words Eliza Dunn
Here’s cheers to craft beer!
Stock your fridge, call your mates, knock-off early and get ready for an amber flavoured afternoon–beer drinking is here to stay. The nectar of the god’s is different to what we once knew, but still oh so satisfying.
Beer drinking has evolved from the 30-can slab you grab from the pub at 5pm on a Friday, into a multi-million-dollar industry. Undoubtedly, the white-collar folk are just as thirsty as the blue. The ‘blokes drink’ title is no more, with craft beer coming in zingy pineapple ales and hoppy espresso-inspired brews.
Every occasion that matters in Australia has one thing: beer. Your baby’s first birthday, Christmas, Easter, quitting an old humdrum job, starting in a new position and even likely the first encounter you have with your future—or current—person … Nonetheless, beer is involved. It’s the drink that creates long-lasting memories… or the catalyst for no memory at all—but it’s never the beers fault!
Craft beer may be different to the average beer, but a cold beer is cold beer. So, how has the drink changed? Australians originally saw beer as a national drink, consumed by Aussie greats. A famous Castlemaine XXXX advert featured cricket star, Allan Border, sitting in a deck chair holding a cold one. The beer was depicted as Border’s lifeline in the commercial, protecting him from the sun and female beach-goers. But, has our beer-drinking culture evolved? Do we need to see a blokey sportsman lounged on the beach to desire the brew?
Perhaps drinkers were more closed-minded and desired a beer they knew was from their home state—made here and drank here. But it’s 2022, and craft beer is the plumper, fake-tanned, newer, more supreme version of the stubbies we once enjoyed; who doesn’t love a revamp? Historically, the beer market was led by brands like Victoria Bitter, Melbourne Bitter, Toohey’s and XXXX. Now, in this new era of beer drinking, the market is more varied than ever.
Like all consumers do, beer experts found that drinkers wanted something new. So, they delivered. Craft beers are like brewed lollies. If you’re after something sweet, grab a craft beer. If you want something sour, grab a craft beer. If you want something that has a colourful label or funky can—then of course, as you read it, grab a craft beer.
Craft beer production in Australia is a multi-million-dollar industry. That must mean singlet-wearing Johno who frequents the bottle-o is storing it. Experts claim that the growing demand for beer over the last five years has allowed producers to operate in every state and territory. What a tasty overflow of options!
If craft beer drinkers are growing by the pint, then why don’t we know who they are? Who are these thirsty people looking to let their hair down? Who has their thirst quenched by a spritz-like, fruity concoction that loosely resembles a beer, and what were they drinking before craft beer?
Is it the plaid shirt wearing, tennis-club-dad that wants to be seen with a beer in hand, while also sipping on something slightly more effervescent? Is it the artistic university student who works at a wine bar, ponders the golden mean and wants to impress peers with their acquired taste? Or is it the seasoned beer-drinker who simply wants to try something new? No matter the customer, craft beer consumption is steady and on the up.
Beverage Daily says 93 per cent of craft beer drinkers believe that the overall quality of brews are improving. Of all the people they spoke to, approximately 87 per cent of drinkers said they would encourage their family and friends to try craft beer.
There’s nothing to feel guilty about when cracking open a cold craft brew. If it weren’t for the front-bar locals, now buying a six-pack of craft beers at knockoffs, things might have dried up in the beer world. Who knows what fate the Aussie beer sector might’ve fallen to—so keep drinking craft beer!
Many craft beers set you back up to $10, and an average beer would only cost $7—meaning you’re paying more for the premium product. The wary should know that craft beer is handmade and not mass produced. The flavours are not catering to a mass market and so often things can get interesting. Small breweries are the backbone of craft beer, and without you kicking back at beer o’clock they’ll struggle to survive!
The Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular crowned the most popular craft beer of 2021 as ‘Bentspoke’s Crankshaft American IPA’. For a second year in a row, the American IPA took out the number one spot, so, rest assured, it’s a winner.
People in the industry believe that almost 85 per cent of all beer sold in Australia is made here, with the beer market driving economic activity and domestic jobs. So, next time you’re enjoying a craft beer, pat yourself on the back. You’re supporting the economy, while staying true to our beer roots.
As they say in the pubs, bottoms up!