The beer industry is booming

Beer in Australia is going through a renaissance. Once an old-boys’ club with largely homogenous products, the brewing industry has had a makeover thanks to changing consumer tastes and a renewed interest in niche brewing methods.

 

Craft beer is bucking the trend

Consumption of craft beer is on the rise. 

Australians are actually drinking less alcohol according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Forty years ago, three in four alcoholic drinks consumed in Australia was a beer, now it’s less than four in ten. But consumption of craft beer is on the rise. Consumers are leaving traditional beers on the shelf in favour of artisanal brands and interesting new flavours.

Consumers are also much more discerning now. They’re choosing to drink less so they’re happy to spend a little more for their buzz. That may be partially due to the impact of TV shows like Masterchef on our palette coupled with rising income levels. Roy Morgan research has found that craft beer drinkers are cultured, connected, clued in and cashed up. They know what they want and they’re happy to pay for it.

 

The brewing industry has been reshaped

There are many craft brewers in Australia now, with the majority owned by multinationals. 

It’s hard to believe that Australia’s craft beer industry only began in 1983 with a small Western Australia brewery called Sail & Anchor. While people had been dabbling in home brewing for years, it rarely produced anything fit for mass consumption.

Nowadays there are about 420 craft brewers in Australia. While many of these brands market themselves as niche players, the majority are in fact owned by multinationals. Little Creatures, James Squire, Kosciouszko, Matilda Bay, Cascade, Goose Island, Wild Yak and Pirate Life may all be artisanal brews but they’re all owned by large corporations.

95% of beers sold in Australia are still made here. 

Australia’s largest brewers have also gone through a significant period of change. Carlton & United Breweries (and the eponymous Foster’s Brand) is now owned by the behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) brewing company. While Lion Nathan (famous for XXXX) is 100% Japanese owned by Kirin Holdings, which also owns Ichiban Shibori, Kirin and San Miguel.

While they may be internationally owned, 95% of beers sold in Australia are still made here. Australian production supports this $16.9 billion industry that provides 105,148 full-time equivalent jobs. These span the economy from agriculture right through to retail. The brewing industry supports not only our manufacturing industry but also Australian farmers and regional communities who produce the barley, hops and yeast that gives beer its distinctive taste.

If you’d like to be part of this great Australian industry Techstaff has some interesting roles available in the brewing industry now.