Suds suffer down under

Some Australians abandon beer for wine

June 27, 2005 - What is the beer-drinking world coming to? Australians, long portrayed as among the world's most enthusiastic beer drinkers, seem to be turning from beer to wine and spirits.


Australians drank 110 liters of beer per person aged 15 or more in 2004, down from 115 liters in 2003. Overall beer consumption fell 2.6%.

Wine consumption per person rose 2.6%, from 26.8 liters to 27.5 liters. Spirits consumption rose marginally to 2.05 liters per person over 15. But figures show a massive increase in the amount of available pre-mixed spirit from previous years.

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 favor 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 a news agency.

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