New report from the Brewers Association on National Agriculture Day shows just how much Aussie farmers contribute to Australian made beer

New research published today by the Brewers Association of Australia shows how brewing benefits Australia’s economy, local communities and particularly our farmers, contributing $16 billion annually to Australia’s economy and supporting nearly 100,000 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

CEO of the Brewers Association, John Preston, said:

“Today is National Agriculture Day and as we celebrate Aussie farmers this new report shows just how important brewing is for our agricultural sector.

“Australians overwhelmingly drink beer brewed in Australia made with Australian ingredients sourced from Aussie farms. These new figures released today show that Australian brewers sourced almost $500 million worth of barley and hops from farms across Australia.

“This production supported almost 3,000 FTE jobs in the agriculture sector. With more of our larger brewers now buying direct from the farm the link between our farming sector and brewing has never been stronger.

“We all recognise the role that enjoying a beer plays in Australia’s culture but the report we are publishing today shows the true scale of brewing’s importance for our economy and communities and the significant shift that Australians have made to mid-strength beer consumption.”

The research has been conducted by ACIL Allen for the Brewers Association of Australia and its findings underpin the Brewers Association report published today, Australian Brewing: Our Economic and Social Contribution.

The report also shows that Australians still love a beer, drinking the equivalent of just over 2.5 billion pints of domestically produced and retailed beer in 2020-21 with a total retail value of around $17 billion a year. Australians are also embracing responsible consumption with mid-strength beer consumption having increased 130 per cent over the past 25 years.

One of the key conclusions of this report is the importance of the partnership between Australia’s brewers and our Australian farming sector. Australia’s brewers source over 1,000,000 tonnes of malting barley from Australian farmers every year and Australian hops are an internationally renowned product with growers in Tasmania and Victoria producing over 1,600 metric tonnes a year.

Tony Mahar, Chief Executive Officer, National Farmers’ Federation, said:

“National Agriculture Day is a great opportunity to celebrate just how important Aussie farmers are for our beer industry.

“Australia farms produce the best barley and hops in the world and these are the key ingredients for Australian brewed beer.

“With Australian brewers sourcing nearly $500 million of ingredients from Australian farmers we also want to recognise the strong link between brewers and farmers.”

John Bennett, a farmer from the Wimmera region who supplies the beer industry said:

“You can’t have great Aussie beer without great Aussie barley.”

“Brewing is a vital industry for farmers and the connection between barley farmers and Australian brewing is stronger than ever.”

GrainGrowers has welcomed new research from the Brewers Association of Australia highlighting the contribution of its grower members to Australian beer.

According to GrainGrowers Chair Rhys Turton, the research confirms that, without a doubt, a top drop starts way back in the paddock.

“Our grain growers welcome the strong working relationship with the brewing sector. Growers across Australia deliver around a million tonnes of top-quality malting barley annually, enabling brewers to get on with the serious business of quenching thirsts across Australia.”

He said the move by some brewers to direct sourcing from farmers reinforced the vital links, helping brewers better understand production variables and allowing consumers to know precisely where the barley was grown.

“Next time you raise a glass with friends, spare a thought for the grain growers, who work with brewers to make it all possible,” Mr Turton said.

The report also clearly shows the close relationship between brewing and the hospitality sector. In recent years beer sales have consistently averaged around 70 per cent of alcohol sales volumes in licensed premises making beer the anchor product for pubs and clubs. In Australia sales through the on-trade of domestically produced beer supported around 55,000 jobs in the hospitality sector. For every direct FTE job in the brewing industry there are 7.7 FTE jobs in pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants to sell the beer.

This fantastic success story of Australian brewing’s economic contribution is matched by the progress that Australian beer drinkers have made in terms of responsible drinking. Australians are drinking less beer, with per capita consumption of pure alcohol from beer having dropped by over 30 per cent in the past 25 years. But Australians are increasingly incorporating mid-strength and zero-alcohol beer into their consumption.

As Australians enjoy their favourite beer brands we can be proud of our beer sector and confident that the contribution it makes to our economy and the communities in which we operate is sustainable.

For all media enquiries please contact John Preston CEO Brewers Association 0416 209 351

Australian Brewing – Our Economic Contribution Report 2022