Largest Private, Publicly Traded Beer Companies; Daily Beer Distro for November 2, 2018

For reference, I keep a list of the largest private, private equity owned and publicly traded beer companies. It’s easiest to use Wikipedia links for basic searches so I included them for you, from there you can get to a large amount of basic data quickly – even though you need to conduct due diligence on any of your findings there.

List of the Largest Publicly Traded Breweries

Following is a short list of publicly traded (and who controls them) major breweries conducting business in the US:

Anheuser-Busch InBev – Based in Leuven, Belgium. ABInBev is the world’s largest brewer with almost 30% of global beer sales. MegaBrew’s primary listing is on the Euronext exchange in Brussels. ABInBev has secondary listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and NYSE. The largest shareholder is Stichting Anheuser-Busch InBev, controlled by the previous owners of AmBev (Brazil) and InterBrew (Belgium). Altria, the former owner of Miller Brewing Company, now owns nearly 10% of ABInBev, after ABInBev’s 2016 acquisition of SABMiller.

Molson Coors Brewing Company – Based in Denver. TAP is traded on the NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange, and it’s a component of the S&P 500. TAP has a near 30% share of the US beer market and 5% of the global market. Voting control of the company is shared between the Coors and Molson families. The largest shareholders of Molson Coors are the Coors family with 11% and Vanguard with nearly 10%.

Constellation Brands Inc. – Based in Victor, NY. STZ trades on the NYSE, is an S&P 500 component and member of the Fortune 500. The Sands family has voting control of the company through Class B shares (10x the voting power of Class A). Vanguard and BlackRock each own 10% of the shares. STZ was founded on private label wine. Today beer represents 60% of the company’s business, the bulk of which is derived through the perpetual franchise rights of Corona and Modelo in the US.

Diageo Plc. – Based in London. Diageo’s primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and is a component of the FTSE 100. It’s also listed on the NYSE and Euronext Dublin. Diageo was created through the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. Diageo’s business is mostly in spirits, but it also owns the Guinness and Smirnoff Ice brands.

Heineken International – Based in Amsterdam. The stock is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. Heineken Holding N.V., the investment arm of the Heineken and Hoyer families, is the largest shareholder at 50% and FEMSA owns 20%. Heineken controls about 10% of the global beer market. Brands include Heineken, Newcastle Brown, Red Stripe, Dos Equis, Tecate and a large stake in Lagunitas.

Carlsberg Group – Based in Copenhagen. CARL is traded on the Nasdaq Nordic exchange. The Carlsberg Foundation is the largest shareholder, controlling 30% of the stock and 75% of the voting power. The brewer has about a 6% share of the global beer market. The Carlsberg brands are imported in the US by St. Killian Importing, a division of L. Knife and Son Companies, one of the largest Anheuser-Busch InBev wholesalers in the country.

Asahi Breweries – Based in Tokyo. Asahi is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a component of the TOPIX Large 70. Asahi controls nearly 40% of the Japanese beer market and has a global share of 3%. Along with it’s flagship Asahi label, the company also owns the Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell, Tyskie and Peroni brands.

Boston Beer Company, Inc. – Based in Boston. SAM is listed on the NYSE and is a component of the S&P 400. Jim Koch founded the company and controls the company through his ownership of 100% of the Class B voting stock. Samuel Adams beer is the company’s flagship, but growth is coming from the sale of new products including spiked seltzer, tea and cider.

Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. – Based in Portland. Under the Nasdaq symbol BREW and a component of the Russell 2000. ABInBev owns 31.5% and the Widmer brothers own 18%. BREW controls or has a stake in Widmer, Redhook, Kona, Omission, Square Mile, Cisco, Wynwood and Appalachian Mountain.

Large and Medium Sized Privately Owned Breweries

Following is a list of privately owned large and medium sized breweries:

Pabst Brewing Company – Based in Los Angeles. Pabst is owned by Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC., a partnership between Eugene Kashper and TSG Consumer Partners. Blue Ribbon bought Pabst from Dean Metropolis in 2014 for $700 million. Metropolis paid $250 million in 2010 to buy Pabst from holding company S&P. The S&P Company, controlled by the non-profit Paul Kalmanovitz trust, was steward of Pabst from 1987, the year Kalmanovitz died. PBR is the company’s best selling brand, but the company also owns many of the old line regional beer labels including Old Style, Colt 45, Lone Star, Rainier and Schlitz.

D. G. Yuengling and Son – Based in Pottsville, PA. Yuengling is 100% owned by Dick Yuengling since 1985. Yuengling is the oldest still operating American brewery. It is the largest craft brewing company in the US and ranked as the 6th largest brewer in the US.

FIFCO US/North American Breweries – US headquarters based in Rochester, NY. Owned by Florida Ice and Farm S.A. since 2012, when NAB was purchased from KPS Capital Partners for $388 million. FIFCO is a Costa Rican conglomerate based in Heredia, Costa Rica. The major brands are Genesee, Magic Hat, Pyramid, Imperial and Seagram’s Coolers. It also owns the rights to import Labatt’s into the US.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Based in Chico, CA. Owned by Ken Grossman. Sierra Nevada is the 10th largest brewer in the US and the 3rd largest craft brewery. The company’s best selling beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

The Gambrinus Company – Based in San Antonio. Owned by Carlos Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez, through Gambrinus, was the original importer of Modelo products in the Eastern half of the US and Barton (Crown Imports, now Constellation) had the Western US. Gambrinus owns the Spoetzl (Shiner) and Bridgeport Brewing.

