The 2011 Barth-Haas Group report says world beer production was 1,925.2m hectoliters or hl.
Their total for the top five companies is 923.9 or 48% (923.9/1,925.2). Backing out these top five, we have 1,001.3 for the others.
*The AB InBev percentage above would be even bigger if it included their portion of Modelo.
*The SABMiller percentage above would be even bigger if it included their portion of China Resources Brewery and Foster's.
AB InBev (EBR:ABIS), SABMiller (SBMFR), Heineken (HKHHF), Carlsberg and China Resources control about half the beer around the world by volume. We'll look at their major brands along with some of the large brands not controlled by the big five. If you want to see the biggest beer brands in the world without having to scroll through one brand at a time in slides then you've come to the right place. The scope of this article is limited to beer. Scotch, vodka and other drinks are covered in my spirits article.
Annual Report Sources
AB InBev 2012 Annual Report
SABMiller 2012 Annual Report
Heineken 2012 Annual Report
Carlsberg 2012 Annual Report
China Resources Brewery 2012 Annual Report
Diageo 2012 Annual Report
Asahi 2012 Annual Report
Kirin 2012 Annual Report
We looked at the 2012 annual report numbers throughout this article and the numbers are different from the Barth-Haas Group numbers.
For one thing we're talking about 2012 versus 2011. There are other differences as well because of the fact that some big beer companies have interests in other beer companies. Here are some relationships that can bring about different numbers depending on how they are classified:
AB InBev - Modelo
SABMiller - China Resources Brewery, MillerCoors (USA & Puerto Rico) and Foster's
Heineken - Asia Pacific Group
2012 Beer Volume From Annual Reports
AB InBev: $354.9 million hl year ended Dec. 31, 2012 - excludes 47.76 from non-beer plants ($402.63m otherwise)
SABMiller: $229.3 million hl year ended March 31, 2012 - excludes 49.5 from soft drinks ($285.6 million otherwise and another $6.9 from other alcohols)
Heineken: $171.7 million hl year ended Dec. 31, 2012
Carlsberg: $120.4 million hl - year ended Dec. 31, 2012 - excludes $19.1 million other beverages ($139.5 million otherwise)
China Resources Brewery: $106.4 million hl *(49% of this belongs to SABMIller)
*Note that SABMiller has a 49% interest in China Resources Brewery. The Barth-Haas Group showed 100% belonging to China Resources but we'll stay with the numbers SABMiller uses in the annual report including their share of the China Resources Brewery volume.
*Note that AB InBev will soon have the remaining part of Modelo it does not already own. The Barth-Haas Group showed Modelo separately but we'll stay with the numbers AB InBev used in their annual report.
Ales and Lagers
These are the two types of beer and the difference is based on temperature:
By convention, yeast are referred to in the plural. Those that ferment ales are known collectively as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Working at room temperature, they rise initially to the top of the wort - hence ales are often termed "top-fermented". Saccharomyces uvarum are better suited to work at lower temperatures, congregating towards the bottom These beers traditionally went on to be stored (or "lagered") at low temperatures and so "lagers" are termed "bottom-fermented".[The World Atlas of Beer page 20]
AB InBev (BUD)
AB InBev Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl)
AB InBev Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl)
North America: 125.1
Latin America North: 95.4 (126.2 - 30.8 soft drinks)
Latin America South: 23.4 (34.3 - 10.9 soft drinks)
Western Europe: 29.5
Central & Eastern Europe: 22.8
Asia Pacific: 57.7
[2012 annual report page 51]
*30.8 soft drinks deducted from Brazil in Latin America North.
*10.9 soft drinks deducted from Argentina in Latin America South.
AB InBev is the biggest beer company in the world, and they are dominant in the Americas. Ironically, they are not headquartered in the Americas but in Belgium.
Their market share in Latin America is incredible. The company has 68.5% market share in Brazil and 77.7% in Argentina.
The company worked for years to control the Americas and Marcel Hermann Telles discussed it in a 1991 meeting with Budweiser:
"Let's form the Coca-Cola of beer," he [Telles] said to The Third and Purnell, explaining that if Brahma, Antarctica, and Anheuser-Busch merged, the combined company would have a lock on the North and South American beer markets.[Dethroning the King page 119]Having over 200 beer brands, AB InBev has 3 special ones in Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck's. Bud Light, Budweiser, Skol, Stella Artois, Brahma and Beck's are ranked among the 10 most valuable beer brands by BrandZ.Budweiser
This iconic American beer was introduced back in 1876. It is still made from the same recipe used by five generations of the Busch family. Budweiser is now growing outside the U.S. in China, Russia and Brazil. Fifty-one percent of Budweiser's global volume is now outside the U.S.
