5. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO)
> Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
> Market cap: $82.31 billion
> Assets: $52.6 billion
Altria is better-known for its cigarettes than its beverages. (It owns Philip Morris USA — Marlboro, Parliament, Virginia Slims, etc. — and is the country’s largest tobacco company.) However, it also owns Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, whose brands, besides Washington state’s Château Ste. Michelle, include California’s Villa Mt. Eden and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It also partners with such worldwide brands as Antinori, Villa Maria, and Nicolas Feuillatte. Fourth-quarter revenue for the company last year was $6.3 million.
4. Diageo Plc (NYSE: DEO)
> Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
> Market cap: $97.06 billion
> Assets: $42 billion
Many of the world’s most famous champagne, wine, and spirits brands belong to this British firm. Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Cloudy Bay, Johnnie Walker, Hennessy, Ron Zacapa, and Belvedere are just some of its best-known offerings. Diageo’s net sales for the last half of 2020 came to £6.9 billion (about $9.6 billion).
3. Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD)
> Headquarters: Leuven, Belgium
> Market cap: $127.37 billion
> Assets: $238.3 billion
This brewing powerhouse controls roughly 30% of all beer sales internationally by volume, thanks in large part to Budweiser, the world’s most popular beer brand. Its other labels include Michelob, Rolling Rock, and Busch. The company’s third-quarter revenue for 2020 was $12.816 billion.
2. Wuliangye Yibin Co. Ltd. (SHE: 000858
> Headquarters: Yibin, China
> Market cap: $189 billion
> Assets: $14.9 billion
Most Americans have never tasted baijiu, the sorghum-based Chinese spirit, but it is by far the best-selling liquor in the world, with sales almost double those of the next largest category (whisky/whiskey). Wuliangye, produced in Sichuan province, averages around $6.1 billion in annual revenue — and virtually all its sales are within China.
1. Kweichow Moutai Co. Ltd. (SHA: 600519)
> Headquarters: Renhuai, China
> Market cap: $449.5 billion
> Assets: $25.6 billion
This popular brand of baijiu — the sorghum-based Chinese specialty that is the world’s best-selling liquor category — is itself the world’s most valuable spirit brand, according to the trade publication The Spirits Business. Though Moutai’s popularity is growing abroad, about 97% of its sales are within China. The company reported revenue of $10.39 billion for the first three quarters of last year.