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Australia’s top 10 craft breweries

The 2020 Australian Craft Beer Survey by Beer Cartel has revealed Australia’s top 10 craft breweries, with Black Hops, located on Queensland’s Gold Coast, taking out the No.1 spot for the first time.

“We are humbled to be listed in this company of Australia’s favourite craft beer breweries and Queensland taprooms,” Black Hops said. “We’ve been following the survey for a long time and it’s always great to see what the craft beer drinkers think and how those things change over time.

“We never would have dreamt of topping this list. Cheers to everyone who participated in the survey and cheers for supporting independent breweries like Black Hops.”

Black Hops; craft breweries

The survey is the largest study of Australian craft beer drinking trends, with just under 17,000 Australian craft beer drinkers taking part this year.

Here are the breweries that were favoured by respondents:

Balter was number one the last two years, but dropped to second, with Bentspoke and Stone & Wood each shifting down one place. Deeds has been the big mover jumping up 114 spots in the last year to 5th place.

The survey itself was run between July-September 2020 and contained a range of questions relating to what was called ‘Peak COVID-19’ (April to May 2020) and ‘After Peak’ COVID-19 (anytime after this).

Key findings from the research include:

  • COVID-19 has significantly increased online purchasing. Prior to COVID-19 38% of drinkers had purchased beer online in the last year. This has increased significantly with 53% of all respondents having purchased beer online since April this year.
  • Online purchasing has been strongly driven by Australian brewery websites and Australian craft beer speciality websites. Brewery website purchasing has doubled from 14% in 2019 to 28% in 2020. Similarly, purchasing from craft beer speciality websites have increased from 19% in 2019 to 27% in 2020.
  • Consumers have shown strong support for Australian independent craft breweries through COVID-19. Drinkers indicated since COVID-19 they were purchasing less Australian and international mainstream beer while local and Australian craft beer purchases increased. This coincides with increased awareness in the Independent Seal (60% awareness) and 93% of respondents agreeing that ‘Australian breweries need our support more than ever’.
  • COVID-19 appears to have impacted consumers very differently. While for some their weekly spend on beer during COVID-19 has dropped, for a proportion, particularly during COVID-19 peak (April – May 2020), spend actually increased as people began stocking up on beer at home similar to other commodities.
  • In 2020 New England IPAs (NEIPAs) and sour beers have been the two styles that have seen the biggest gains in overall consumption, growing by 8% and 7% respectively.

Respondents also nominated their favourite brewery venue by state.

They were:

Craft breweries

The Best Brewery Venue has seen two changes this year. Black Hops has overtaken Balter as Queensland’s best brewery venue, while Moon Dog with their brand new Moon Dog World have overtaken Stomping Ground as the best Victorian venue.

They also gave their verdict on Australia’s Favourite Craft Beer Bar/Pub by state:

Craft breweries

Among craft beer venues there has been no change in Best Craft Beer Bar / Pub for all states except South Australia, where NOLA Adelaide has moved to number one ahead of The Wheatsheaf Hotel.

The Grain Store in Newcastle and Saint John Craft Beer Bar in Launceston are the only two venues which are located outside of the capital city in their state.

To view more findings from the survey, visit

The biggest drinks trends for summer

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