation. On average, we spend $55 a week on beer! Personally, I only tend to spend $25, and that’s even with myself going for the more expensive styles of beer. Although I don’t have a tendency to drink out very often, since takeaway beer is always a bit cheaper.
What surprised me the most though, was the attitudes of consumers regarding Bottles and Cans. Personally, I think a can is a perfect way to transport a craft beer, it’s like taking a tiny keg with you to drink later. But beyond that, it’s better in a number of ways. First of all, anyone who knows why beer isn’t bottled using clear glass will be aware of the fact that light tends to ruin beer. This means that an aluminium can, which blocks out all light, will keep the beer a bit better. They’re also better at stacking than bottles, letting Breweries save on shipping, which in theory allows them to sell their beer slightly cheaper, and finally, it makes you use a glass, which I personally think is the only acceptable way to enjoy a beer.
Without wanting to go into the entirety of the survey, I’m going to leave my opinions there, but I definitely recommend going to read the full survey by Clicking Here. Who knows, you might find your next favourite craft beer while you’re there.