Thursday 10 December 2015

Are we becoming a nation of beer snobs?

Christmas set to be a bit ‘posher’, with urbanites choosing craft over regular beer

New beer-purchase data from thousands of Aussie beer lovers reveals that beer preferences are following wine and coffee preferences – driven by a need for an ‘experience’ – with more and more urbanites expected to be seeking variety in the beers they choose this Christmas.

The analysis was carried out by, Australia’s leading and fastest-growing mobile-payment and deals app for bars, pubs and their restaurants. Clipp took September and October beer-purchase data in five beer categories – craft*, regular, cider, low-alcohol and special-diet – from their 55,000-strong customer base across more than 600 establishments Australia-wide. The analysis revealed that more urbanites are consuming craft beer – beer made traditionally by small breweries in limited quantities – rather than the regular beer Aussies have traditionally known and loved.

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With urban areas leading the charge, craft beer accounted for 45 per cent of all purchases nationally, with regular beer coming in second at 40 per cent. Melbourne takes the craft beer crown, with the highest percentage of craft beer purchases (55 per cent) against just 34 per cent of regular beer purchases. Perth comes in second, with 48 per cent of craft purchases and regular beer at 35 per cent. Sydney is third, with 46 per cent of craft beer purchases and regular beer at 39 per cent.

In contrast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Darwin are holding onto their love of regular beer, with this category accounting for 59 per cent, 63 per cent and 65 per cent of all beer purchases respectively.

Greg Taylor, CEO and co-founder of Clipp, says: “With the variety of beers on offer at Australian establishments, urban beer lovers now regard beer as an experience – much like they do wine and coffee. People seek to be more adventurous and it’s common now to be offered ‘beer tastings’ at pubs to enable you to choose your preferred beer.”

“Beer drinkers also like the idea of supporting a small craft brewery and its story, and they like the personality of the craft brand. As a consequence, their craft beer of choice becomes a talking point among their friends and better enables them to show their own personality. Additionally, I believe people are now eating better and are seeking to drink better.”

When it comes to spend volume, the number one craft beer Aussies purchased most – and are expected to purchase over Christmas – is James Squire followed by Stone & Wood, Little Creatures, Feral and then Young Henrys.

“Smaller breweries are catching up to the big players and showing their prevalence in the industry. The craft beer company Young Henrys from Sydney’s Newtown made it into the top 5 list nationally which is a great achievement for a relatively newcomer on the scene,” said Greg.

Interestingly, craft beer consumption is driven mostly by those in their 20s and 30s, with consumption consistently higher the lower the age bracket: 54 per cent of those in their 20s purchased craft beer, compared with 51 per cent of those in their 30s, 42 per cent of 40-somethings, 31 per cent of 50-somethings, and just 15 per cent of those over 60.

A city-by-city analysis by Clipp reveals Aussies in each city share similar tastes in craft beer. In regular beer, Aussies have different favourites depending on where they are from, with Carlton Draught the only beer to make it into the top five rankings across all cities.

*Clipp’s craft beer data includes craft beers produced by the major beer manufacturers, such as James Squire.

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