2022 Australian Craft Beer Survey results revealed


A study of over 14,000 Australian craft beer drinkers has revealed a significant change to consumption habits with a big increase in alcohol-free beer consumption.

Created by craft beer retailer Beer Cartel, the 2022 Australian Craft Beer Survey is a comprehensive study undertaken with Australian craft beer drinkers. It is the sixth year the study has been run with the survey conducted from July to September 2022.

Annual alcohol-free beer consumption increased significantly from 15% in 2020 (the last Australian Craft Beer Survey) to 32% in 2022. Richard Kelsey, Director of Beer Cartel said the growth of alcohol-free beer was something that the business had been witnessing firsthand.

“In 2020 we began to see real growth in alcohol-free beer purchases. It was driven by an increase in the availability of good quality, tasty, zero alcohol beer, alongside a shift to more mindful alcohol consumption. We noticed it really began to accelerate when Heaps Normal hit the market and from there it has only grown further as more brands and breweries started producing a quality alcohol-free offer,” said Mr Kelsey.

“You can even see the embrace of alcohol-free beer in the GABS Hottest 100 beer results where Heaps Normal has polled in the top 40 Australian craft beers for the past two years. Our expectation is that the alcohol-free beer category is very much here to stay and is likely to grow further, albeit at a slower rate” he said.

Key findings of the survey included:

  • Black Hops has been voted Australia’s best craft brewery. For the second time consumers have chosen Black Hops Brewery on Queensland’s Gold Coast as Australia’s best, followed by 2022 GABS Hottest 100 winner, Mountain Culture, and Bentspoke.
  • Alcohol-free continues to grow strongly as a segment. 32% have consumed an alcoholfree beer in the last 12 months, up from 15% in 2020.
  • Online purchasing of craft beer remains high. 57% of respondents had purchased beer online in the last 12 months, up from 40% in 2019.
  • Australia’s favourite brewery venue by state has changed for three states. Mountain Culture (NSW), Bridge Road (VIC) and Big Shed (SA) were new entrants to the number one position for best craft brewery venue in their respective state.
  • Hazy / New England IPA’s have increased significantly in the proportion consuming it (78%), however, Pale Ale remains the most widely consumed style (82%).

Andy Miller, CEO of Heaps Normal, said the growth in the alcohol-free beer was exciting at multiple levels.

“I think what beer drinkers in this survey are telling us is that the alcohol content is no longer the determining factor in having a beer,” said Mr Miller.

“We know that normalising non-alcs as an option for beer drinkers has created new drinking occasions. But what this data illustrates is that we’re also seeing a bit of a shift in the very meaning of ‘having a drink’ — and that, to me, is the most exciting evolution.

“We reckon the story behind the data showing a rise in popularity of non-alc drinks is that a broader spectrum of people are coming together to enjoy a beer while feeling comfortable about making a choice that feels right to them. What a great outcome for beer fans, our industry and the culture that drives it,” he said.

To learn more about the 2022 Australian Craft Beer Survey visit: http://www.beercartel.com.au/blog/2022-australian-craft-beer-survey-results/

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