In 2004, 10 brewers controlled 51% of the global beer market by volume. Ten years later, five beer makers — Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Heineken, Carlsberg, and China Resources Enterprise — controlled about the same amount.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser, merged with SABMiller at the end of last year, giving the new company about 30% of the global market share.
Bottom line: Big beer is big.
We mapped out the five biggest beer makers in the world, along with many of the major brands they own, to show how vast this empire of inebriation extends.
AB InBev in particular has dipped its big toe into the craft-beer pond, making five big craft purchases last year. Those acquisitions — Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado, Four Peaks Brewing Company in Arizona, Camden Town Brewery in England, Elysian Brewing Company in Washington, and Golden Road Brewing Company in California — bring the number of craft breweries owned by AB InBev to eight.
SABMiller also acquired a craft brewery last year: London’s Meantime Brewing Company. When it was bought out by AB InBev, SABMiller agreed to spin out Miller.