A surprising trend has emerged in Australia’s drinking habits with more drinkers ditching beer for an interesting alternative.

New data from the Australian government has revealed the amount of beer being drank fell to its lowest point in about 80 years.

Australians consumed just 82L of beer per capita in 2019-20, less than half the whopping 190L per capita recorded between 1974-75.

Instead, many drinkers were turning to spirits, such as vodka, gin, and tequila, which recorded a 10 per cent increase between 2019-20.

Australians drank 19 per cent more high-alcohol spirits per capita over the year than what was being drunk just years earlier in 2016-17.

“This is the highest level seen since the peak of spirits consumption in 2007–08 of 2.3L per capita,” the government report stated.

“While apparent consumption of spirits is now close to 2007–08 levels, the types of spirits being consumed have changed substantially.

“Beverages such as spirits mixed with soft drinks made up 48 per cent of spirits consumption in 2007–08, but just 28 per cent in 2019–20.”

Researchers believe the decrease occurred following changes to tax on ready-to-drink beverages in 2008, and sparked a spike in certain spirits.

Unmixed spirits such as vodka, whiskey, and liqueurs are now at their highest level, with people drinking on average 1.5L of alcohol from those drinks in 2019-20.

Released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Tuesday, the report made a number of other startling discoveries about Australian drinking habits.

The amount of “pure alcohol” available in Australia fell by less than 1 per cent in 2019-20, but was still significantly higher than it was five years earlier.

Importantly, the report found that the change did not reflect “per capita consumption”, and instead came about as Australia’s population continues to grow.

Of available alcohol – broken down into beer, wine, spirits, or cider – wine remained the most popular at 42 per cent of all apparent alcohol consumption.

While recording the lowest rate of consumption since 2015-16, wine remained at one of its highest levels over the past 60 years.

Beer, which accounted for 35 per cent of consumption, was dominated by full-strength beverages, followed by mid-strength beers which recorded their highest ever consumption.

As for cider, an oft-marginalised drink for bar-goers, consumption remained minimal with on 0.25L of alcohol per capita coming from cider in 2019-20.


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By Rahul

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