Big Beer Brands: What To Know

The beer industry is dominated by several major multinational companies that own a significant number of beer brands. Here are some of the big brands that own a substantial portfolio of beer brands:

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev):
    • AB InBev is the world’s largest beer company and owns a vast number of beer brands.
    • In addition to its flagship brand, Budweiser, AB InBev owns numerous subsidiaries and partnerships. Some of them include:
      • Grupo Modelo: A Mexican brewery that produces brands like Corona, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico.
    • Anheuser-Busch: This subsidiary includes brands like Michelob, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Busch, and Bud Light.
    • Craft Brew Alliance: AB InBev owns a significant stake in Craft Brew Alliance, a U.S.-based craft brewing company. This partnership allows AB InBev to access popular craft beer brands like Kona Brewing Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Redhook Brewery.
    • 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
    • Birra del Borgo (Italy)
    • Bosteels Brewery (Belgium)
    • Camden Town Brewery (United Kingdom)
    • Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck (Belgium)
    • Cervejaria Colorado (Brazil)
    • Cervejaria Wäls (Brazil)
    • Elysian Brewing Company (United States)
    • Four Peaks Brewing Company (United States)
    • Goose Island Beer Company (United States)
    • Hoegaarden Brewery (Belgium)
    • Karbach Brewing Co. (United States)
    • Liefmans Brewery (Belgium)
    • Virtue Cider (United States)
    • Wicked Weed Brewing (United States)
  2. Heineken:
    • Heineken is another major player in the global beer market. Heineken operates various breweries and partnerships across the globe. Some notable subsidiaries and partnerships include:
    • Lagunitas Brewing Company: A craft beer brewery based in the United States, known for brands like Lagunitas IPA and A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.
    • Desnoes & Geddes (D&G): A Jamaican brewing company that produces Red Stripe, Dragon Stout, and other local brands.
    • Brouwerijen Alken-Maes: A Belgian brewery that owns brands such as Maes, Cristal, and Grimbergen.
    • Affligem Brewery: Heineken owns the Affligem Brewery in Belgium, which produces a range of Belgian-style abbey beers under the Affligem brand.
    • Brouwerij De Koningshoeven: Heineken has a majority stake in Brouwerij De Koningshoeven, which is known for brewing Trappist beers, including the famous La Trappe brand.
  3. Molson Coors Brewing Company:
    • Molson Coors is a multinational brewing company that owns various beer brands.
    • Molson Coors operates several subsidiaries and partnerships, including:
    • Sharp’s Brewery: A British brewery known for its Doom Bar ale and other craft beer offerings.
    • Franciscan Well Brewery: An Irish craft brewery that produces beers like Rebel Red and Chieftain IPA.
    • Staropramen Brewery: Molson Coors owns the Staropramen Brewery, which is based in Prague, Czech Republic. Staropramen is a well-known Czech beer brand with a rich brewing heritage.
  4. Carlsberg Group:
    • Carlsberg is a Danish brewing company that owns a substantial number of beer brands.
    • Carlsberg owns various breweries and partnerships worldwide. Some of their subsidiaries and partnerships include:
    • Feldschlösschen: A Swiss brewery that produces regional brands like Feldschlösschen, Cardinal, and Schützengarten.
    • Chongqing Brewery: A Chinese brewery with popular brands such as Chongqing and Three Horses.
    • Brooklyn Brewery: Carlsberg holds a minority stake in this American craft brewery known for beers like Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Defender IPA.
    • Ringnes: Carlsberg owns Ringnes, a major Norwegian brewery. Ringnes produces popular beer brands like Ringnes Pilsner, Frydenlund, and Dahls.
    • China Resources Snow Breweries: Carlsberg has a joint venture with China Resources Enterprise, forming China Resources Snow Breweries. This partnership allows Carlsberg to tap into the vast Chinese beer market with brands like Snow, the world’s best-selling beer by volume.
  5. Diageo:
    • Although primarily known for its spirits portfolio, Diageo also owns several beer brands.
    • Guinness Brewery: Diageo owns the famous Guinness brand, known for its stout beers. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, is a significant subsidiary of the company.
    • Hop House 13 Brewery: Diageo operates the Hop House 13 Brewery, which produces the Hop House 13 Lager, a popular brand under the company’s portfolio.
    • East African Breweries Limited (EABL): Diageo has a majority stake in EABL, which operates in East Africa. EABL produces and distributes popular beer brands such as Tusker, Guinness, and Serengeti.
  6. Asahi Group Holdings:
    • Asahi is a Japanese brewery that has expanded its presence globally through acquisitions.
    • Meantime Brewery: Asahi acquired the Meantime Brewery in the UK, which specializes in craft beers. Meantime Brewery offers a variety of ales, lagers, and seasonal brews.
    • Pilsner Urquell: Asahi owns the rights to the Pilsner Urquell brand, which is known for its Czech-style Pilsner beer.

This is not an exhaustive list, and by the time this is published/read by you may have changed! I say drink what you like, but it is helpful to have this information.