Quaffers: Craft beer bucks mainstream trend

Liquid salute: Evil Twin Brewing Fitzroy Hipster Ale.
Liquid salute: Evil Twin Brewing Fitzroy Hipster Ale. 

Australian craft beers continue their expansion as consumption of mainstream beer declines.

In the five years from March 2010 to March 2014, the proportion of Australian adults drinking local craft beer in any four-week period increased from 3.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent, according to Roy Morgan Research. In the same period the proportion of adults drinking local mainstream beer fell from 36.7 per cent to 31.9 per cent.

Hand in hand with the broadening appeal of local craft beer – and surely part of the same phenomenon – is the rise of imported beer. The proportion of people 18 years and over to drink imported beer in a four-week period grew from 14 per cent to 17.3 per cent in the same five-year period.

Rich flavours: Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Brown Ale.
Rich flavours: Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Brown Ale. 

Driving the change, says Roy Morgan, are "predominantly those under 50, with 25–34 year olds leading the way".

Evil Twin Brewing Fitzroy Hipster Ale
★★★★
330ml $9.87

From the island of Fano, Denmark, comes this liquid salute to Melbourne's hip Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. This is a full-bodied, malty pale ale, with a fruity note and a solid dose of hops giving a pungent edge to the aroma and assertive, delicious, lingering bitterness to the finish. 

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Brown Ale
★★★★
355ml $4.41

This lively, deep-mahogany coloured ale comes from Brooklyn, New York. The deep colour, of course, comes from roasted barley – a process that also adds rich chocolate- and coffee-like flavours to the warm, generous palate. Despite the rich flavours, the beer retains a spritely frehness, enhanced by well-judged bittering hops.