BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in packaging preference

The Trends of BC Craft Beer Drinkers – Comparing 2013 and 2014 Consumer Preferences

How have craft beer consumer preferences changes in the past year?

The Beer Me BC Craft Beer Survey has been run two years in a row and if you were paying attention you may have noticed that many of the questions were the same year over year. This allows for a direct comparison of responses and an understanding of the trends emerging from consumer preferences. Below is an illustration of each applicable question comparing 2013 and 2014 BC Craft Beer survey results. the 2013 survey was completed by 532 participants while the 2014 was completed by 1505.

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BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in Gender

Between 2013 and 2014 we saw an increase in the proportion of female respondents. While still male dominated we observed a 6.3% increase in female responses bringing the proportion of male/female to 66/34.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in Age
In comparing the age of all respondents the biggest shifts came from an increase of nearly 5% to the 27-36 age group and a more than 6% decrease in 43-50 year olds.
BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in Location

The location of respondents was dominated by Greater Vancouver in both 2013 and 2014. We did see a significant, 6.3% increase in Vancouver Island responses and a decrease of 8.3% of Vancouver based respondents.

Craft Beer Drinker Tendencies

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in # of breweries visited

The number of craft breweries visited during 2014 increased from an average of 3.95 to 4.84. The largest shifts were seen in the number of people attending 10+ breweries with an increase of 6.97% and a decrease in the number of people visiting 0 breweries by 5.74%. In total 91.3% of survey respondents have visited at least one BC brewery in the past year.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in # of events attended

Comparing the number of craft beer events attended illustrated a few trends. The average number of events shifted from 2.11 down to 1.98. While this is downward trending, the number of people who have attended at least one event increased by 6.11%. The largest increase was 8.26% in the number of people that have attended 2 events in the past year.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of flavour

The quality of flavour is considered very good with nearly 74% of respondents selecting “great”. This is also a shift from 2013 of 4.13% from all other responses into the “great” classification.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of selection

The opinion of  selection of craft beer also shifted from all categories into the “great” option. This was an increase in 9.8% over 2013.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in place of consumption

The place of consumption illustrated a shift from “At Home” to both “At the Brewery and “At a Party/With Friends”. There was also a modest increase in “at a Bar or Pub

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in place of Purchase

More people are buying beer direct from the brewery than ever before. While the Cold Beer & Wine still leads,”At The Brewery” purchases increased by 4.82% surpassing Craft Retailers and coming very close to Government Liquor Stores.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in Motivation

The primary purchase decision stayed relatively consistent year over year with flavour being the dominant purchase motivator. The two significant changes were a decrease in the importance of price and brewery.

When you purchase beer how important are the following?

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of price

The importance of price decreased from 2.83 to 2.63. Analyzing the changes across responses 3 and 4 responses seem to have shifted into the 2 classification.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of beer style

The importance of style among BC craft beer drinkers is quite important with a mean value of 4.08. This does represent a decrease from 4.24 in the year prior. Interestingly the number of 1 and 5 responses both decreased showing a lower variance in the importance of beer style year over year.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of brewery

Comparing 2013 and 2014 data there appears to be less brewery loyalty among BC craft beer drinkers. The mean response value decreased from 3.62 to 3.36 year over year. An increase in 1, 2 and 3 responses was observed while 4 and 5 responses both decreased.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of location

The location of a brewery also decreased in importance between 2013 and 2014. The mean response decreased from 2.86 to 2.57.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of reputation

Beer reputation is less important to this year’s survey respondents seeing a decrease in mean from 3.42 to 3.21. This could be a result of the increase in number of beers being released and the willingness of consumers to try new beers.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in importance of reviews

A significant jump was observed in the importance of reviews between 2013 and 2014. Moving from 2.19 up to 2.66 this was the largest change among the questions relating to importance in purchase desicion making.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in frequency of consumption

The frequency of consumption did not change greatly between 2013 and 2014. We can see here a decrease of 3.07% in the number of people consiming beer 6-7 days per week but that is the only significant shift.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in packaging preference

The way people prefer to buy beer saw a few significant shifts. The largest change is a decrease of more tha 5% in buying standard sized bottles. This question did not contain the “Tall Cans (>355ml)” option in 2013 but cans as a whole saw a rise of 1.3% while Bomber bottles increased by 2.6%.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in drinking tendencies

In observing the diversity of consumption among BC craft beer consumers we saw a shift from those who “have a few key beers” to “trying new and different beers” This shift was greater than 2% year over year. It should also be noted that this question is still dominated by those who responded “I like to try new and different beers” with nearly 87%.

BC Craft Beer Survey - Change in news source

The final question looks at how people learn about craft beer news. Here, word of mouth increased by 5.53% while Social Media decreased by 4.35%. Retailers and Websites saw a modest decrease. Although Social Media saw a significant drop here it is still the primary source with more than 40% of all responses.

The comparison of 2013 and 2014 data has many variables which can not be accounted for in this comparison but overall this data can be used as a basis for trends in BC craft beer. This survey did not use random sampling and is not an accurate representation of British Columbia opinion. This is a statistically accurate representation of the opinions of BC craft beer enthusiasts however.

Tell us what you think. Do you agree or disagree with these results?

Tags: survey

About Author

Dustan Sept

Dustan Sept is the founder of Beer Me BC. His passion for craft beer drove the creation of beermebc.com in 2012. To learn more about the beermebc.com editorial team visit beermebc.com/the-beer-me-bc-team/.


  1. mikescraftbeer
    mikescraftbeer 24 December, 2014, 11:48

    There are a few catagories that really surprised me but overall it all makes sense. I look forward to three years of data.

    Reply this comment
  2. steve t
    steve t 27 December, 2014, 07:40

    Do you have any surveys about home brewers

    Reply this comment
    • dustansept
      dustansept Author 28 December, 2014, 12:52

      No specific surveys have been done yet. From this year’s craft beer survey nearly 1/4 of respondents have brewed in the past 12 months though.

      Reply this comment
  3. Kirsten
    Kirsten 2 September, 2015, 10:49

    What’s the number of respondents for each of these surveys? We’d love to be able to use this information in a business plan, but the data is useless without knowing the sampling size and I didn’t see it (maybe I missed it?). Should be in the first paragraph – that’s where we sciencey people would like to have it put!

    Reply this comment
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