Beer Company Rankings

By on October 27, 2011 @ 5 PM (1 Comment)

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

#CompanyLocationRevenueTop Beer
01AB InbevBelgium$36.3 billionBud Light
05Heineken InternationalAmsterdam$21.6 billionHeineken
06SABMillerLondon$18.0 billionMiller Lite
07DiageoLondon$15.3 billionGuinness
11Grupo ModeloMexico$6.9 millionCorona Extra
19Foster’s Group LTDAustralia$3.6 billionFoster’s Lager
21Molson Coors BrewingGolden, CO$3.3 billionCoors Light
40Pabst Brewing CoWoodridge, IL$500 millionPabst Blue Ribbon
42Boston Beer CompanyBoston, MA$464 millionSam Adams Boston Lager
45North American BreweriesRochester, NY$409 million*Labatt Blue
55D.G. Yuengling & SonPottsville, PA$274 million*Yuengling Traditional Lager
63Sierra Nevada BrewingChico, CA$150 million*Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
68New Belgium BrewingFort Collins, CO$133 million*Fat Tire Amber Ale
69Craft Brewers AllianceWoodinville, WA$132 millionWidmer Hefeweizen
71The Gambrinus CompanySan Antonio, TX$100 millionShiner Bock
82Deschutes BreweryBend, OR$41 million*Mirror Pond Pale Ale
84Matt Brewing CoUtica, NY$34 million*Sarnac Pale Ale
85Bell’s BreweryGalesburg, MI$31 million*Two Hearted Ale
87Harpoon BreweryBoston, MA$30 million*Harpoon IPA
88Boulevard BrewingKansas City, MO$30 million*Bully! Porter
91Dogfish Head Craft BreweryMilton, DE$27 million*90 Minute IPA
92Alaskan BrewingJuneau, AK$25 million*Alaskan Amber
93Long Trail BrewingBridgewater Corners, VT$24 million*Long Trail Ale
94Full Sail BrewingHood River, OR$23 million*Full Sail Amber Ale
96Stone BrewingEscondido, CA$23 million*Arrogant Bastard Ale
97Abita BrewingAbita Springs, LA$22 million*Turbodog
98Brooklyn BreweryBrooklyn, 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.

1 Comment (Add Your Comments)

  1. Go go go goooo diageo go!!!!! we are watching u compete healthly

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