In Drinks - Beer by Clyde Mooney

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The Beer Cartel has released the 2017 Australian Craft Beer Survey, offering insight into the motivations and factors influencing drinkers in the ever-growing category.

The Survey is stated as the most comprehensive publicly available study ever undertaken with Australian craft beer drinkers, and has found the majority care about the ownership of the operation, overwhelmingly favouring independently-owned over large multi-national producers.

Reporting the “backlash” observed in sales in small breweries sold to corporations, director of craft beer retailer Beer Cartel Richard Kelsey says the beer’s story is a key part of the appeal.

“Craft beer is an artisanal product that is produced by skilled workers using the best ingredients possible,” notes Kelsey.

“There is a story behind the beers and the brewery that makes them. Independent ownership is a part of this story that drinkers buy into.”

Garnering input from 17,000 beer drinkers, the 2017 Survey key findings were:

  • 64 per cent want to know who owns the beer they’re drinking
  • 99 per cent are happy to buy craft beer from an independent Australian-owned brewery, while just 23 per cent are happy to buy craft beer from a large multi-national company
  • 82 per cent indicated that an independent brewers’ seal to identify it as independent would have a medium to large impact on purchasing decisions
  • Pirate Life is Australia’s favourite craft brewery, pipping Feral Brewing, which took out the top position last year, now in second place
  • Pale Ale is Australia’s most consumed craft beer style, enjoyed by 92 per cent of craft beer drinkers

Following a recent delineation on its own member criteria, the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) of Australia believes the Beer Cartel survey is a great insight into consumer perceptions.

“Earlier in the year we made a change in our constitution to only allow breweries that were independently owned,” explains IBA executive officer Chris McNamara.

“This change was made to support our member base and the objectives of the Association, but it is also refreshing to see that consumers share the same viewpoint.”