Let’s toast to the changes in Australia's drinking culture

BREWING CHANGE: O’Dowd’s manager Michael Fallon has noticed a change in drinking culture in recent years.
BREWING CHANGE: O’Dowd’s manager Michael Fallon has noticed a change in drinking culture in recent years. Chris Ison Rokcdrink

THE manager of O'Dowd's Irish pub, Michael Fallon, has seen some changes in Australia's drinking culture these past few years.

It seems he is not the only one, with recent data suggesting the days of the boozed-up Aussie stereotype are numbered.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report last week into the nation's alcohol consumption, which showed it at its lowest level since the 1960s.

It also indicated Australians were now more interested in the quality of the alcohol they were consuming, with a rise in craft beers and ciders.

Wine consumption had also risen by 26% in the past 50 years.

The average Australian consumes 9.7 litres of pure alcohol a year.

Rockhampton's Mr Fallon has seen up close the change in people's drinking tastes.

"The patterns of what they are drinking have definitely changed and the emergence of the craft beer market, speciality beers and all different beers in the past decade has been an enormous rise," he said.

"It's still a small portion of the market but people's habits have definitely changed. I think people have wised up; the whole shift is toward having a better experience."

A statement released by the Australian Liquor Stores Association said the ABS findings demonstrated how misleading claims of an "alcohol epidemic" were.

"Continued falls in per capita consumption highlights that Australians are having a sensible and mature relationship with alcohol," it said.

"Many will enjoy a glass of beer at the footy, or at home watching the game, but don't want to miss the highlights of the game by drinking to excess."

Per capita consumption of beer (L)


Low Strength:

2009: 9.05

2014: 4.94


Mid Strength:

2009: 16.25

2014: 17.39


Full Strength:

2009: 82.69

2014: 70.04

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Topics:  alcohol australian culture binge drinking

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