how american is your beer?

04 Jul

Today is the 4th of July, a day when many grill out, watch fireworks, and crack open a few beers – all to honor America, of course. There will be plenty of ‘Murica-ing throughout the day and throughout the many beer toasts… But I saw an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal just the other day circulating that begs the question, “How American is Your Beer?” (originally written in July 2014). It’s an interesting chart, and worth a share here.

beer ownership and market share

beer ownership and market share

As you can see, Anheuser-Busch (AB) pretty well dominates the market with Bud Light, Budweiser, Bush, Natural, and Michelob.  They are also one of the most “American” beers when it comes to branding and perception. And they really did use to be owned and brewed in the good ol’ USofA, but some may remember that they were actually bought in 2008 by a Belgian company, InBev. Thus, not quite as American as we might like to think (though it is still brewed in America).

As you can also see above, the Miller beer family is owned by a parent company in England (again, brewed in the USA). Coor’s has dual headquarters in Canada and the USA, which may make them both the least American and also the most Canadian (sharing headquarters – essentially a tie!).  Corona and Modelo, interestingly enough, are owned by a US company, but still brewed in Mexico (the opposite of Anheuser-Busch and Miller).

If you want American owned and brewed beer, the top three in the market are Yuengling, Pabst, and Sam Adams. Of course, with the huge explosion of craft beer interest, there are plenty of additional options that are owned and brewed in the US – those craft breweries just don’t have the reach or distribution to grab a notable share of the market (and be careful that some of those craft breweries then get bought out by big companies – i.e. Blue Moon and Goose Island – and are no longer the small/local craft beer that you may imagine!). But whichever you decide to drink, you can still enjoy and salute to America! (I have Heineken and Tecate in the fridge courtesy of this awesome app that gives me discounts on beer, so no confusion about my beer not being American).  Either way: Happy Fourth of July!








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