According to a newly released report, New Zealand’s beer industry is worth $2.3 billion and has more breweries per capita than any other country in the world. The report, compiled by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), found that New Zealand has 218 breweries – more per capita than the UK, USA and Australia.
Dylan Firth, executive director of the Brewers Association of New Zealand, said that the beer industry was increasingly valuable to the country, both socially and financially. The industry contributed almost $650 million to the nation’s GDP and employs around 22,000 people. The industry has grown at a rate of 13 percent every year since 2016.
“We've got the most breweries per capita but that doesn't mean we're saturated,” Firth said. “If you look at markets like Oregon and Washington, that are saturated, there's still room for growth – I think we'll see more breweries open.”
While consumption by volume is down, the total value of sales has increased.
“It's a changing market dynamic – people are spending more on less. It's kind of like the wine industry 20 years ago, when people started appreciating spending a little bit more.”
Only ten percent of beer produced in New Zealand is exported, compared to 70 percent of wine in New Zealand.