Beer drinkers across the country are finding themselves squeezed between a growing selection of choices and prices, with some supermarkets offering little more than a couple of bottles of cheap, bland beer.
The latest ABC Food Price Index reveals that, for many Australians, the cheapest beer on offer is a light beer with a low calorie count of just 1.5 per cent.
While there are a number of cheaper beers on offer, the only beers that offer the cheapest price are the cheapest ones.
“The cheapest beer that you can get is usually the light beer,” one customer, who asked not to be named, said.
“That’s what I can get.
It’s a great light beer.
I can’t say anything bad about it, but it’s just so cheap, I’m not sure why I would buy a lot of beer.”
Another said he could find a beer for $1.50 at a supermarket, but the price was so low he was unable to afford it.
“I can find a lot cheaper light beer, like Bud Light, that’s $1 and that’s the only beer that’s a little bit cheaper,” he said.’
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While some customers have been enjoying the convenience of a small cup of beer at the table, many others are finding it difficult to buy beer at all.
“If I’m going to get a drink, I can find that much cheaper beer than that,” one beer fan said.
Another beer fan, who only wanted to be known as ‘Bobby’, said he couldn’t buy any beer.
“It’s kind of hard to find a cheap beer at this point,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.
“There’s so many cheaper beers, you can even find a whole bunch more.”
Beer fans at homeThe trend has led some to wonder whether a beer is really worth the extra cost.
“We’re going to have a lot more people drinking cheap beer,” said David.
“So that’s going to be a bit of a problem for us, it’s going and we’re not going to put much money into it.”
The trend is being fuelled by a surge in craft beers and the high demand for craft beers in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
“With craft beer, we’re having more and more people coming to bars, bars that have a beer garden,” Mr Jones said.”[We’ve seen] more people who want to go to a craft beer bar than we are in Sydney.”
But it’s not all bad news for those struggling to afford a beer.
Beer is cheap at some supermarkets and bars, but there are plenty of options available for those with a budget.
“One of the main things that’s really exciting about craft beer is that you’re really finding that cheaper beer is just out there,” Mr Bales said.
The ABC Food price index is a guide to the cost of every item in Australia’s food supply.
It is not an absolute guide, but shows how much you can expect to pay for a typical item of food, including milk, meat, vegetables, fruit and dairy products.