The Belgian brewery AB InBev and the Dutch brewery Heineken are untouched at the top of the 40 largest breweries worldwide. German companies, on the other hand, were hit by the pandemic.

In an international comparison, the German breweries later benefited from the easing in the corona pandemic as the leading industry giants.

In the new ranking of the world’s largest hop trader BarthHaas for 2022, seven German companies are among the 40 largest breweries in the world. The year before there were eight. The Warsteiner brewery, which ranked 39th in the top 40 last year, fell out of the top league this time, as the leading supplier of hop products reports.

Breweries are feeling the effects of the pandemic

Like other Western European countries, Germany was one of the regions of the world that continued to suffer from the corona-related restrictions in 2021, BarthHaas said. Most of the breweries located here would have had to accept volume losses, while companies from most other countries were able to recover compared to the first year of the pandemic.

According to the list, the largest German beer producer is still the Oetker subsidiary Radeberger Group, which is still in 22nd place. TCB Beteiligungsgesellschaft follows again in 24th place, which includes the Gilde Brewery, the Frankfurt Brauhaus and Feldschlößchen. The Oettinger Group is again in 25th place. The Veltins private brewery, which made it into the 40th place for the first time last year, is again represented there.

While these four German beer producers maintained their positions in the ranking, two major German brewers, Krombacher from 31st to 30th place and the Paulaner Group from 33 to 31st, made up places. The Bitburger Group, on the other hand, fell from 32nd to 33rd place. And Warsteiner is no longer included in the BarthHaas ranking.

AB InBev and Heineken at the absolute top

The output volume of the 40 largest breweries rose by a total of around 80 million hectoliters to almost 1.7 billion hectoliters in 2021. This corresponds to an increase of almost 5 percent. Their share of the total market worldwide has increased to 91.4 percent. The two largest brewers alone, AB InBev and Heineken, account for almost half of the beer output of the top 40 brewers.

The German breweries were also affected by severe restrictions in the catering trade in 2021. Closed restaurants, canceled folk festivals, sporting events without spectators – for months, hardly any draft beer could be served in Germany. Draft beer production did not start again in many breweries until May 2021. While a fifth of the beer brewed in Germany usually flows into the catering trade, this sales channel had practically ceased to exist for months, the German Brewers’ Association complained at the time.