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Shattering the Image

To beer or not to beer. That is the question.

The image of Australia as a nation of beer drinkers is under attack, with new figures on Monday showing Australians are drinking less beer and more wine and spirits.

 

The shift is a result of an increase in the amount of wine available in Australia and a continued increase in the amount of pre-mixed spirit drinks available, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

Australians drank 109.9 litres of beer per person aged 15 or more in 2004, down from 114.6 litres in 2003. Altogether, 1,760 million litres was available to drink in the year to June 30, 2004, down 2.6 percent from 1,807 million litres a year earlier.

 

Wine consumption per person rose 2.6 percent over the same period to 27.5 litres from 26.8 litres a year earlier. the Amount of wine available to drink increased 3.9 percent to 439.7 million litres in 2004 from 423.1 million litres a year earlier.

 

Spirits consumption rose marginally to 2.05 litres per person over 15. But the figures showed a massive increase in the amount of available pre-mixed spirit drinks to 13.87 million litres in 2004 from 1.59 million litres three years earlier.

 

Alcohol consumption analyst Sandra Jones from Wollongong University said beer was under threat on two fronts, with older Australians now drinking more wine and younger Australians turning away from beer in favour of pre-mixed spirit drinks.

 

“The ready-to-drinks are going up, but the spirits are not going down by the same amount. The rise is being traded off against beer,” Jones told Reuters.

 

According to the website of Foster’s (www.fosters.com.au), the country’s biggest brewer, Australians drink less beer per capita than Czechs, Germans, the Irish, Danes, Austrians, British, Belgians and Luxembourg, but more than Americans, New Zealanders, Finns, Hungarians, Spaniards, Canadians, the Dutch and Slovacs.

Color me surprised.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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