Companies in this industry produce beer, ale, malt liquor, and nonalcoholic beer. Major companies include Anheuser-Busch InBev (Belgium), Asahi Breweries (Japan), Carlsberg (Denmark), China Resources (China), Heineken (the Netherlands), Molson Coors (US), and Tsingtao (China). DG Yuengling and Son is the leading US craft brewer by sales volume, according to the Brewers Association.
Large breweries dominate the global beer market, but smaller craft breweries have gained market share in recent years by introducing a variety of new products that sell at higher price points. Some major beer makers have acquired popular craft brands to limit competition from the fast-growing sector. Small producers in some markets have also benefited from regulatory changes that have made it easier to self-distribute directly to retailers without having to sell through wholesalers. Breweries compete with distilleries, wineries, and other manufacturers of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
Products, Operations & Technology
The two primary categories of beer, ales and lagers, are distinguished by yeast types and brewing temperatures. Popular types of ale include pale and dark ales, India pale ales (IPAs), hefeweizens, porters, and stouts; lager varieties include pilsners, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers. American adjunct lager, by far the most popular beer style in the US, is a light-bodied beer with moderate alcohol levels that is characterized by the use of nontraditional grains such as rice and corn.