BC Beer Consumer Demographics, Preferences & Opinions – 2018 BC Craft Beer Survey Results

BC Craft Beer Consumer Insight – The 2018 BC Craft Beer Survey Results

In the 6th annual BC Craft Beer Survey, 1262 participants provided their insight on BC Craft Beer. These opinions give insight into what is driving the local industry and where it is headed. Thank you to everyone that participated and to the businesses that provided prizing including Vancouver Brewery Tours, R&B, Field House, Beer League, Howe Sound, Trading Post, Three Ranges, Dead Frog, Red Racer, Andina & Strange Fellows.

The information included below is intended to be understandable in general terms but also, as statistically relevant as possible. If you have questions about how the data was prepared or what anything means, please leave your questions in the comments at the bottom of this article.

Additionally, don’t forget to check out our 2018 People’s Choice Awards, and stay tuned for an analysis of trends from the past 6 years, plus your survey questions answered.

2018 BC Craft Beer Survey Results Analyzed

Gender of Survey Respondents

This year, 29% of respondents were female while 71% were male. From past years’ survey requests, we added a third option where 4 responses (0.32%) selected “other”.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Gender

Age of Survey Respondents

Given the legal drinking age of 19 in British Columbia, anyone that selected being 18 or younger was disqualified from the survey. In this year’s survey the median and mode values fall in the 35-42 age category.  You can also observe that 70.4% of all respondents are between the ages of 27 and 50. The proportion of respondents in the 19-26 category was unusually low this year.


2019 Craft Beer Survey 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. This discrepancy is also reasonably accurate to the location of craft beer drinkers and the overall distribution of the population throughout British Columbia.


2019 Craft Beer Survey 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 58% of respondents saying that they have visited more than 10 breweries. Only 2.6% of respondents stated that they had not visited a brewery in the past 12 months.

2019 Craft Beer Survey BreweryVisits

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 2.03. The median and mode responses were both one event.  Looking at the extremes, 29% of consumers attended no events while 3.8% attended 10 or more.


2019 Craft Beer Survey EventAttendance

Beer Purchase Decision Factor Importance

In measuring the purchase decision factor we ask respondents how important each factor is on a scale of 1-5  when they are purchasing beer. Each bar in the graph below represents the percentage of respondents that answered a specific number. The green line represents the mean (average) importance for each factor.   The most important factor when purchasing beer is Style followed by Brand, Reputation and Price. The least important factors in purchasing beer is packaging, reviews 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 but very few people see it as being extremely important.


2019 Craft Beer Survey PurchaseDecisionFactor

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, 68% of respondents answered yes. This question is meant to be an indication of the tourism impact that craft beer has in British Columbia.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Travel

Have Brewed at Home in Past 12 Months

In the past 12 months, 21% of survey respondents have brewed their own beer at a home brew scale.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Home Brew

Preferred Beer Purchase Location

Craft beer consumers continue to prefer to purchase beer from Private Liquor Stores. The preference for direct brewery sales continues to grow and now takes 2nd spot followed by Government run BC Liquor Stores. Together, these 3 places of purchase make up 96% of all responses.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Purchase Location

Primary Place of Consumption

When asked where respondents primarly consumed beer, 66.1% stated home, followed by At The Brewery with 20.0% of all responses.


2019 Craft Beer Survey 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.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Consumption Frequency

Preferred Beer Packaging Format

When purchasing beer, survey respondents for the first time reported that by a wide margin the Tall Can was the preferred package format. While the Bomber Bottle has traditionally been the preferred format, in 2018 it was only preferred by 20% of all respondents. Standard Cans were 3rd at 16% followed by Growlers at 12% and standard bottles at 11%.


2019 Craft Beer Survey Packaging Format

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. There is still a large number of consumers, at 14%, that are unsure about what this means and a minority of 9% that do not support grocery sales.

2019 Craft Beer Survey Grocery Sales

Consumption Effect of Cannabis on Beer

For the first time in the annual BC Craft Beer Survey we asked consumers how the legalization of cannabis would affect their consumption of beer. 93% of consumers did not believe that cannabis would affect their beer consumption. Only 1% of respondents said that they will drink less beer while 6% felt that they were unsure how their consumption tendencies may change.

Consumer Sentiment Around Quantity of BC Breweries

There are mixed opinions over how many breweries BC can actually support and just how many we should have. In this year’s survey 52% said that we had the right number of breweries. 40% would like to see more breweries and 8% feel that we currently have too many breweries operating in BC.


2018 Craft Beer Survey Brewery Quantity

Favourite Beer Style

In an open ended question, we also asked consumers what their favourite style of beer was. By a wide margin, once again, the IPA is the preferred style of BC craft beer consumers with Sour rising to 2nd spot followed by Stout, Pale Ale and for the first time Hazy IPA rounding out the top 5.

  1. India Pale Ale
  2. Sour Ale
  3. Stout
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Hazy IPA
  6. Lager
  7. Saison
  8. Porter
  9. Pilsner
  10. Belgian Ale

Least Favourite Beer Style

For the first time we also asked consumers what their least favourite beer style was. You will see some similarities to the favourite styles here with the top styles also being the most divisive. Lager took the first spot (leaning towards macro lagers) followed by sour, IPA, Stout and Pilsner rounding out the top 5.

  1. Lager
  2. Sour
  3. India Pale Ale
  4. Stout
  5. Pilsner
  6. Saison
  7. Porter
  8. Wheat Ale
  9. Hefeweizen
  10. Barley Wine


Thank you again for providing your opinion and helping us better understand the BC craft beer market. Stay tuned for more articles about the state of BC’s amazing craft beer scene and where it is headed!

Give your two cents or ask questions about the data presented in the comments below.

Our thanks to Vancouver Brewery Tours, R&B, Field House, Beer League, Howe Sound, Trading Post, Three Ranges, Dead Frog, Red Racer, Andina and Strange Fellows.

Andina Brewing

Vancouver Brewery ToursTrading Post BrewingStrange Fellows BrewingRed RacerR&b BrewingHowe Sound BrewingField House Brewing

Dead Frog Brewing

Beer League LagerThree Ranges Brewing


The Best in BC Craft Beer – 2018 People’s Choice Awards

2018 BC Craft Beer Trends – 6 Years of Consumer Data Visualized

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/.

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