Top Selling Beers in America

June 27, 2018 by John Harrington

Beer is big business in America. The combined impact that brewers, distributors, retailers, supply-chain partners, and related industries had on the U.S. economy was more than $350 billion in 2016, according to the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Last year, Americans bought more than 208 million barrels of beer, 1.1% less than the year before. Most of the drop came from declining volumes among major beer brands.

Consumption of legacy beer brands is down because millennial consumers are migrating to wine and mixed drinks. Craft beer makers also are taking market share from big beer makers.
Another factor behind the slide in consumption of major beer brands is the rising demand for beer brands from Mexico like Modelo and Corona. This increased demand reflects the growing Hispanic population in the United States.

Despite declining from a 16.2% market share in 2016 to 15.4% in 2017, Bud Light is still the leading brand. Volume sales of Bud Light slid 5.3% to $5.6 billion in 2017. The market share of all four of the largest selling brands — Bud Light, Coors Light, Budweiser, and Miller Lite — decreased from the prior year.

Brand winners were Michelob Ultra, Corona Extra, and Modelo Especial. Michelob Ultra had the biggest gain in barrels of beer shipped, at 21.3%, shipping 1.35 million last year. Michelob Ultra shipped a total of 7.7 million beer barrels in 2017 as its market share climbed from 2.9% to 3.6%. Sales of Michelob Ultra grew 23.6% to $1.6 billion last year.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed one-year changes in domestic shipping volume for 26 of the beer industry’s largest brands to identify America’s biggest beer brands from data provided by industry advocacy group Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Click here to see the 26 most popular beer brands.

Source: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Guinness

26. Guinness
> Parent company: Diageo
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.1 million
> Change from 2016: 2.3%
> Market share: 0.5%

Source: Courtesy of Milwaukee's Best

25. Mil’s Best Ice
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.2 million
> Change from 2016: -9.7%
> Market share: 0.5%

Source: Corona Light USA / Facebook

24. Corona Light
> Parent company: Constellation brands
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.2 million
> Change from 2016: 1.7%
> Market share: 0.6%

Source: Courtesy of Icehouse

23. Icehouse
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.3 million
> Change from 2016: -7.0%
> Market share: 0.6%

Source: Courtesy of Steel Reserve

22. Steel Reserve
> Parent company: The Steel Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.6 million
> Change from 2016: -1.5%
> Market share: 0.8%

Source: Coors Banquet / Facebook

21. Coors Banquet
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 1.7 million
> Change from 2016: 2.7%
> Market share: 0.8%

Source: Dos Equis / Facebook

20. Dos Equis
> Parent company: Heineken International
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.0 million
> Change from 2016: -1.3%
> Market share: 0.9%

Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty Images for NYCWFF

19. Blue Moon (all)
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.1 million
> Change from 2016: -0.2%
> Market share: 1.0%

Source: Courtesy of Yuengling

18. Yuengling Lager
> Parent company: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.2 million
> Change from 2016: -0.9%
> Market share: 1.0%

Source: Tim Boyle / Getty Images

17. Natural Ice
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.4 million
> Change from 2016: -8.5%
> Market share: 1.1%

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

16. Pabst Blue Ribbon
> Parent company: Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.5 million
> Change from 2016: -0.6%
> Market share: 1.2%

Source: Courtesy of Anheuser-Busch

15. Bud Ice
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.6 million
> Change from 2016: 2.0%
> Market share: 1.2%

Source: Courtesy of Stella Artois

14. Stella Artois
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 2.7 million
> Change from 2016: 10.9%
> Market share: 1.3%

Source: Courtesy of Miller High Life

13. Miller High Life
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 3.5 million
> Change from 2016: -1.5%
> Market share: 1.6%

Source: Courtesy of Molson Coors Brewing Company

12. Keystone Light
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 3.5 million
> Change from 2016: 6.3%
> Market share: 1.6%

Source: Getty Images

11. Heineken
> Parent company: Heineken International
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 4.0 million
> Change from 2016: -0.9%
> Market share: 1.8%

Source: walmart.com

10. Busch
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 4.7 million
> Change from 2016: -2.6%
> Market share: 2.2%

Source: Busch Light Fans / Twitter

9. Busch Light
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 6.4 million
> Change from 2016: 0.4%
> Market share: 3.0%

Source: walmart.com

8. Natural Light
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 6.5 million
> Change from 2016: -1.9%
> Market share: 3.0%

Source: walmart.com

7. Modelo Especial
> Parent company: Constellation Brands
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 7.2 million
> Change from 2016: 17.4%
> Market share: 3.3%

Source: michelobultra.com

6. Michelob Ultra
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 7.7 million
> Change from 2016: 21.3%
> Market share: 3.6%

Source: N-Lange.de / Wikimedia Commons

5. Corona Extra
> Parent company: Constellation Brands
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 8.7 million
> Change from 2016: 3.6%
> Market share: 4.1%

Source: Andrew Burton / Getty Images

4. Miller Lite
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 13.1 million
> Change from 2016: -2.8%
> Market share: 6.1%

Source: budweiser.com

3. Budweiser
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 13.3 million
> Change from 2016: -7.5%
> Market share: 6.2%

Source: coorslight.com

2. Coors Light
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 16.5 million
> Change from 2016: -4.1%
> Market share: 7.7%

Source: Budlight.com

1. Bud Light
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2017: 33.1 million
> Change from 2016: -6.2%
> Market share: 15.4%