Drinkers want to know who makes their beer – study

An Australian study of 17,000 craft beer drinkers has revealed that ownership matters when it comes to beer selection, with a strong preference for independently owned breweries.

Created by craft beer retailer Beer Cartel, the 2017 Australian Craft Beer Survey is the most comprehensive, publicly available, study ever undertaken with Australian craft beer drinkers.

According to the research, 64 per cent of respondents said they want to know who owns the beer they’re drinking and 99 per cent said they are happy to buy craft beer from an independent Australian owned brewery. In contrast, just 23 percent of respondents said they are happy to buy craft beer from a large multi-national company.

In addition, 82 per cent of respondents indicated that an independent brewers seal would have a medium to large impact on the craft beer they purchase.

Respondents voted Pirate Life Australia’s best craft brewery, ahead of Feral Brewing which took out the top position in last year’s study.

Richard Kelsey, Director of Beer Cartel said the findings were a reflection of the attitudes of those who purchase craft beer.

“Craft beer is an artisanal product that is produced by skilled workers using the best ingredients possible. There is a story behind the beers and the brewery that makes them. Independent ownership is a part of this story that drinkers buy into,” said Kelsey.

“We’re seeing consumer backlash when small breweries sell out to a large corporations worldwide. An Australian example was the displeasure voiced when Perth’s Little Creatures was bought by Lion in 2012. As a result these findings are not altogether surprising, but the difference in willingness to buy craft beer from an independent brewery compared to a large corporation is.”

Chris McNamara, Executive Officer at the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) of Australia said that the study was a great way to better understand consumer perceptions towards the Australian craft beer industry, particularly around the topic of ownership.

“Earlier in the year we made a change in our constitution to only allow breweries that were independently owned. This change was made to support our member base and the objectives of the association, but it is also refreshing to see that consumers share the same viewpoint”, said McNamara.

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