Special Report

The Most Popular Beer Brands in America

Source: dosequis.com

20. Dos Equis
> Parent company: Heineken International
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.9 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -2.6%
> Market share: 0.90%

German master brewer Wilhelm Haase created this beer in Veracruz in 1897. An emblematic Mexican brand, it was dubbed “Dos Equis” — “two x’s” — representing the number 20 in Roman numerals, a reference to the impending 20th century. The beer is not just one of the best selling in America, perhaps due at least in part to the brand’s long-running campaign featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

19. Blue Moon
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 2.0 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -3.9%
> Market share: 0.96%

Is this a craft beer or not? This reasonably potent Belgian-style white beer (5.4% ABV), flavored with Valencia orange peel, describes itself as “the #1 craft beer in the US,” citing Nielsen data to back up the claim. Because it was created by the head brewmaster at a Coors brewing facility in Denver and is owned by the massive Molson Coors company today, the Brewers Association has objected to its so-called craft identification.

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

18. Pabst Blue Ribbon
> Parent company: Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 2.0 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -10.5%
> Market share: 0.97%

Its famous slogan — “What’ll you have? Pabst Blue Ribbon” — was once ubiquitous in America’s taverns. In the face of new competition, however, it began losing market share in the late 1970s and early ’80s, and the original Pabst brewery in Milwaukee closed down in 1996. The company went through changes of ownership, but gradually revived, and today PBR, as everybody calls it, is considered the definitive hipster beer — inexpensive and easily drinkable. Interestingly, though it is an independent brand, it is brewed by Molson Coors.

17. Yuengling Lager
> Parent company: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 2.0 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -4.7%
> Market share: 1.00%

This Pennsylvania institution is the oldest brewery in America and one of the few major U.S. beer producers that is still family owned. Because it is independently owned and ships fewer than 6 million barrels a year, it is considered a craft brewery, and the Brewers Association ranks it as the nation’s top example in terms of sales volume. Its sales figures are particularly impressive considering that it is distributed only on the East Coast and in the South.

Source: walmart.com

16. Natural Ice
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 2.2 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -4.3%
> Market share: 1.07%

“Natty” — Natural Light — is one of the top 10 beer brands in America (see No. 8). While its ice-beer sibling has lost some traction in recent years, it remains the nation’s second-most popular ice beer. Like other examples of the genre, it packs more of a punch than its regular counterpart — in this case coming in with an ABV of 5.9%, compared with Natty’s 4.2%.