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Alcoholic Beverages: Beer (or see Spirits & Wine)

The Top Brewers Worldwide in 2015

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AB InBev SABMiller

AB InBev started the trend for consolidation within the industry,by acquiring a string of international rivals including AmBev and above all US leader Anheuser Busch. The capture of Modelo in 2012 added Corona (outside the US) to a portfolio which already holds Budweiser, Stella Artois, Skol & Brahma. In 2016 it even engulfed most of its main global rival SABMiller.

SABMiller, formed from the merger of South African Breweries and Miller of the US, lacked big international brands but controlled a group of local market leaders including Castle of South Africa, Czech Urquell, and the Carlton United brewery in Australia. In 2016, most of SABMiller was absorbed into larger rival AB InBev. Some assets were sold to rivals to satisy regulators.

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Heineken Carlsberg

Heineken was a late starter on the acquisition trail but has quickly caught up with its bigger rivals. Having captured the #1 position in the UK, it then set about building a major presence in emerging markets with deals including Femsa of Mexico and Asia Pacific Breweries of Singapore. The main Heineken brand is supported by Amstel, Tiger, Moretti and large collection of local leaders.

Carlsberg has been more selective than some competitors with acquisitions, but it established a strong presence in Russia and France with the break-up of Scottish & Newcastle, adding Baltika and Kronenbourg to its portfolio. Other brands include Tuborg and Germany's Holsten. Its profile outside Europe is still weak, although it has a presence in selected Asian markets.

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China Resources Tsingtao Brewery

Brewing is one of the many different interests of state controlled China Resources. Its Snow brand, currently produced in a joint venture with SABMiller, has been China's top-selling brew since 2004, and the world #1 by total volume. However export distribution is minimal, especially outside Asia. CRE is also China's biggest retailer and a major food producer. 

Tsingtao is China's best known beer, although it is outsold at home by lower priced Snow. Yet Tsingtao, which has been exported to major Western markets since the 1970s, has a much broader global profile. Now, its closest international ties are with Japan. Asahi Breweries acquired a 20% stake in 2009, and Tsingtao also has a regional joint venture with Suntory.

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Molson Coors Beijing Yanjing Brewery

Molson Coors was formed from the 2005 merger of Canada's Molson with US #3 Coors. It strengthened its position by teaming up in the US with SABMiller to create MillerCoors. It is took full control in 2016 following the breakup of SABMiller. Molson Coors also has a major presence in the UK, and jumped into Eastern Europe with the purchase in 2012 of Czech group Starbev.

Yanjing is the third of China's brewing giants. Although it has national distribution, Yanjing's sales are especially strong in the capital city, where it has its HQ in a vast complex that is Asia's largest brewery. Boosted by its exclusive sponsorship of the Beijing 2008 Olympics it now claims local market share of as much as 85% in Northern China.

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Japanese brewer Kirin has pieced together a global presence through a series of small but significant purchases including Lion Nathan in Australia, San Miguel of the Philippines and most recently Brazilian brewer Schincariol. It also produces a large collection of soft drinks and is Australia's foremost dairy producer.

The quiet giant of international brewing, BGI/Groupe Castel is best known in Europe for wine, but its BGI subsidiary is a leading brewer in Africa, with brands including Flag Speciale, Castel, Beaufort and 33 Export as well as rights in some countries to Guinness and Tuborg, and Coca-Cola and Suntory's Orangina soft drinks.

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#11 #12
Anadolu Efes Asahi Breweries

Turkey's biggest brewer Anadolu Efes joined the global majors in 2012 following a deal with SABMiller. It took charge of the larger company's business in Russia and Ukraine in return for a sizeable minority stake, soon to be inherited by AB InBev. Its flagship Efes beer is now partnered by brands such as Bavaria, Melnik and Medved

Asahi Breweries has a less extensive global footprint than rival Kirin, but maintains a strong presence in China through the stake in Tsingtao and its own Beijing Beer. In Japan, Asahi Super Dry remains the top-selling beer by some margin, and Asahi has a sizeable soft drinks division. In Australia, it is also the local licensee for Pepsi.

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The Top Beer Brands Worldwide in 2014 by total volumes:

Snow SABMiller/China Resources Yanjing
Tsingtao Heineken
Bud Light Harbin AB InBev
Budweiser Brahma AmBev/AB InBev
Skol AmBev/AB InBev Coors Light Molson Coors

Source: Euromonitor

The Most International Beer Brands in 2012 by non-domestic volumes:

Heineken Brahma AmBev/AB InBev
Budweiser Stella Artois
Corona Amstel Heineken
Carlsberg Foster's
Guinness Tuborg Carlsberg

Source: Canadean

The Top Beers in the US in 2014 by off-trade sales were:

Bud Light ($6.1bn) Busch ($648m) Anheuser-Busch
Coors Light ($2.4bn) MillerCoors Keystone Light ($467m) MillerCoors
Budweiser ($2.2bn) Miller High Life ($464m) MillerCoors
Miller Lite ($1.9bn) MillerCoors Natural Ice ($331m) Anheuser-Busch
Corona Extra ($1.3bn) Pabst Blue Ribbon ($302m)
Natural Light ($1.1bn) Anheuser-Busch Dos Equis ($292m) Heineken
Michelob Ultra Light ($905m) Anheuser-Busch Bud Light Platinum ($287m)
Busch Light ($834m) Anheuser-Busch Bud Ice ($279m)
Modelo Especial ($731m) Crown Imports Bud Light Lime ($275m)
Heineken ($714m) Yuengling ($266m)

Source: IRI 52 weeks to Dec 2014 Total market value $31.8bn

The UK's Top-selling Beers/Ciders/Ales (Off-Trade) by value in 2015/16 were:

Stella Artois San Miguel (Carlsberg)
Foster's Corona Extra (AB InBev)
Carling (Molson Coors) Beck's (AB InBev)
Budweiser John Smith's (Heineken)
Carlsberg Coors Light (Molson Coors)
Strongbow (Heineken) Heineken
Kronenbourg 1664 (Heineken) Bulmers (Heineken)
Kopparberg Tennent's (Magners)
Peroni Nastro Azzurro (SABMiller) Old Speckled Hen
Guinness Magners

Source: Nielsen/The Grocer 12 months to April 2016

Germany's Top 10 Beers in 2014 by volumes

Germany's beer market, the largest in Europe, is also a world apart from other territories. International brands and international brewers have only a minimal presence in the market, with most leading beers still privately owned by their founding families. Beck's is the only international brand in the top 10.

Oettinger (5.6m hl) Hasseroeder (2.3m hl)  (AB InBev)
Krombacher (5.3m hl) Warsteiner (2.0m hl)
Bitburger (3.7m hl) Radeberger (1.8m hl)
Veltins (2.6m hl) Paulaner (1.7m hl)
Beck's  (AB InBev) (2.5m hl) Erdinger (1.5m hl)

Source: Inside

Other Beer Companies Profiled in Adbrands

Lion Australia C&C Group / Magners Irish Cider
San Miguel Corporation Grupo Mahou San Miguel
Constellation Brands Carlton United Brewers
Sapporo Molson

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