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Beer buddies: Australian men and the amber fluid

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015–March 2016 (n=15,135). Base: Australians 18+

As we transition into winter, an icy-cold beer may not be the obvious drink of choice. Having said that, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that 38.1% of Australian adults drink beer at least once in any given four-week period – and more than three-quarters of them are men. Whereas women tend to be more partial to wine, beer’s reputation as the classic beverage of Aussie blokes is certainly well founded.

In the year to March 2016, 5.3 million Australian men (or 58.8% of the adult male population) drank some kind of beer – premium, imported and/or standard; low-alcohol and/or full-strength – in an average four weeks, compared to 1.7 million women (18.2%). Consumed by 47.6% of men in this period, standard beer (ie not premium or imported) wins out over premium/imported (37.1%), and full-strength (53.6%) is far more popular than mid-strength (13.6%) or low-alcohol (10.1%).

Of course, many drink more than one type of beer: for example, more than a quarter of men consume both standard and premium/imported beers in an average four weeks.

Incidence and type of beer consumed: Australian men vs women


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015–March 2016 (n=15,135). Base: Australians 18+

As the chart above indicates, the proportion of men drinking beer of any type and/or strength consistently outstrips the proportion of women, but both genders are more likely to drink standard beer than premium/imported, as well as showing a resounding preference for full-strength over the reduced-alcohol varieties.

The brand of approval

Of course, given how widespread beer-drinking is among Aussie men, the question inevitably arises: which brands are most popular? Roy Morgan data reveals a tightly contested field, with three very different beers battling it out for top spot.

In an average seven-day period, 11.1% of beer-drinking men consume Carlton Draught, fractionally ahead of Mexico’s most famous cerveza, Corona (11.0%) and Queensland’s mid-strength staple, XXXX Gold (11.0%).

Ten most popular brands of beer among Australian men


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015–March 2016 (n=2,838).

Victoria Bitter satisfies the hard-earned thirst of 8.5% of Australia’s beer-drinking men, while premium beer Coopers Pale Ale completes the top five at 8.0%.  

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Nobody would be surprised to read that Australian men love their beer, but our figures confirm the extent of their affection, revealing that nearly 60% of them drink the amber fluid at least once in an average four weeks – compared with less than 20% of women.

“Less predictably, no specific brand of beer stands out as a clear favourite. With an ever-increasing selection of beers on the market, things have changed dramatically since back in 2007, when VB dominated as the beer of choice for one in five Australian men, and Corona didn’t even feature among the top 10.  

“It is essential for beer brands wishing to achieve cut-through in this crowded market to have an in-depth and holistic understanding of the country’s beer drinkers – male and female – so as to target them more effectively. Covering important measures such as volume consumed in an average week and the places most popular for consuming beer, as well as vital demographic, behavioural and attitudinal data, Roy Morgan Single Source is an invaluable resource for beer brands serious about success.”

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About Roy Morgan

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

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%