Craft Beer And Drinking Culture


Posted August 9 by Riley.

A recent ABC News article highlighted the influence of craft beer on Australia’s drinking habits.  It is an interesting read but unfortunately contains a video of the worst attempt at holding a beer – let alone pouring one – that I have ever seen.  Drawing attention to proper glass holding form is not the purpose of this post however.  The news article explores two facts, which at first seem incongruous:

The Australian craft beer industry is growing but beer drinking (and drinking in general) is declining in Australia.

Beer drinking has declined to the point where we drink less beer now than any time in the last 25 years.  Now maybe this is because Freddy Mercury died in 1991 and we’re only just starting to emerge as a nation from our mourning and self-medication, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because craft beer encourages a more moderate drinking culture?

Ask someone who has been working in hospitality for the past 13 years (like me, for example) and they will tell you that the anecdotal evidence supports this premise.  People are choosing quality over quantity and they are viewing craft beer as something to take their time with, and appreciate, not merely as a means to an end, where the “end” is to get drunk.  We are no longer being lured into the out-of-control spiral that is drinking more and more T******s New in a vain effort to wash the taste out of our mouths left by the last swig of T******s New.  (And yes, it’s censored because it’s offensive).

I have been expecting an article like the ABC one above.  There have been similar articles on craft beer and drinking culture in the US, where the craft beer industry is more established than ours.  A Harris Poll earlier in 2016 found that US citizens who enjoy craft beer are not only drinking less than their macrobrew-drinking-friends but also:

  • Are more interested in staying in shape
  • View alcohol as a special treat
  • Are more likely to drink only on the weekend
  • Are less likely to vote for Trump

Now I may have made the last one up, but I feel in my heart that it is true in the same way that Luke knew Darth Vader was his father.  I think it’s also true that if Trump wins in November it is entirely plausible that these same craft-beer-drinking Americans may lose that desire to care for themselves and descend into a Budweiser-Binge Breakdown™.

Another interesting observation of the poll is that the healthier attitudes to alcohol are more pronounced in Millennials.  So it looks like change is here to stay, and I’ll drink to that.