Beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage despite growing reports that it is losing ground to spirits and marijuana. It is the most consumed beverage worldwide, raking billions of dollars for companies and employing millions of people. Amid the changing tastes, the top beer companies in the world have mastered the art of adapting to the demands of their loyal companies.
The beer brewing business has become a well-structured and automated industry valued at over $600 billion. Moreover, the market size is expected to increase significantly, thanks to rising disposable income and the high adoption rate of advanced technologies in North America and Europe’s mature markets.
Below are some of the top beer companies in the world likely to dominate the sector for years to come.
Anheuser-Busch InBev tops the charts as the top beer company in the world, with gross annual sales upwards of $53 billion. The company accounts for nearly 25% of the world’s beer production. Its edge stems from the over 500 beer brands the company sells through its massive network of over 600 company-owned distributors and wholesalers.
While sales for its flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, have dropped in recent years, the company has moved to strengthen its competitive edge with the acquisition of SABMiller, Stella Artois and Corona.
Launched in 1873, Heineken is one of the top beer companies in the world. The Dutch beer company is only second to Anheuser-Busch InBev regarding market share. The company is best known for its aggressive marketing strategy, which sees it generate upwards of $27 billion in annual sales.
Heineken operates nearly 160 brewers in over 70 countries and sells more than 8.5 million barrels of beer in the U.S. In addition to Heineken, its other flagship brands include Desperados, Affine and Tecate.
The company has positioned itself to dominate the industry for years by investing billions of dollars in artificial intelligence and big data to ramp up production and enhance efficiency in its plants.
Asahi Group Holdings
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan and established in 1889, Asahi is one of the world’s oldest brewers and top beer companies. Over the past 12 years, it has been ranked among the top 10 beer companies in the world, with gross annual sales upwards of $14 billion.
While it boasts of a diverse variety of alcoholic beverages, the Asahi Super Dry brand has continued to propel it up the charts in the recent past. In addition, the company deals in other products, including pharmaceuticals and food.
Kirin Brewery Co
Kirin Brewery is another Japanese company that tops the charts and ranks among the top beer companies in the world. The company generates upwards of $16 billion in annual sales in Tokyo. However, a good chunk of its sales comes from overseas markets.
It also owns substantial stakes in big breweries, including Myanmar Brewery Limited, Asia Pacific Breweries, Kirin Brewery of America and Kirin Europe.
Molson Coors Brewing Company
The top 5 beer companies in the world is America’s Molson Coors Brewing Company, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Established in 2003, the company’s brands have a huge presence in North America and Europe. It operates 31 brewers and owns over 90 strategic and partner brands.
Molson Coors sells its products in over 50 countries and continues to expand its operations and brand portfolio. It currently generates annual gross sales of upwards of 16 billion.
Beer remains one of the handfuls of alcoholic beverages consumed for centuries. While it has come under pressure from other beverages, including spirits, the top beer companies in the world continue to innovate to hold on to their customer base and attract new ones.