Who makes your beer? It would seem like this should be an easy question to answer, but for dozens of popular American beers that simple fact is hard to find. In some cases the company that makes a beer and where it is brewed is obscured on purpose, but most of the time this information just gets lost in one of the macro brewers’ vast web of subsidiaries, production facilities and marketing campaigns. We created this map to help lift the fog. You should know who makes your beer and where it came from.
This map is not an effort to wade into the debate of what is and isn’t a craft beer — a debate which was recently amplified by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s marketing department during the Super Bowl, and an inflammatory profile of Jim Koch, the man who created Sam Adams. It’s also not a judgement of quality. Some of the beers on this map are great. Some aren’t. Either way, we believe you should drink what you like. We also believe you should know who made that beer though, which is why we created the map.
Please Note: The macro brewers of the world (and other parent companies) often obscure the origins and/or ownership of brands which they have acquired and created. If you see any errors or omissions please send us an email. For other notes scroll below the map.
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UB Group is itself partially owned by the Heineken Group. The exact percent has fluctuated but the company itself currently reports the stake to be 37.5% of equity in their United Breweries Ltd. subdivision.
We did not map the dozen-plus beers belonging to Winery Exchange, as they are not brands in the traditional sense. Their beers are private label products created for clients such as supermarket chains. You can find more info about the following beers at their website: Barrel Trolley, Big Flats 1901, Buck Range, Caballo, Cable Car, Caguama, Cantina, Dieselpunk, Double Take, Four in Hand, Freedom Salute, Goldmine, Hopper Whitman, Kodiak Ridge, Metolius, Port Republic, Roscoe’s Hop House, St. Cloud, Steel Kettle Whistle, Tabloid, Taproom21, Taurino, & WingWalker.
Updates – v1.1
- ADD: Terrapin Beer Company sold “less than 25%” of the company to a subsidiary of MillerCoors as part of a debt for equity swap in 2011.
- ADD: Founders Brewing Co. sold a 30% a ownership stake to Mahou-San Miguel Group of Spain.
Updates – v1.2
- UPDATE: Added percent stakes to map for sales which were not outright acquisitions.
- UPDATE: Updated MillerCoors stake in Terrapin Beer Company to 21% per an employee’s comment on the Reddit discussion about this map.
Updates – v1.3
- UPDATE: Changed ‘The Macro Owners’ To ‘Owner / Parent Company’ as not all of the parent companies on this map fit the Brewers Association’s current definition of what a craft brewer is. We have also removed the word ‘macro’ from the header.
- UPDATE: Clarified the reason for the inclusion of Boston Beer Co. as a ‘Owner / Parent Company.’ We have removed the fact that they contract brewed before establishing their own brewery. The reasons for inclusion have to do solely with what is now on the map: their sheer size and that they have created and acquired multiple brands of beer and cider.
Updates – v1.4
- UPDATE: Clarified on the map and as a note the location(s) where Craft Brew Alliance beers are brewed with information provided by email from a Senior Brewer at the Craft Brew Alliance. The breweries that serve west of the Mississippi distribution are located in Woodinville, Washington (Redhook) and Portland, Oregon (Widmer, Omission). For east of the Mississippi distribution, all of the beers are brewed at their Redhook brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Kona brewery in Hawaii only produces draft Kona for Hawaii. All other draft and bottled CBA brands for Hawaii are sourced from their breweries in either Woodinville, WA or Portland, OR.