Who is the mightiest beer drinker?

"Prost" to the beer drinking champs

In honour of Oktoberfest, I thought I'd take a look at some beer consumption figures. I found this article in the Guardian recently which suggested that beer sales in Germany were starting to decline. This is pretty surprising given Germany is arguably the homeland of good beer given they have a whole month dedicated to celebrating it! Towards the bottom of the article they provided figures on how much beer was consumed per person and stated that Germans consumed 107.2L per person per year, with the European beer drinking champions in fact coming from the Czech Republic, who drink a whopping 145L per person per year. So how does Australia stack up to that? 

Beer and wine consumption in Australia

Well as it turns out, we are nothing compared to our European cousins when it comes to beer consumption. I was able to find some data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which has the estimated annual beer consumption per capita for Australians at around 4L per year, which is only about 3.7% of what our German friends are drinking! So even if beer consumption is going down in Germany, they are still out-drinking Aussies by a long shot.

If you look at the annual beer and wine consumption figures for Australia, you can see that it has decreased somewhat from the year 2000-2014, starting at just over 5L, and the latest data shows just over 4L drunk per year. In that same time, wine consumption has risen from 3.25L to 3.64L per year. You can see that in the graph below. We can't say why this change is happening from these numbers: could be health concerns, or due to price, but it's still interesting to see a shift in preference over time.

Understanding your market

I also took a look at some data breaking down alcohol purchasing by area. This data comes from Victoria and is beer and wine sold broken down by local government area for the 2015-2016 financial year. Although the above graph shows that generally Australians drink more beer compared to wine, if you see below, there are some big differences in preference depending where you live. That highest bar you can see is Melbourne, that show not only far more alcohol sold in that area, but also a preference for wine over beer. The same goes for areas such as the Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip, Monash, and Boroondara. Using this sort of data can be helpful for a business to know their market, make sure they are stocking the appropriate amount of goods. Also if you're considering opening a business that sells wine related products, it could help decide which area is going to bring you the most customers.