What are the top 10 brewing companies?

Written by cheryl munson
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What are the top 10 brewing companies?
The top 10 breweries are located all over the world. (beer in beer-mug image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com)

The top ten brewing companies in the world span continents and countries from the United States to Europe, Mexico to China and Japan. Becoming one of the top 10 does not come easy, and it's important to note that as the article title states --- we're talking about top brewing companies, not just top beers. Industry review giant Hoovers.com, reports and estimates that the fiercely competitive brewing industry includes over 5,000 brewers worldwide. Many companies have merged or acquired others to increase their share of the £65-billion dollar beer market. Below are the breweries that continually make it to the top ten list.

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Anheuser Bush/In-Bev

Since 2009, Anheuser-Busch InBev has held the position of the world's number one brewing company. Corporate headquarters are based in St. Louis, Missouri and Leuven, Belgium. The company brews over 300 beers. Top-selling labels worldwide include Budweiser, Michelob, Becks, Stella Artois, Bass and Brahma. In addition to famous beer labels, the Anheuser-Busch team of Clydesdale horses is a well-known American icon.

What are the top 10 brewing companies?
Many companies form partnerships to expand distribution. (Beer image by navi from Fotolia.com)

SAB Miller

South African Breweries (SAB) Miller sells over 160 million barrels each year of beers bottled and packaged under over 200 brand names worldwide, and representing over 11% of the world's total beer consumption. The company's top selling labels are Miller, Castle Lager, Grolsch, Bavaria, and Cerveceria National. SAB Miller also owns over 58% of the Molson Coors Company.

What are the top 10 brewing companies?
Many companies have merged or acquired others to increase their share of the £65 billion dollar beer market. (beer image by dethchimo from Fotolia.com)


The famous green Heineken bottle is recognised by beer lovers everywhere. The Netherlands based company's brews include Amstel, Murphy's, Cordoba and Tiger. In 2006 alone, Heineken shipped over 156 million barrels of beer.


Carlsberg shipped over 60 million barrels in 2006, earning the company more than 4 per cent of the world market. The famous Carlsberg Tuborg brand is a household name in Norway. The Denmark-based company is owned by the Carlsberg Foundation and provides major contributions to the arts and sciences.

Molson Coors Brewing Company (MCBC)

In 2005, two of the largest US brewers, Molson and Coors, merged to form the Molson Coors Brewing Company. The company is also partnered with SAB Miller, operating as Miller Coors. In 2009, beer drinkers celebrated all partnerships by consuming over 500 million gallons of MCBC beers.


Modelo dominates the Mexican brewery industry, with over 60 per cent of market share. Its reigning brand is Corona. Additional labels that enhance Modelo's brew portfolio include Estrella, Leon Negra, Model Especial, Montejo, Pacifico, Negra Modelo and Victoria. It's interesting for brew ownership connoisseurs to note that Anneheuser-Bush InBev owns about 50 per cent of Modelo.

Tsingtao Brewery

Quindao, in the Shandong province of China, is production home for Tsingtao beers. The logo on bottles depicts a pier on the Quindao shores. The beer is so famous and favoured that it has even played a part in major movies including the 1982 produced futuristic movie, "Blade Runner," and the 2008 movie "Gran Torino," starring Clint Eastwood.

Beijing Yanjing

China is also the producer of world leader, Beijing Yanjing Beer. The company operates over 30 breweries in 10 Chinese provinces. Perhaps strange but true, Beijing Enterprises Holdings, is the parent company and is also a major producer of natural gas to homes and businesses in China.


Femsa produces many of the top brew brands in Mexico and Brazil, including Carta Blanca, Dos Equis, Tecate, Bohemia, and Sol. Heineken lovers may also appreciate knowing that they can enjoy Femsa Cerveza worldwide through a structured joint business ownership deal.


Japan utilises the unicorn to connect Kirin as a beer that symbolises good luck. So far that's working quite well. Kirin is the top beer manufacturer in Japan, serves many markets overseas, and is the number one exporter of Japanese beer to the US.

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