Consolidation is once again in the air for the beer industry. ABInbev is rumored to be exploring an acquisition of SABMiller according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). For its part, SABMiller was rebuffed trying to acquire Heineken.
Either deal would create a company responsible for brewing nearly one fifth of the worlds beer or more, and would have continued the concentration of the global beer market—which, as you can see in the graphic above, has substantially conglomerated in recent years.
The result has been fewer companies responsible for more of your beer. Over the past decade, the 10 largest brewers (which include companies not illustrated above, like China Resources Enterprise Ltd and Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, which have little to no M&A history) have grown from producing 48% of the word’s beer in 2004 to 65% in 2013, according to Euromonitor.