Known as the undisputed leader of the United States beer industry, Anheuser-Busch has an impressive portfolio of beer brands, including top sellers like Bud Light, Budweiser, and Michelob Ultra. However, Modelo, the Mexican beer brand, has officially surpassed Bud Light as the best-selling beer in the United States.
But there seems to be a lot of confusion online from interested parties asking: Does Anheuser-Busch own Modelo?
Modelo currently has two owners, with the ownership varying between in and outside the United States. Within the United States, the Modelo brand licenses are solely owned by Constellation Brands, Inc. However, outside of the United States, Modelo is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Despite conquering over 40% of the beer market shares in the United States, several popular beer brands are not owned by Anheuser-Busch. Here’s a rundown of Modelo’s ownership and which beer isn’t owned by Anheuser-Busch.
Does Anheuser-Busch Own Modelo?
Anheuser-Busch does not own Modelo. However, Anheuser-Busch and Modelo operate as separate entities under the parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest multinational brewing company headquartered in Belgium.
Many people confuse Anheuser-Busch for the parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev. However, Anheuser-Busch is only a division of AB InBev.
Modelo is a Mexican multinational beer brand that has been in existence since 1925. Mexican beer has spiked in popularity over the years, and the company now exports the beer to over 180 countries worldwide.
Modelo is currently owned by Grupo Modelo, another division of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Grupo Modelo is one of the largest Mexican breweries, exporting beer brands like Modelo, Corona, and Pacífico.
Anheuser-Busch InBev inherited a 50% stake in Modelo after InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch in 2008. The partnership allowed them to distribute Modelo’s beer brands in the United States.
AB InBev fully acquired Grupo Modelo in 2013 after purchasing the second 50% stake in Crown Importers for $20.1 billion. However, the United States Department of Justice raised concerns that Anheuser-Busch InBev’s market share would be too high and that they would have too much control over the United States beer market.
Therefore, as part of the 2013 acquisition, AB InBev agreed to divest their distribution rights, licenses, and brewery interests of certain Modelo brands in the United States to Constellation Brands to address the antitrust concerns in the United States beer market.
Which Beer Brands Does Anheuser-Busch Own?
Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest brewery and beer companies in the world, with a portfolio of multiple global brands and over 100 well-known brands. Anheuser-Busch has been fully owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2008.
The brands that are popular across the United States include:
- Stella Artois
- Budweiser (Budweiser, Budweiser Zero, Budweiser Select)
- Bud Light (Bud Blue, Bud Peels, Bud Platinum, Bud Next, Bud Chelada)
- Busch (Busch, Busch Light, Busch Ice)
- Michelob (Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Michelob Light)
- Natural Light
- And many more.
Budweiser and Bud Light are two key performers of Anheuser-Busch. Budweiser has been a cult favorite amongst Americans since the late 1800s. Bud Light was the best-selling beer year after year before the Mexican brand Modelo Especial outranked it.
Stella Artois and Michelob Ultra are premium brands of Anheuser-Busch. Stella Artois has a rich Belgian heritage. They have been crafting the finest lager using only the best ingredients for over 600 years. On the other hand, Michelob Ultra is a light, low-calorie beer brewed with the perfect blend of Herkules hops and wholesome grains. It lends a mild citrus aroma with a crisp, refreshing taste.
Which Beer Brands Does Anheuser-Busch Not Own?
Anheuser-Busch faces stiff competition in the beer market. Some other major players include:
Heineken is an international Dutch brewing company that owns more than 115 breweries in over 65 countries. It is the second-largest beer company worldwide and one of Anheuser-Busch’s top competitors.
Heineken is famous for its flagship beer, Heineken Lager, but the company also owns over 300 other beer brands, including popular brands like:
- Birra Moretti
- Dos Equis
Molson Coors is a Canadian-American drink and brewing company with headquarters in Chicago. The company has been brewing drinks for over two centuries. Some of their most popular brews include:
- Coors Original (Coors “Banquet Beer”)
- Coors Light
- Blue Moon
- Keystone (Keystone, Keystone Light, Keystone Ice)
- Killian’s Irish Red
In 2007, Molson Coors and SABMiller Breweries, a South African multinational brewing company, announced a joint venture called MillerCoors. MillerCoors was created as a United States operation that marketed and sold all its products. However, Molson Coors acquired the company in 2016 and sold it to Anheuser-Busch InBev later that same year.
Some of Miller’s popular brands include:
- Miller Lite
- Miller High Life
- Miller Genuine Draft
- Milwaukee’s Best
- Old English 800
Constellation Brands is an American beverage producer of beer, wine, and spirits. The company is also known as the largest beer import company in the United States.
Some of Constellations Brands’ beer portfolio includes imported rights in the United States to brands like Modelo Especial, Corona, Negro Modelo, and Pacífico. Constellation Brands owns two Mexican breweries that produce Modelo and Corona beer for the United States Market.
Constellation Brands includes popular beer brands like:
- Corona (Corona Light, Corona Extra, Corona Premier, Corona Refresca, Corona Hard Seltzer, Corona Familiar)
- Modelo (Modelo Especial, Modelo Cheldas, Modelo Negra)
Carlsberg is a Danish multinational brewer headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company’s flagship brand Carlsberg Beer was named after the founder, J.C. Jacobsen’s son Carl. Some of their other brands include:
- Somersby Cider
However, the only brands imported into the United States include:
- Carlsberg Beer
- Carlsberg Pilsner
- Carlsberg Elephant
- Tetley’s English Ale
Diageo is a British multinational drink company headquartered in London. The company operates from over 130 sites across the globe. Although famous for its innovative spirits and legendary scotch whiskey brands, Diageo offers an outstanding collection of beer brands, including:
- Harp Lager
- Hop House 13
- Meta Abo
- Rockshore Irish Lager
Pabst Brewing Company
Pabst Brewing Company is the fifth-largest brewing company in the United States, established in 1844. The company is best known for its flagship lager Pabst Blue Ribbon brand. However, the brewer claims another 30 brands to its name.
Some of the top brands owned by Pabst Brewing Company include:
- Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Colt 45
- Old Milwaukee
Modelo is owned by Grupo Modelo, a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev.
So, although Anheuser-Busch doesn’t own Modelo, both Anheuser-Busch and Modelo operate under the same multinational brewing parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev.