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The Top Brewers Worldwide in 2017

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AB InBev Heineken

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.

A late starter on the acquisition trail, Heineken has now caught up with its bigger rivals. It captured the #1 position in the UK, then set about building a presence in emerging markets with deals including Femsa of Mexico, AP Breweries of Singapore, and more recently Brazil's Schincariol. The break-up of SABMiller in 2016 elevated Heineken to the global #2.

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China Resources Carlsberg

Brewing is one of the many different interests of state controlled China Resources. Its Snow brand - formerly a joint venture with SABMiller, now wholly owned - 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. 

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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Molson Coors Tsingtao 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 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.

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 held a 20% stake until 2017, and Tsingtao also has a regional joint venture with Suntory.

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Asahi Breweries Beijing Yanjing Brewery

Asahi Breweries is Japan's leading brewer as a result of the spectacular success of lead brand Asahi Super Dry. It has also steadily expanded its global presence, initially with a stake in China's Tsingtao(sold in 2017), but more recently through the acquisition of SABMillerEurope, including Peroni, Grolsch, Urquell, & Tyskie among others.

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 small but significant purchases including Lion in Australia and San Miguel of the Philippines. However a deal for Brazilian brewer Schincariol proved disastrous, and it was sold on to Heineken. Kirin 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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Brazilian brewer Petropolis is one of the world's last remaining local independents, privately owned since 1998 by homegrown entrepreneur Walter Faria. Despite stiff competition from international rivals, lead brand Itaipava is Brazil's #2 seller, supported by a collection of other beers including Crystal and Petra, and locally produced vodka Nordka.

Already the US importer of Corona Extra, Constellation acquired full control of that brand in the US following a move by AB InBev to take full control of Corona's owner, the Mexican brewer Modelo. (AB InBev owns Corona in all other markets including Mexico). In a flagging US beer market, Corona is one of the few beers reporting continuing growth.

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Efes Group Diageo
Gold Star Singha Corp
San Miguel Corporation Grupo Mahou San Miguel
Saigon Beverage Co Radeberger

The Top Beer Brands Worldwide in 2016 by total volumes:

Snow 105.6m hl China Resources Yanjing 32.3m hl
Bud Light 46.9m hl Heineken 31.9m hl
Budweiser 46.7m hl Harbin 29.3m hl AB InBev
Tsingtao 45.9m Brahma 27.1m hl AmBev/AB InBev
Skol 36.4m hl AmBev/AB InBev / Carlsberg Corona Extra 24m hl AB InBev / Constellation

Source: Euromonitor

Top Beers in the US in 2016 by volume:

Bud Light (35.25m barrels) Heineken (3.99m)
Coors Light (17.12m) MillerCoors Miller High Life (3.56m) MillerCoors
Budweiser (14.38m) Keystone Light (3.32m) MillerCoors
Miller Lite (13.42m) MillerCoors Natural Ice (2.65m) Anheuser-Busch
Corona Extra (9.00m) Pabst Blue Ribbon (2.53m)
Natural Light (6.60m) Anheuser-Busch Stella Artois (2.43m)
Busch Light (6.45m) Anheuser-Busch Bud Ice (2.50m)
Michelob Ultra Light (6.35) Anheuser-Busch Yuengling (2.20m)
Modelo Especial (6.14m) Constellation Blue Moon (2.13m) MillerCoors
Busch (4.78m) Anheuser-Busch Dos Equis (1.98m) Heineken

Source: Beer Marketer's Insights. Total market 217.1m barrels

Top Brewers in the US in 2016 by volume:

AB InBev 92.6m barrels Heineken 8.4m
MillerCoors 53.5m Pabst 5.19m
Constellation Brands 18.13m Boston Beer 4.00m

Source: Beer Marketer's Insights.

The UK's Top-selling Beers/Ciders/Ales (Off-Trade) by value in 2018 were:

Stella Artois (AB InBev) San Miguel (Carlsberg)
Budweiser (AB InBev) Guinness
Foster's (Heineken) Coors (Molson Coors)
Carling (Molson Coors) Beck's (AB InBev)
Strongbow (Heineken) BrewDog
Carlsberg Heineken
Kopparberg John Smith's (Heineken)
Corona Extra (AB InBev) Thatchers
Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Asahi) Hen (Greene King)
Kronenbourg 1664 (Heineken) Tennent's (C&C)

Source: Nielsen/The Grocer 12 months to April 2018

Germany's Top 10 Beers in 2016 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.

Krombacher (5.6m hl) Paulaner (2.3m hl)
Oettinger (5.2m hl) Warsteiner (2.3m hl)
Bitburger (3.8m hl) Hasseroeder (2.3m hl)  (AB InBev)
Veltins (2.9m hl) Radeberger (2.1m hl)
Beck's  (AB InBev) (2.7m hl) Erdinger (1.9m hl)

Source: Inside

Other Beer Companies & Brands Profiled in Adbrands

Lion Australia C&C Group / Magners Irish Cider
Suntory Sapporo
Guinness Magners
Molson Carlton United Brewers

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