Stella is the No. 1 Belgian beer globally. This premium lager's heritage goes back to 1366.
The world's No. 1 German beer is still brewed the same way as in 1873 using just four natural ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water.
Skol is the fourth best selling beer brand in the world and it is No. 1 in Brazil. Skol was the No. 5 beer in the world by volume in 2011.
Brahma is a top 10 beer brand per BrandZ. It does very well in Brazil.
Bud Light is the top selling beer brand in the U.S.
Quilmes - Argentina
Hoegaarden - Belgium
Jupiler - Belgium
Leffe - Belgium
Alexander Keith's - Canada
Labatt - Canada
Lakebort - Canada
Dommelsch - France
Oranjeboom - France
Beck's - Germany
Franziskaner - Germany
Hasseröder - Germany
Löwenbräu - Germany
Spaten - Germany
Bass - UK
Boddingtons - UK
Michelob Ultra is strong in the U.S. Shock Top, an unfiltered wheat beer, and Busch are also well known in the U.S. Antarctica is strong in Brazil.
The annual report talks about the Modelo acquisition:
On 29 June 2012, AB InBev and Grupo Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V. announced that they had entered into an agreement under which AB InBev will acquire the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo that it does not already own for 9.15 US dollar [sic] per share in cash in a transaction valued at 20.1 billion US dollar [sic]. The combination will be completed through a series of steps that will simplify Grupo Modelo's corporate structure, followed by an all-cash tender offer by AB InBev for all outstanding Grupo Modelo shares that it will not own at that time.Among other things, the Modelo acquisition gives AB Inbev 2 more strong brands in Corona (No. 4 beer in the world based on 2011 volume) and Pacifico.
SABMiller Lager Beer Volume by Region (in m hl)
SABMiller Lager Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl)
North America: 41.3
Latin America: 41.6
South Africa: 26.9
Asia Pacific: 58.1
*This is the lager volume only. A volume of 49.5 million hl of soft drinks and 6.9 million hl of other alcoholic beverages have been backed out.
Headquartered in London, SABMiller is the second biggest beer company in the world.
After buying Miller in 1969, Philip Morris stepped up advertising and grew the brand:
The first Miller Lite commercial was shot in July 1973 and the brand was rolled out nationally in 1975 with the advertising slogan, "Lite Beer from Miller. Everything You Always Wanted In a Beer - and Less." Further ads included the "Tastes Great - Less Filling" chant.In 2002 Miller was purchased by South African Breweries and that is why SABMiller has SAB in the name.
[The Miller Beer Barons page 393]
In some ways SABMiller is the most diversified of the big four breweries. They have a strong presence in the Americas, Asia (through their part of CR Snow), Africa and Europe.
Here is how the SABMiller annual report describes their joint venture with Molson Coors:
MillerCoors is a joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing Company, formed in 2008 by bringing together the US and Puerto Rican operations of both groups. Headquartered in Chicago, MillerCoors is the second largest brewer in the USA, with 29% of the beer market. Our wholly owned Miller Brewing International business is based in Milwaukee, USA and exports our brands to Canada and Mexico and throughout the Americas.The annual report shows the company has a 58% share in MillerCoors.
The North America segment includes the group's 58% share in MillerCoors and 100% of Miller Brewing International.SABMiller lists China Resources under the associates and joint ventures section of the annual report:
Name: China Resources Snow Breweries Ltd Country of Incorporation: British Virgin IslandsIt is also noted that China Resources reports their financial results for each 12-month period ending Dec. 31.
Nature of relationship: Associate
Principal activity: Holding company for brewing subsidiaries located in China
Effective Interest: 49%
The annual report also talks about the Foster's acquisition:
On 16 December 2011 we acquired a 100% interest in Foster's Group Ltd (Foster's) in Australia at an enterprise value of US$11,786 million, comprising cash consideration of US$10,598 million, together with acquired net debt and non-controlling interests, less a net present value attributed to cash receivable for historical tax losses.Key non-US Brands
Carlton - Argentina
Foster's - Argentina
Victoria Bitter - Argentina
Gambrinus - Czech Republic
Kozel - Czech Republic
Master - Czech Republic
Pilsner Urquell - Czech Republic
Peroni - Italy
Grolsch - Netherlands
Comparing the volume numbers to the EBITA numbers clearly shows that market potential varies. The 2012 EBITA numbers demonstrate that some markets like China are not as profitable as others (in millions of USD):
Latin America 1,865
North America 756
Asia Pacific 321
South Africa 1,303
Heineken (HEINY or HINKY)
Heineken Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl)
Heineken Beer Volume by Region (in m hl)
The Americas: 53.1
Western Europe: 44.3 hl
Central and Eastern Europe: 47.3
Africa & Middle East: 23.3
Asia Pacific: 3.7
Heineken is the No. 3 beer company in the world and they do especially well in Europe.
