International Beer Day by the numbers

By BeertownNZ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 National

This news release is reproduced in full, as received from the Brewers Association. NB - it contains some factual errors.

Raising a glass is part of the Kiwi vernacular. Celebrating life’s milestones or just the end of the working week over a beer with family and friends is as natural as the ingredients in your favourite brew. So it’s only fitting that we mark International Beer Day tomorrow by giving thanks to the passionate local brewers who turn barley, hops, yeast and water into the spice of life.

“New Zealand is blessed with perfect conditions for making and enjoying world-class beers. Each year, New Zealand farmers harvest 315 tonnes* of hops and grow 57,200 tonnes of barley for the industry,” Brewers Association CEO Brett Heffernan said.

“Kiwis may not be aware that the New Zealand beer industry generates $2.2 billion in economic activity across the value chain, from grain to glass. This includes purchasing $632 million worth of key goods and services from other sectors, including ingredients such as hops, malt and sugar** ($97 million), equipment and packaging ($218 million), marketing services ($114 million), financial and professional services ($90 million) and commercial property services ($32 million).”

“The industry directly employs around 1,880 locals. It also underpins $1.3 billion in the on-licence retail industry and $880 million in the off-license retail sector, while making a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s hospitality and tourism sectors.

“Meanwhile, Kiwi beer drinkers also make a massive contribution to the national economy. Last year, the government collected $290 million in excise tax and a further $290 million of GST through beer sales.   

“Beer has flowed with the times. We have seen a staggering 85% increase in new beer varieties produced by individual brewers since 2012. The industry also continues to innovate in the low- and no-alcohol space ensuring that the quality and variety continues to improve.  

“This investment gives Kiwi’s greater choice and more control over their alcohol consumption.

“New Zealanders have come a long way since the days of the 6 o’clock swill of the mid-1970s*. Today’s beer drinkers are more discerning, better informed and socially equipped regarding responsible alcohol consumption than ever before. This is reflected in consumption per capita falling over the past 40 years, and significant reductions in hazardous drinking rates among young people (18-24 year olds).

“As you can see, there’s a lot to celebrate when it comes to brewing in New Zealand… luckily we have a beer for every occasion.”

Supplied by the Brewers Association

*New Zealand hop farmers produced 761 tonnes this year, ie, 242% of the figure claimed. The six o'clock swill lasted from 1917 until 1967 - it was all over before the mid-1970s. So the Brewers Association's first number and last number are both wrong. I'm not sure about the ones in between.

**Yes, sugar

By BeertownNZ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 National