BC Craft Beer purchase decision importance

2017 BC Craft Beer Survey Results – Consumer Demographics, Preferences & Opinions

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2017 BC Craft Beer Consumer Opinions, Preferences & Demographics

The 2017 BC Craft Survey Results are in. In the 5th annual survey we collected survey responses from 1172 consumers. The survey took place over the duration of November 2017 and responses were collected through an online form.

The results are a representation of the opinions and preferences of craft beer consumers. This is not meant to be a representation of all BC consumers as there is a significant bias to those that are engaged in craft beer.

Gender of Survey Respondents

The respondents to the 2017 BC Craft Beer Survey indicated that 29% of craft beer consumers are currently female with 71% male. There were 3 responses (.26%) that did not enter a response.

BC Craft Beer Gender

Age of Survey Respondents

In collecting age data for respondents anyone under the age of 19 was not permitted to complete the survey. The median and mode for the data falls in the 35-42 age category.  You can also observe that 73.6% of all respondents are between the ages of 27 and 50.

BC Craft Beer drinkers age

Location of Survey Respondents

The location of respondents was collected as the BC government breaks down regions of the province. Similar to the population distribution there is a disproportionate number of responses from Vancouver, Coast & Mountains and Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands regions. As a result of this bias, there may be preferences for smaller regions that are not represented by the overall data.

BC Craft Beer drinkers location

Number of Breweries visited in Past 12 Months

When asked how many breweries one had visited in the past 12 months the mean number was 12 with 56% of respondents saying that they have visited more than 10 breweries. Only 2.8% of respondents stated that they had not visited a brewery.
BC Craft Beer breweries visisted

Number of Beer Events Attended in Past 12 Months

When asking about the number of beer events attended in the past 12 months, the mean response was 2.08. The median and mode responses were both one event.  Looking at the extremes, 28% of consumers attended no events while 4.9% attended 10 or more.

BC Craft Beer event attendance

Beer Purchase Decision Factor Importance

The purchase decision factor is a ranking of how important each element is in purchasing beer. On a scale of one to five respondents were asked to rank each factor listed in the graph below.  The most important factor when purchasing beer is Style followed by Brand and Reputation. The least important factors in purchasing beer is packaging and brewery location. Also worth noting is while brewery location is not seen as a leading purchase decision factor, it did have the highest standard deviation of responses. That is, there was the greatest range of opinions in this factor.

BC Craft Beer purchase decision importance

Plan to Visit Brewery >100km From Home in Next 12 Months

When asked if planning to visit a brewery greater than 100km from their home in the next 12 months, 65.3% of respondents answered yes. This question is meant to be an indication of the tourism impact that craft beer has in British Columbia.

BC Craft Beer brewery tourism

Have Brewed at Home in Past 12 Months

24.1% of survey respondents stated that they have brewed their own beer over the past 12 months.

BC Craft Beer home brewing

Preferred Beer Purchase Location

Craft beer consumers appear tp have a preference to purchase beer from Private Liquor Stores, then the brewery, Government Liquor Stores and in a distant 4th place at a bar, pub or restaurant.

BC Craft Beer purchase location

Primary Place of Consumption

When asked where respondents primary consumed beer, 64.1% stated home, followed by at the brewery with 18.1% of all responses.

BC Craft Beer - Consumption Location

Frequency of Beer Consumption

The mean, median and mode response for how often beer is consumed from survey respondents is 3-5 days per week with 92% of all respondents indicating that they drink beer at least once per week.

BC Craft Beer Frequency of consumption

Preferred Beer Packaging Format

When asked what packaging format respondents preferred to purchase beer, 650ml bottles are the leading format at 30.9%. The second preference was stated to be tall cans >350ml. This is a drastic shift from previous years data with tall cans leaping ahead of standard cans, single-serve bottles and growlers.

BC Craft Beer Packaging Preferences

Support of Beer Sales in BC Grocery Stores

When asked about the concept of beer sales in grocery stores, 77.2% of responses indicated support for grocery stores to be able to sell beer.
BC Craft Beer grocery sales

Consumer Sentiment Around Quantity of BC Breweries

When asked about how consumers felt about the number of craft breweries currently operating in BC 6.3% said that there were too many, 45.8% said there were not enough while the remainder was content with the current quantity of breweries.

BC Craft Beer number of breweries

Favourite Beer Style

Finally, we asked respondants what there favourite style of beer was. This question was open ended as to not sway results. Because of this the styles my not fit standard classification and can have some redundancy.

By a wide margin, once again the IPA is the preferred style of BC craft beer consumers with Stout, Sour, Pale and Saison rounding out the top 5 responses.

  1. India Pale Ale
  2. Stout
  3. Sour Ale
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Saison
  6. Lager
  7. Porter
  8. Pilsner
  9. Extra Special Bitter
  10. Wheat Ale

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3 from the 2017 BC Craft Beer Survey which will include trends in data over the past 5 years and the People’s Choice Awards for top breweries, beers, events and more.

Do you agree with these results? Leave your comments below.


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. Dennis Morgan
    Dennis Morgan 12 December, 2017, 10:37

    thank you for doing this (again). I’m wondering if you could somehow do an annual comparison for some of it (for example you said that there was a drastic shift in packaging format from last year. It would be interesting to see how the craft beer world is evolving. thanks!

    Reply this comment
  2. Jason Joseph
    Jason Joseph 24 January, 2018, 15:53


    I am law and business student in Toronto conducting research on the BC craft beer market. I wanted to know if you could provide me with the actual data (e.g. In a word or excel file) pertaining to the “purchase decision factor importance” chart.

    I can be reached at jasonjoseph@osgoode.yorku.ca and I greatly appreciate any help you can offer me!

    Thanks very much in advance, and thanks for the great work. 🙂

    Reply this comment

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