Major Heineken Brands
Newcastle Brown Ale
Other Heineken Brands
Schneider - Argentina
Edelweiss - Austria
Gösser - Austria
Kaiser - Austria
Affligem - Belgium
Alken - Belgium
Grimbergen - Belgium
Maes - Belgium
Hartwall - Finland
Lapin Kulta - Finland
33 - France
Desperados - France
Fischer - France
Pelforth - France
Hacker-Pschorr - Germany
Kulmbacher - Germany
McFarland - Italy
Dreher - Italy
Moretti - Italy
Amstel - Netherlands
Wieckse - Netherlands
DB - New Zealand
Monteith's - New Zealand
Borg - Norway
Hansa - Norway
John Smith's - UK
33 Export - Vietnam
BGI - Vietnam
Hue - Vietnam
Structure: Sponsored Level I ADR
Ratio (DR:ORD): 2:1
Heineken Holding N.V.
Structure: Sponsored Level I ADR
Ratio (DR:ORD): 2:1
Carlsberg Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl)
Carlsberg Beer Volume by Region (in millions hl) Western Europe: 50.3
Eastern Europe: 44.7
Along with Heineken, Carlsberg does very well in European markets.
Key Carlsberg Brands
Aldaris - Baltic
Saku - Baltic
Syvturys - Baltic
Utenos - Baltic
Tuborg - Denmark
Wiibroe - Denmark
Sinebrychoff - Finland
Kanterbräu - France
Kronenbourg - France
Holsten - Germany
Poretti - Italy
Splügen - Italy
Lysholmer - Norway
Munkholm - Norway
Ringnes - Norway
Falcon - Sweden
Pripps - Sweden
Tetley's - UK
Halida - Vietnam
China Resources Brewery 291:HK
The annual report talks about 2012 volume:
With a market share of approximately 22% in China, the group's beer sales volume reached approximately 10,639,000 kiloliters in 2012, and its flagship "Snow" brand beer continued to be the best-selling single beer brand by volume in the China market.The Snow brand is huge - in 2011 it was the biggest beer in the world by volume.
Top World Brands
According to the drinks business, the big five beer companies accounted for nine of the top 10 beers in 2011 by volume.
Biggest 2011 beers by millions of barrels:
1. Snow - China Resources Brewing & SABMiller: 50.8
2. Bud Light - AB InBev: 45.4
3. Budweiser - AB InBev: 38.7
4. Corona - AB InBev 30.4
5. Skol - AB InBev 29.5
6. Heineken: 26
7. Coors Light - MillerCoors (SABMiller & Molson Coors): 18.2
8. Miller Lite - MillerCoors (SABMiller & Molson Coors): 18
9. Brahma - AB InBev: 17.4
10. Asahi Super Dry - Asahi: 12.3
*MillerCoors is for US & Puerto Rico.
*Per convertunits.com, one barrel [US, beer] equals 1.735 hectoliters.
The Asahi 2012 annual report shows the world's top 10 beer brands in 2011 in millions of barrels.
Bud Light: 43.5
Coors Light: 21.3
Asahi Super Dry: 11.9
Asahi lists Impact Databank 2012 Edition as the source with a note that this includes exports and license volume. Again, one barrel [U.S., beer] equals 1.735 hectoliters. The Asahi list is different in that it includes Tsingtao and Yanjing and it excludes Miller Lite.
Here are No. 6 to No. 14 by volume from the Barth-Haas Group:
6. Tsingtao Brewery Group - China
7. Grupo Modelo - Mexico
8. Yanjing - China
9. Molson Coors - USA/Canada
10. BGI/Groupe Castel - France
11. Efes Group - Turkey
12. Diageo - Ireland
13. Asahi - Japan
14. Kirin - Japan
Tsingtao Brewery Group
Tsingtao Brewery was founded in 1903 by German and Great Britain settlers. The company began exporting in 1954.
Soon AB Inbev will own the rest of Modelo. For the purposes of this article we've listed the Modelo brands like Corona and Pacifico under AB Inbev.
Yanjing is one of the biggest beer companies in Asia.
Molson Coors (TAP)
Again, SABMiller and Molson Coors have partnered up in the US and Puerto Rico to form MillerCoors. Molson Coors still has its own sales in Canada.
