Drunken Speculation

Pitching an Idea: Tracking Beer Production

A purchasing manager’s index – or PMI – is a survey of purchasing managers whose responses are used to determine whether an industry is expanding or contracting.

aus manufacturing

For example, based on the above graph of the Australian PMI, we see Australian manufacturing has been contracting more or less constantly since 2010, which is economically disastrous but not the point of this post.

I’ve been mulling a similar, albeit simpler, idea for small scale breweries. There seems to be a lack of hard data about the size of the industry, it’s market share and how fast (if at all) it’s growing. While I wouldn’t be able to nail down all of those numbers, I could make a start with a brewery production survey. I want to know what others think of this idea.

The idea

Six or so standard questions would be emailed to breweries on a monthly or quarterly basis. Their responses, which would need to be timely, accurate and consistent, would be collated by myself to either determine the expansion or contraction of the industry.

Preferably, I would get actual volume data to produce statistics about the both surveyed production volumes and volumes sold, capacity utilisation of the industry, volume growth month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter or year-on-year. Should enough responses be available, the data would be broken down into geographical regions, packaging type (think keg versus bottle) and/or by brewery size.

What’s in it for the industry

The breweries would need to volunteer information but in exchange would benefit from timely data about the state of the market which should help in making business decisions. Perhaps the CBIA already perform this function but if they do, it’s not available to me for analysis (maybe I need to sign up?).

What’s in it for me

There’d be a degree of increased notoriety for the blog but mostly I would be in it for the intellectual exercise. My day job is in engineering, so spreadsheets are my crack. If Drunken Speculation happens to become a local beer Bloomberg, so be it.


Individual brewery data would be kept commercial-in-confidence and would only be released in aggregate with others so that the originating brewery is not distinguishable. I would like to release data after a delay (say, a year or three) for archival purposes but only with permission. Breweries would have to trust the Drunkspec team with this.


Would anyone be interested in or find this information helpful? Would you be willing to contribute your data? Are more details required? If it piques your interest – either as a punter or a brewery – let me know in the comments or on social media.

If you’re really keen, share it around and we’ll see what comes of it.


  1. Great idea, as someone who’s day job is in performance measurements I do like to see the trends and statistics of things I’m interested in & well beer is pretty much my main hobby so bring it on 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: