Back To Listing

Nothing bitter about craft beer’s rising popularity

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) Alcohol drinkers 18+ (Apr 2010 – Mar 2014), average annual n=19,322
For the first time on record, the number of Australian adults consuming craft beer in an average four-week period has increased to more than one million, defying the downward trend of local mainstream beers.

The proportion of Aussies aged 18 and over who consume local craft beer in any given four weeks has quietly increased over the last five years, from 3.5% (or 592,000 people) in the year to March 2010 to 5.7% — or 1.04 million people — as of March 2014. This trend is all the more significant for bucking the overall decline in domestic beer consumption, which has seen the number of people drinking local mainstream beer in an average four-week period fall from 6.1 million (36.7% of Australian adults) to 5.8 million (31.9%) over the same period.

The growing popularity of local craft beer is being driven predominantly by those under 50, with 25-34 year olds leading the way.  In 2010, 7.9% of 25-34 year olds drank craft beer in an average four weeks, but this has since grown to 10.7%. 

People from New South Wales (home of hipster favourite, James Squire) and Queensland have taken to craft beer with particular zeal.  Between 2010 and 2014, NSW’s craft beer drinkers grew by 186,000 people, while in Queensland an extra 99,000 developed a taste for it. 

Types of beer consumed in an average 4-week period 


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) Alcohol drinkers 18+ (Apr 2010 – Mar 2014), average annual n=19,322

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In positive news for the Australian beer market, the last five years have seen local craft beers fighting the increasing popularity of imported beers. However, what the local craft market has gained appears to be at the expense of the local mainstream beers.

”Using Roy Morgan’s revolutionary new profiling tool, Helix Personas, we can understand these trends with unparalleled accuracy.

“For example, people from the Metrotech community are heavily represented among craft beer consumers. Young, cultured, connected, clued in and cashed up, Metrotechs’ love of craft beer is unsurprising — their swanky rented apartments in areas such as Spring Hill (Brisbane) and Elizabeth Bay (Sydney) could be straight out of a premium beer commercial!

“Of all the Metrotechs, the New School Cool persona has the highest proportion of craft beer drinkers: 20% of these hip, young inner-city dwellers drink craft beer at least once in an average four-week period, compared to nearly 6% of total Australian adults. As quality is typically more important than price for New School Cool, it follows that they’d opt for a craft beer over the more mass-produced mainstream alternative.

“Not only can Helix Personas give local craft beer brewers an in-depth understanding of exactly who their customers are, it can also help them grab a more competitive edge within the local beer market.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products
Office: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Related research reports

View our Alcohol Profiles in our online store, including our extensive range of Beer Profiles and more; or visit the Helix Personas website to learn how this ground-breaking product can help your business.

Learn more about Helix Personas here.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%