Coors brought the aluminum can to the beer industry:
Coors began pouring beer into aluminum cans on January 22, 1959, Bill [Coors] convened the first press conference in the company's history to announce the momentous event and was dubbed "the inventor of the aluminum can."...Key Brands
But Coors was making aluminum beverage cans for a penny and a half apiece - the first American beverage company to fill aluminum cans, let alone manufacture them.
[Citizen Coors page 43]
Molson - Canada
Rickard's - Canada
Staropramen - Czech Republic
Carling - UK
Worthington - UK
Founded in Bordeaux in 1949, the company is well known for French wines.
Anadolu Efes was founded in Turkey in 1969. They do well in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and many other countries.
Guinnes is by far the biggest beer brand for Diageo. Diageo is the biggest spirits company in the world with monster brands like Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. In addition to Guinness, they also have smaller beer brands like Red Stripe.
The company is focused on its flagship Asahi Super Dry brand.
Spring Valley was the first beer brewer in Japan in 1869. It later went on to become Kirin. Created in 2003, the Nova-Schin brand by Brasil Kirin is doing quite well.
Apart from their flagship Kirin brand, the company has other brands that do well in various countries.
Toohey's - Australia
Canterbury - New Zealand
Lion - New Zealand
Speight's - New Zealand
Steinlager - New Zealand
Their ODR for trading is 2503.
We see the top domestic and imported beers by 2012 sales at statista.
Bud Light - AB InBev
Coors Light - MillerCoors
Miller Light - MillerCoors
Budweiser - AB InBev
Natural Light - AB InBev
Michelop Ultra Light - AB InBev
Busch Light - AB InBev
Miller High Life - MillerCoors
Busch - AB InBev
Keystone Light - MillerCoors
Bud Light Platinum Lager - AB InBev
Bud Light Lime - AB InBev
Blue Moon Belgian White Ale - MillerCoors
Yuengling Traditional Lager - Yuengling
Pabst Blue Ribbon - Pabst
Natural Ice - AB InBev
Miller Genuine Draft - MillerCoors
Samuel Adams Seasonal - Boston Beer
Coors - MillerCoors
Milwaukee's Best Light - MillerCoors
Miller 64 - MillerCoors
Budweiser Select 55 - AB InBev
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada
Samuel Adams Boston Lager - Boston Beer
Shock Top Belgian White Ale - AB InBev
Icehouse - MillerCoors
Budweiser Select - AB InBev
Milwaukee's Best Ice - MillerCoors
Rolling Rock - AB InBev
Samuel Adams Variety Pack - Samuel Adams
Leinenkugel Seasonal - MillerCoors
New Belgium Fat Tire Amb Ale
Blue Moon Seasonal - MillerCoors
Bud Ice - AB InBev
Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager - MillerCoors
Goose Island is now part of AB InBev. Here is what the annual report says about it:
On 1 May 2011, the company acquired Fulton Street Brewery LLC, also known as Goose Island, a Midwest craft brewer in the United States. Goose Island brews ales, such as 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honkers Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Sofie and a wide variety of seasonal draft only and barrel-aged releases, including Bourbon County Stout, the original bourbon barrel-aged beer.
Corona Extra - AB InBev
Heineken - Heineken
Modelo Especial - *AB InBev
Corona Light - AB InBev
Stella Artois Lager - AB InBev
Dos Equis XX Lager Especial - Heineken
Tecate - Heineken
Guinness Draught - Diageo
Newcastle Brown Ale - Heineken
Heineken Premium Light Lager - Heineken
Becks - AB InBev
Pacifico - AB InBev
Labatt Blue - North American Breweries
Labatt Blue Light - North American Breweries
Foster's Lager - SABMiller
Negra Modelo - *AB InBev
Guinness Extra Stout - Diageo
Amstel light - Heineken
Dos Equis XX Amber Lager - Heineken
Red Stripe - Diageo
Molson Canadian - Molson Coors
Beers of Mexico Variety Pack - Heineken
Tecate Light - Heineken
Victoria - AB InBev
Peroni Nastro Azzurro
Bass Ale - AB InBev
Guinness Black Lager - Diageo
Foster's Premium Ale - SABMiller
St Pauli Girl - AB InBev
Hoegaarden White Ale
Newcastle Seasonal - Heineken
Pilsner Urquel - Plzensky Prazdroj
Smithwick's Irish Ale
*As part of the Modelo acquisition, AB InBev is selling some interests to Constellation. The annual report talks about these:
:Brewers Association lists the Top 50 US Craft Brewing Companies and the Top 50 Overall US Brewing Companies based on 2012 beer sales volume:
In a related transaction, it was announced on 29 June 2012 that Grupo Modelo would sell its existing 50% stake in Crown Imports, the joint venture that imports and markets Grupo Modelo's brands in the U.S., to Constellation Brands for 1.85 billion US dollar, giving Constellation Brands 100% ownership and control....
