No. 1? AB InBev? How’d you guess? I can see you’ve got a big beer brain (maybe get that checked out), but how well do you know the global brewing market? Have you been tracking Estrella Galicia? I have many questions. Estrella Galicia produces a wide range of excellent Spanish lagers from Castilla y Leon. It’s one of the country’s fastest growing beer brands and Spain’s largest independent brewery. It’s also going global. From Inside Beer:
The Spanish brewer Hijos de Rivera, better known under its brand name Estrella Galicia, announced this Thursday to spend BRL2 billion (about USD 360 million) for the construction of its first brewery outside of Spain. The brewery will have a final capacity of 3 million hl of beer which will be executed in two steps of 1.5 million hl each. After finishing the first phase of construction by the end of 2023, the Brazilian production site will be only slightly smaller than the original brewery in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. The new brewery will be located in Araraquara, 270 kilometers north — west from the city of São Paulo.
Estrella Galicia grew by nearly 28 percent in 2021, according to the list below of the top 40 breweries in the world in 2021. This list was pulled together as part of the BarthHaas Report 2021/2022, which will be published in full on July 25. If you don’t know BarthHaas, they’re one of the world’s leading suppliers of hop products. According to that upcoming report, the world beer market recovered slightly in the second year of the coronavirus pandemic: The combined output of the world’s 40 largest brewers in 2021 rose by about 80 million hectoliters to nearly 1.7 billion hectoliters, representing an increase of just below 5 percent, bringing their horribly frightening market share to 91.4 percent. It gets worse. From the press release:
The high proportion of brewing groups leading the rankings is particularly noteworthy: The top four — AB InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg and China Res. Snow Breweries — alone accounted for a good 61 percent of the beer output of the top 40 breweries. AB InBev went clear at the top of the table with an output of nearly 582 million hectoliters (34 percent).
2021 produced winners and losers among the different brewing nations. Many Western European countries were still laboring under the COVID-related restrictions. Nearly all the breweries in the beer stronghold of Germany, for example, had to swallow losses of output. For countries in most of the other regions around the world, however, the situation eased somewhat, with beer sales rising in many places.
Mergers and acquisitions
BarthHaas teased its upcoming report with other factoids. Internationally, 2021 saw its fair share of mergers and acquisitions. Heineken, for example, acquired a majority shareholding in United Breweries in India and gained control of Namibia Breweries by taking over the Distell Group. Kirin/Lion acquired Bell’s Brewing, a pioneer in the American craft segment, and consolidated its position as the leader in this market segment by merging it with New Belgium Brewing, which was already owned by the group.
There were signs of further market shifts in the first quarter of 2022: In March, Heineken and Carlsberg both announced that they were withdrawing from the Russian market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For the same reason, AB InBev announced in April that it was selling its share in a joint venture with the Turkish brewery Anadolu Efes which operates in Russia. We’ll have to wait for the BarthHaas Report 2021/2022 to learn more, but till then, as promised, here’s that list.
The 40 biggest breweries in the world in 2021
|Ranking 2021||Brewery||Country||Beer output 2020 in mill. hl||Beer output 2021 in mill. hl||Change|
|1||AB InBev||Belgium||530.6||581.7||9.6 %|
|4||China Res. Snow Breweries||China||106.9||112.2||5.0 %|
|5||Molson Coors||USA/Canada||84.5||84.0||-0.6 %|
|6||Tsingtao Brewery Group||China||80.0||76.0||-5.0 %|
|7||Asahi Group||Japan||56.3||57.4||2.0 %|
|8||BGI / Groupe Castel||France||36.7||40.0||9.1 %|
|9||Efes Group||Turkey||36.2||37.9||4.7 %|
|11||Constellation Brands||USA||30.2||32.6||7.9 %|
|12||Grupo Petrópolis||Brasil||31.0||29.5||-4.8 %|
|14||Diageo (Guinness)||Ireland||20.8||21.0||1.0 %|
|16||San Miguel Corporation||Philippines||14.5||15.7||8.3 %|
|17||Saigon Beverage Corp. (SABECO)||Vietnam||14.5||14.5||0.0 %|
|18||Grupo Mahou – San Miguel||Spain||13.5||14.5||7.2 %|
|19||Singha Corporation||Thailand||12.6||12.9||2.0 %|
|20||Pearl River||China||12.0||12.8||6.7 %|
|22||Radeberger Gruppe||Germany||11.1||10.2||-8.1 %|
|23||United Breweries Group||India||8.9||9.3||3.9 %|
|24||TCB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH||Germany||8.6||8.5||-1.2 %|
|25||Oettinger Gruppe||Germany||8.5||8.5||0.0 %|
|28||Beer Thai (Chang)||Thailand||7.6||7.2||-5.3 %|
|29||Swinkels Family Brewers||Netherlands||7.7||7.0||-8.6 %|
|30||Krombacher Gruppe||Germany||6.0||5.8||-3.3 %|
|31||Paulaner Gruppe||Germany||5.9||5.7||-3.4 %|
|32||HiteJinro||South Korea||6.1||5.4||-10.8 %|
|33||Bitburger Braugruppe||Germany||5.9||5.0||-15.3 %|
|34||Olvi Group||Finland||4.6||4.7||3.0 %|
|35||Estrella de Galicia||Spain||3.4||4.4||27.9 %|
|37||Moscow Brewing Company||Russia||4.0||4.1||2.5 %|
|38||Royal Unibrew||Denmark||4.0||4.1||2.0 %|
|39||Hanoi Beverage Corp. (HABECO)||Vietnam||3.5||3.6||2.9 %|