Think Australian beer is all about Fosters? Think again! This particular beer might be made in Australia but it’s rarely consumed in the country at all, with the Aussies themselves having very different preferences. And they know their beer—Australians are the fourth biggest consumers of beer in the world, and it’s something they take pretty seriously.
Brewing history Beer arrived in Australia at the start of the British colonisation and has had a long and illustrious history ever since, with unofficial brewing being a common part of those early days. In 1804 the first government-run brewery was formed and the practice quickly took hold—the oldest brewery that’s still in operation is the Cascade Brewery, founded in Tasmania in 1824, whilst in 1862 the Coopers Brewery was established and has since grown to be the largest Australian-owned brewery in the country. By 1871 there were some 126 breweries in Victoria alone, and it’s worth noting that whilst lager is the current style of choice it wasn’t actually brewed until the 1880s—up until that point it was all about ale.
Modern-day beer drinking Beer has gone from strength to strength ever since and is now a core part of Australian culture—the earlier working day (a lot of Aussies start at 6:30am and finish by 4pm) and sweltering temperatures means Aussies love noting more than returning from work and cracking open a cool bottle of beer. According to recent statistics the most popular beer consumed in the country is XXXX Gold, closely followed by VB, whilst Tooheys makes the list further down as well. But, it isn’t all about mass-production—there’s a well-established craft brewing culture too. Microbreweries are popping up all over the country and their wares are proving incredibly popular, and it’s high time you checked out some Australian-grown goodness. That’s where we come in. From Coopers and Tooheys to lesser-known gems we’ve got you covered, so take a look around and you can experience the joy of Australian beer for yourself.