Friday, July 31, 2009

Some nice beer news

While I don’t want to make light of the dreaded GFC and the effects it has had on many people’s livelihood worldwide, I also haven’t got too sucked into the whole ‘imminent collapse of the whole wide world as we know it’ tin-bangers and their calls of doom. Same for Global Warming – “WHOOOOOOOO, We’re all going to DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!!!” Call me an optimist.

But today I saw some good news for those ho have been crusading for real causes that affect real people – beer drinkers. It seems that, as a result of the global financial downturn, more and more Australians are staying in instead of going out to dinner. Not great for the restaurant owners who can’t adjust, but there is some good news in it. People staying home to have dinner parties are serving better quality wines and also better beer.

The Herald Sun reports findings of some data or another about sales figures and such which show a big increase in “premium beer” and “bottled wine” sales as well as spirits and a small increase in overall beer sales. I worry a little that ‘Premium Beer’ is what the Big Brewers refer to as premium – mainstream pissy fizz but with silver and gold labels as well as ‘imports’ like Stella Artois (from the small Belgian enclave of Southbank) and Heineken that comes all the way from Camperdown.

Even better was the news that VB sales have dropped by one percent – maybe we are beginning to upgrade a little. I don’t think that this report signals a swing towards craft beer, or even that we are beginning to look for something ‘better’, but maybe it is a small step in the right direction. Premium beer sales are up by 20%, mid-strength by 10% and full strength beer is up by 7% which might just hint at a move towards exploring of the beer world by those who may not have known that anything other than VB and Crown and Toohey’s New existed before.

Today, the premium beer market – tomorrow the craft beer world!!

Prof. Pilsner

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