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Amongst all the facts and figures in the recent Australian Craft Beer Survey was a telling statistic for brew marketers.

And it showed that if the way Big Beer is pushed towards a significant section of the drinking public doesn’t change then the mainstream breweries face losing more sales.

It wasn’t picked up by many when the poll details were released. The result that females make up 20 per cent of national craft beer consumers surprised many, even survey convener Richard Kelsey.

Beer Cartel, one of Australia’s leading online beer retailers, wanted to get a snapshot of the scene across the country and had more than 6500 respondents to its questions

And for company co-founder Kelsey, the spotlight on half the population was an important note for the brewing industry.

“I thought one in five craft beer drinkers being female was very, very interesting,” said Kelsey. “I have tried to get some stats on overall beer levels and haven’t found anything yet.

“But I would imagine in the general beer market it would be one in 20 females having any beer – maybe even less than that.”

Spruiking beer in Australia has often involved a very blokey image. However, with craft now the fastest growing segment in beer, marketers are going to have to consider a more gender-neutral approach towards their commercialisation.

Another factor from the Beer Cartel survey for the spin doctors to consider was that the average craft drinker spends $56 a week on drinks.

Also 90 per cent of craft drinkers will actively seek a premises selling their type of beer when travelling.

There is a lot of food for thought for tourism entrepreneurs.

There was a big win for Feral Brewing with the WA operation named Australia’s best craft brewery. Pale Ale, at 91 per cent, is our most consumed style. Good Beer Week is the nation’s favourite beer event.

However, like a rich stout or a vintage ale the best part of the survey is its longevity. While it has captured the moment in Australian beer, the poll’s ability to live on to generate even more information for the industry.

“This is our line in the start to start the study,” Kelsey said. “It will be interesting to see how the trends develop over the next few years.

“For instance there we very few people who said cans were better than bottles. Within our business we purposely look to stock cans over bottles because we think it is a better packaging format.

“And I think over time attitudes towards that will only change. It will be interesting to see over the surveys how much those attitudes change each year.”

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