The economic impact of Australia's beer industry

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

The Australian beer industry generates $16.9bn ($13bn USD) a year in economic activity: accounting for just over 1% of the GDP, according to the latest figures from the Brewers Association of Australia.

With 95% of all beer sold in Australia made locally, production supports more than 143,000 jobs (more than 105,000 full-time equivalent).

Brett Heffernan, CEO, Brewers Association of Australia, said: “Instinctively, Australians know beer is a part of our national lifeblood. It’s a major ingredient in what brings families, friends, colleagues and entire communities together. But it is also a vital lubricant for our economy at national, state and local levels.” 

State by state

Queensland, Victoria and North South Wales are the top beer contributors to the economy: at $4.9bn ($3.8bn USD), $4.5bn ($3.45bn) and $4.3bn ($3.3bn) respectively. New South Wales is the top employer in the sector with 30,735 full-time equivalent jobs, followed by Victoria (27,687) and Queensland (26,039).

australia beer economic impact
Picture: Brewers Association of Australia

Beer alone (without the contribution to the wider economy) supports 14,297 full-time jobs and generates $6.2bn ($4.76bn) in economic activity.

“When you add in the jobs and economic inputs beer drives across agriculture (primarily barley and hops); the broader supply chain, including manufacturing, packaging and transport sectors; through to pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and retailers; beer production in Australia generates a massive 105,148 full-time equivalent jobs and $16.9bn a year to the economy,”​ said Heffernan.

For every direct full-time equivalent job making beer in an Australian brewery (3,954), a further 26.6 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy, according to data for 2015-2016 (the most recent full-year results available).  

Beer contributed $3.8bn ($2.9bn) to the government, through $2bn in excise and $1.78bn in GST (goods and services tax).

The economic analysis for the Brewers Association of Australia was carried out by ACIL Allen Consulting.

The Brewers Association of Australia counts Coopers, Lion, and AB InBev subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries among its members.

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