Shakeout In The Brewing Industry.
Since the end of World War II, the American brewing industry has been undergoing a radical "shakeout" -- that is, the strong have gotten stronger and the weak have died off.
Below is a look at the nation's Top 10 largest beer makers for 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980, encompassing the thirty-year period when the "shakeout" has been most pronounced. Note the dramatic rise in the percentage of the nation's beer sales held by the 10 largest brewers -- from 38 percent in 1950 to a whopping 93 percent in 1980. (Today, America's Top 10 still hold well above the 90 percent mark, but the exact figure is obscured by the growing amount of beer which is being exported to foreign countries by the large U.S. brewers. For a list of the Top 10 U.S. brewers in 1997, go here.)
Also, note the widening disparity in barrelage between the No. 1 brewer and No. 10 brewer over the decades. In 1950, the gap between No. 1 and No. 10 was a mere 3.5 million barrels; by 1980, the disparity had grown to more than 46 million barrels. (In 1997, the gap was over 90 million barrels).
Finally, in looking at the list of Top 10 brewers in 1980, note that only five of the companies are still operating independently today. The others have either closed or been absorbed by their larger competitors.
**Note: One barrel equals exactly 31 gallons of beer.
Top 10 U.S. Brewers. Year: 1950
|1||Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.||5,096,840|
|4||Pabst Brewing Co.||3,418,677|
|5||F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.||2,772,000|
|7||Falstaff Brewing Corp.||2,286,707|
|8||Miller Brewing Co.||2,105,706|
|9||Blatz Brewing Co.||1,756,000|
|10||Pfeiffer Brewing Co.||1,618,077|
Total Barrelage of All U.S. Brewers in 1950: 82,830,137 barrels.
Top 10 Brewers' Percentage of Total U.S. Barrelage: 38 percent.
Top 10 U.S. Brewers. Year: 1960
|2||Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.||5,694,000|
|3||Falstaff Brewing Corp.||4,915,000|
|4||Carling Brewing Co.||4,822,075|
|5||Pabst Brewing Co.||4,738,000|
|6||P. Ballantine & Sons||4,408,895|
|7||Theo. Hamm Brewing Corp.||3,907,040|
|8||F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.||3,202,500|
|10||Miller Brewing Co.||2,376,543|
Total Barrelage Of All U.S. Brewers in 1960: 87,912,847 barrels.
Top 10 Brewers' Percentage of Total U.S. Barrelage: 52 percent.
Top 10 U.S. Brewers. Year: 1970
|2||Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.||15,129,000|
|3||Pabst Brewing Co.||10,517,000|
|4||Adolph Coors Co.||7,277,076|
|5||F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.||5,749,000|
|6||Falstaff Brewing Corp.||5,386,133|
|7||Miller Brewing Co.||5,150,000|
|8||Carling Brewing Co.||4,819,000|
|9||Theo. Hamm Brewing Co.||4,470,000|
|10||Associated Brewing Co.||3,750,000|
Total Barrelage Of All U.S. Brewers in 1970: 121,861,000 barrels.
Top 10 Brewers' Percentage of Total U.S. Barrelage: 69 percent.
Top 10 U.S. Brewers. Year: 1980
|2||Miller Brewing Co.||37,300,000|
|3||Pabst Brewing Co.||15,091,000|
|4||Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.||14,900,000|
|5||Adolph Coors Co.||13,800,000|
|6||G. Heileman Brewing Co.||13,270,000|
|7||Stroh Brewery Co.||6,161,255|
|8||Olympia Brewing Co.||6,091,000|
|9||Falstaff Brewing Co.||3,901,000|
|10||C. Schmidt & Sons||3,625,000|
Total Barrelage Of All U.S. Brewers in 1980: 176,311,699 barrels.
Top 10 Brewers' Percentage of Total U.S. Barrelage: 93 percent.