New Belgium Brewing Company – Based in Fort Collins, CO. New Belgium is 100% employee-owned. It’s the 11th largest brewer in the US and the 4th largest craft brewer. The company’s brands include Fat Tire, Voodoo Ranger, Bohemian Pilsner and Citradelic.

Largest Private and Publicly Traded Beer Wholesalers in the US

The bulk of the beer wholesalers in the US are local, family owned businesses. This mainly has to do with the three-tier system that was put into place after prohibition was repealed.

Up until recently, distributor agreements were written to discourage corporate ownership, mainly to keep beer distributors from getting a little too big for their britches. However, that language has not been able to deter the big fish from eating the small fish. And as we speak, private equity firms are circling.

Largest Publicly Traded Beer Wholesalers

Anheuser-Busch Wholly Owned Distributors – ABInBev owns nearly 30 distributorships spread throughout the US. These company-owned distributors service parts of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Oklahoma and Ohio; making ABInBev not only the largest brewer, but also the largest beer distributor in the US. ABInBev recently divested ownership in City Beverage in Chicago and distributorships in Kentucky that the company traded for territory in Colorado.

Coors Distributing Company – Molson Coors owns the Coors Distributing Company in Denver. The company was established by Coors in 1971 to service the Denver metropolitan area with Coors Banquet. CDC distributes MillerCoors brands along with a host of regionals, crafts and imports. Coors Brewing Company recently sold company owned distributor operations in California and Idaho.

Largest Beer Wholesalers Owned by Private Equity Firms

Columbia Distributing – Based in Portland, OR. Columbia is owned by Meritage Group LP, an investment firm controlled by the family of hedge fund manager James Simons. Columbia sells in excess of 40 million cases a year through distributors in California, Oregon and Washington.

Lakeshore Beverage – Based in Chicago. Largest beer distributor in Illinois and 5th largest in the US with sales of 40 million cases. Created by the merger of City Beverage and River North Sales and Service. Partnership between Byron Trott’s investment banking firm BDT Capital (majority owner) and the Hand family from Tennessee.

Largest Privately Owned Beer Wholesalers

Reyes Family Holdings – Based in Chicago. The Reyes family owns MillerCoors beer distributorships in Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles. Reyes is the largest privately owned beer distributor in the US, selling over 153 million cases per year. Reyes Holdings controls Reyes Beverage Group, Martin Brower, Reinhart Foodservice, Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling on the West Coast.

Silver Eagle Distributors – Based in Houston. The Nau family has majority ownership of the company. Silver Eagle distributes more than 50 million cases per year in Houston and San Antonio. Silver Eagle’s main supplier is ABInbev.

Expiring Beer, Wine, Spirits Industry Domain Names for November 2, 2018

In the second part of my daily post, I feature a curated list of today’s expiring domain names. I research the domain name aftermarkets and drop lists everyday to find the best available domain names for beer, wine and spirits companies.

These domain names are perfect branding opportunities for breweries, wineries, distillers, distributors, retailers, vendors, etc., even cannabis companies. You never know, your company’s exact match domain name may be on the list and you can acquire it cheaply in the aftermarket.

Click on the links below to see the current price: I am not including hyperlinks the first week while I’m still getting my processes down. The domains below are expiring today, if you have any questions about a domain please email me – – I can help you acquire it.

Beer Distro Domain of the Day: – They have machines for this now? When I was ten and in charge of the breakage pile, the glass crusher consisted of my arm and the concrete at the bottom of the dock. – Another name for a suitcase. – Good brand name for a hazy. – I think “i” and “e” prefix domains are still used by a few companies. – Kind of long, but a decent name for a spirits wholesaler. – It’s actually spelled Whisky, but everybody knows what you’re talking about. – Pilsner glasses are awesome to drink a beer from and a great domain name to have if you sell bar glassware. – Cool name for a pub. – I see beverage report here. Nice short domain for a beverage industry newsletter. – My major the first go around in college. – Because color and animal names always have value. Easy to spell and memorable, perfect for branding. – Nice geographic domain name, but it is a little long. Would make a nice domain for a distributor. – Nice call to action for a category management consultant or service. – Okay tagline for a healthy beverage. I’ve seen worse. – I especially like this name for a beer app. Would be a nice taproom name, also. – Wine or flavored malt name. – Great marketing domain for a social club. – Genesee here’s your new advertising campaign. – Great name for a company in the glass business. – Nice brandable here. Is there a beer already named Third Line? I think I’ve seen it somewhere. – Another brandable domain. Could be a craft brewer or beer brand name.

I hope you enjoyed the expiry’s today. Not many great domains today, but all in all not too bad. Have a great day.

See you tomorrow,

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