The West

Imported beers tap local tastes
Michael Gardiner enjoys a Stella Artois at the Belgian Beer Cafe. Picture: John Mokrzycki/The West Australian

Australian beer drinkers are being urged to support their local brewers at the tap when they have a pint tomorrow on International Beer Day.

John Casella, the man behind the newest Australian premium beer, is leading the charge.

Figures show consumers increasingly look to overseas beers - with the biggest growth in the market last summer in premium international brands - so he may have his work cut out.

"Australia can offer beer that's every bit as good, or better, than what's coming in from overseas," he said. "There is a little bit of snobbery there and I believe we can overcome that with the products themselves."

Mr Casella's family-owned Casella Wines, which is responsible for nearly one in five bottles of exported Australian wine, recently moved into the beer market.

This year it unveiled its premium Arvo brand, which will be made at a specially-built brewery in NSW.

Michael Gardiner, who was enjoying a pint of Stella Artois in the sun at the Belgian Beer Cafe yesterday, said origin was not a consideration when it came to his choice of tipple.

"I don't really care, it's all about the taste," he said.

Australians spend more than $1.3 billion on beer a year.

The West Australian

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