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Kiwis turn to stronger beer in craft craze

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017

New Zealand's fascination with craft beers is still growing as stronger beers continue to flood the market, Statistics New Zealand says.

According to new figures, 17 per cent more high-strength beer was available for sale in 2016 compared to 2015 - which itself was up 38 per cent on 2014.

It means the volume of beer on shelves with more than 5 per cent alcohol has doubled in the last five years, the government statistics organisation says.

And while overall beer sales were up, availability of low-strength beer was actually down in 2016 - reflecting a continuing shift towards craft beer.

But it's not just beers that are doing well.

Total wine and spirits (including spirit based drinks such as RTDs) availability also saw rises of 4.7 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively in 2016.

"There was enough alcohol for each adult New Zealander to drink the equivalent of two standard drinks a day," international statistics manager Nicola Growden said.

"This is 500ml of 5 per cent alcohol beer, or two glasses of wine per person."

Statistics New Zealand says the availability figure is based on the amount of alcohol produced for local consumption combined with the amount imported and shows what is up for consumption rather than actual consumption.

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