AB InBev has agreed to sell Compañía Cervecera de Coahuila, Grupo Modelo's state-of-the art brewery in Piedras Negras, Mexico, and grant perpetual brand licenses to Constellation for 2.9 billion US dollar [sic], subject to a post-closing adjustment.
1. Anheuser-Busch Inc. St. Louis MO
We've already discussed AB InBev above.
2. MillerCoors Chicago IL
We've talked about the fact that SABMiller and Molson Coors own MillerCoors.
3. Pabst Brewing Co. Los Angeles CA
Brands like Pabst and Schlitz have been around a long time. Schlitz used to be the number one brewery in the U.S. Dan Baum talks about their decline:
:4. D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. Pottsville PA
In the fifties and early sixties, Schlitz was no longer number one, but appeared to be a solid number two.Then the company lost its rudder. Its fifty-nine-year-old chairman, Robert Uihlein, squandered millions on a string of foolish acquisitions that diverted the company's attention from beer.
He shuffled his top managers too often, leaving the company without consistent leadership.
But Uihlein's biggest blunder was to do exactly what Bill Coors abhorred: Uihlein compromised quality for short-term profit.
Beer drinkers noticed at once that the beer was both sweeter and more prone to the off-taste of spoiling.
Schlitz's own brewers had dealt Schlitz its mortal wound, but its marketers helped dig the grave.
The onetime industry leader became a walking corpse. A $50 million profit in 1974 was a $50 million loss five years later.
By the end of the decade, the once-mighty Schlitz was all but gone from barrooms and stores, its stock price deflated from $69 to $5.
[Citizen Coors pages 145 to 146]
Yuengling is the oldest brewery in the United States.
5. Boston Beer Co. Boston MA (SAM) --> Craft
Sam Adams is a well recognized beer in the US. Some people like Tony Magee from Lagunitas argue that this company is now too big to be considered craft beer.
6. North American Breweries Rochester NY
Labbat Blue has a lot of sales.
7. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA --> Craft
The Sierra Nevada pale ale is a famous beer. The green label on their pale ale is seen in stores all over the place.
8. New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO--> Craft
The Fat Tire is a big hit.
9. Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. Portland OR
Red Hook is a big brand.
10. The Gambrinus Co. San Antonio TX --> Craft
BridgePort is well received.
Lagunitas comes in at No. 13. This up and coming company is a personal favorite. Having recently visited their brewery, I am a big fan of their beer.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is No. 20. The Discovery Channel teamed up with Dogfish Head to make the Brew Masters series.
Bear Republic comes in at Np. 45. Their Racer 5 IPA is on the shelves at a lot of grocery stores in California.
Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe comes in at No. 49. I like the taste of their Downtown Brown ale.
West Coast of US:
Per Dan Wandel's SymphonyIRI Group September 11, 2012 SVP, Beverage Alcohol Client Solutions report, six of the top 10 food markets based on total craft IPA dollars are on the West Coast:
Wandel also says that California leads all food regions in actual craft case and dollar sales change versus one year ago.
Beer Production by Country
The Barth-Haas Group shows 2011 beer production by country in m hl:
Brazil: 133.0 *Estimate
Mexico: 81.5 *Estimate
Beer Consumption by Country
The Asahi 2012 Annual Report shows beer consumption by country:
Asahi lists Impact Databank 2012 Edition as the source.
The 2012 Brewers of Europe Report shows that consumption habits vary from country to country. In Germany over 80% of the beer consumed comes from bottles while draught makes up about 15% and cans make up about 4%. The UK is completely different where less than 19% comes from bottles, a little under 48% comes from draught and a little under 34% comes from cans.
In addition to the annual reports, there is much addition reading material on these companies. The Economics Online Brewing article looks at the four biggest beer companies by sales as opposed to volume. The guyism map shows AB Inbev and SABMiller brands all over the world.
Too often investors jump to conclusions about stocks based on various ratios without understanding the underlying businesses. Warren Buffett talked about this at the last shareholder meeting saying he doesn't use stock screeners. Now that we've looked at the brands for the major companies, we're one step closer to understanding the businesses. Investors excited about the European markets should do more research on Heineken and Carlsberg and look at their valuations. Likewise, investors interested in North America and Latin America should do more research on AB InBev. SABMiller has something for just about all markets.
Disclosure: Any material in this article should not be relied on as a formal investment recommendation.