No beer, please—we’re Ozzies

Australians are increasingly turning to wine instead of suds

No beer please, we're ozzies

Daniel Munoz/Reuters

Aussie lager lovers are a dying breed, according to the latest statistics on alcohol and wine consumption. The report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, titled “No Longer a Nation of Beer Drinkers,” shows beer consumption recently dropped by almost half to its lowest level in 50 years. Beer accounted for just 44 per cent of all alcohol consumed by Australians in the 2008-’09 financial year, compared to 76 per cent in its 1960-’61 heyday. Statistics show Australians drank 107 litres of beer per adult—an average of 3.6 pints a week—down from 190 litres (6.4 pints a week) on average 50 years ago. Over the same time, wine consumption has tripled from 12 to 36 per cent, attributed to evolving palates, the availability of more affordable domestic wines, and an increase in women drinkers who generally prefer wine to beer. But while wine sales are set to overtake beer in the next decade, the country’s beloved brew is far from hearing its death knell—because wastage and alcohol used in cooking are factored into the numbers, the report admits to slightly overestimating the consumption of wine and spirits.

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