Beer Company Rankings
Beverage Industry magazine recently published a list of The Top 100 Beverage Companies in their June 2011 issue and it’s quite an interesting read. It deals with beverage as an overall category, which means that segments like beer are interspersed with soft drinks, wine, spirits, dairy, water, etc.
It may surprise you (or not) that the largest beverage company in the world isn’t Coca-Cola or Pepsi, it’s AB-InBev. It may surprise you that 27 of the top 100 beverage companies are beer companies. Or that a lot of the microbreweries we love like Dogfish Head are actually among the top 100 largest beverage companies in the world.
I thought it would be interesting to pull the beer ones out of the list and show you how the beer companies rank among the Top 100 beverage companies for 2010. The list below shows the company name, their rank on the list, their location, their 2010 revenues and their top beer.
Beer Company Rankings for 2010
|01||AB Inbev||Belgium||$36.3 billion||Bud Light|
|05||Heineken International||Amsterdam||$21.6 billion||Heineken|
|06||SABMiller||London||$18.0 billion||Miller Lite|
|11||Grupo Modelo||Mexico||$6.9 million||Corona Extra|
|19||Foster’s Group LTD||Australia||$3.6 billion||Foster’s Lager|
|21||Molson Coors Brewing||Golden, CO||$3.3 billion||Coors Light|
|40||Pabst Brewing Co||Woodridge, IL||$500 million||Pabst Blue Ribbon|
|42||Boston Beer Company||Boston, MA||$464 million||Sam Adams Boston Lager|
|45||North American Breweries||Rochester, NY||$409 million*||Labatt Blue|
|55||D.G. Yuengling & Son||Pottsville, PA||$274 million*||Yuengling Traditional Lager|
|63||Sierra Nevada Brewing||Chico, CA||$150 million*||Sierra Nevada Pale Ale|
|68||New Belgium Brewing||Fort Collins, CO||$133 million*||Fat Tire Amber Ale|
|69||Craft Brewers Alliance||Woodinville, WA||$132 million||Widmer Hefeweizen|
|71||The Gambrinus Company||San Antonio, TX||$100 million||Shiner Bock|
|82||Deschutes Brewery||Bend, OR||$41 million*||Mirror Pond Pale Ale|
|84||Matt Brewing Co||Utica, NY||$34 million*||Sarnac Pale Ale|
|85||Bell’s Brewery||Galesburg, MI||$31 million*||Two Hearted Ale|
|87||Harpoon Brewery||Boston, MA||$30 million*||Harpoon IPA|
|88||Boulevard Brewing||Kansas City, MO||$30 million*||Bully! Porter|
|91||Dogfish Head Craft Brewery||Milton, DE||$27 million*||90 Minute IPA|
|92||Alaskan Brewing||Juneau, AK||$25 million*||Alaskan Amber|
|93||Long Trail Brewing||Bridgewater Corners, VT||$24 million*||Long Trail Ale|
|94||Full Sail Brewing||Hood River, OR||$23 million*||Full Sail Amber Ale|
|96||Stone Brewing||Escondido, CA||$23 million*||Arrogant Bastard Ale|
|97||Abita Brewing||Abita Springs, LA||$22 million*||Turbodog|
|98||Brooklyn Brewery||Brooklyn, NY||$21 million*||Brooklyn Lager|
* Estimated 2010 Sales
Dissecting the list, I find some interesting things:
- Craft breweries are still small businesses. You’ve got a very tight cluster of craft breweries in the $20 to $30 million revenue range (though most of those are estimated). Only about 7 or 8 companies that we’d consider “craft beer” make more than that $30 million mark.
- Distribution is king. The difference in the $20 to $30 million companies and the $100 million+ companies? It’s not quality of the product. It’s distribution. Most of the companies at the bottom of the list are still regional players. Granted many of them are expanding but very few are available in all regions. Why? A mix of factors. Total volume they can produce. Wanting to stay small. Not having the distribution infrastructure. Not having the capital to mass produce. Making beers that are near impossible to mass produce. Wanting to keep it fun by not focusing only on revenue. Lots of reasons, but at the end of the day the biggest beverage companies are the ones that own the distribution channel.
- The companies are really spread out. It’s great to see that no single region really dominates the list. From the West Coast to the Midwest to the South to the East Coast and all the way to Alaska we’ve got great craft breweries pretty much anywhere you are (or within a few hundred miles of you).
- It’s a great time to be into good beer. About 1/6 of the top beverage companies in the world are craft beer companies, many of which didn’t exist a decade ago. If you like drinking craft beer there’s no better time than now for variety and style. If you like making craft beer now is a great time to do that. Craft beer continue to grow and it’s still only about 5% of the total beer sold. It should only continue to increase. If you’re passionate about making beer you can succeed – the names on the list are the proof in the pudding.
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