A fair bit apparently.

Today the ABS released an interesting little chunk of stats on Australian alcohol consumption, estimating that in the year ending June 2009 we consumed over 1.8 billion litres of beer and over 495 million litres of wine.


Not only did the ABS measure beer and wine, but also spirits and those infamous alcopops – ready to mix drinks. If we first look at the pure alcohol consumed per capita each year from these drink categories, we get:


From this pure alcohol consumption measure, we can calculate how many standard drinks (12.5 ml) of each type of these beverages we all consumed, on average, per year.


Last year, we each knocked back an average of 806 standard drinks.

Let’s say you drink James Boag’s Premium as your beer, you like a nice bottle of red that comes in about 14% alcohol, don’t mind the odd 5% bourbon and coke in a can and prefer semi-premium spirits (40% alcohol). Converting these standard drinks into bottles gets us:


If your consumption patterns were particularly average, that would equate to around 10 cartons of beer, 3 cases of wine, 5 bottles of spirits and a case and a half of RTD’s.

Instead of using alcohol content, but actual volume estimates – which the ABS also produce – we can see estimates of both beer and wine per capita consumption broken down into type. If we make an assumption on the size of bottles (375ml for beer, 750ml for wine), then our consumption patterns of beer and wine have broken down like this:


That’s about a carton of light beer, nearly 2 cartons of mid strength and almost 10 cartons of full strength that each of us knocked down in 2009. We also seemed to like our whites over our reds – a trend that has only really changed around the margins over the last few years.

So, bottoms up.


Just to add – “per capita” refers to the population of Australia 15 years and older.