According to the latest industry reports, the global beer market is poised to rake in an estimated $688.4 billion in sales by 2020. It may or may not come as a surprise that China makes up a huge percentage of the top bestselling brands–4 out of 10, to be exact! And while the popularity of craft brewing is still going strong in the Western world, some of the best beer in the world can be found in most grocery and convenience store shelves.
The best beer in the world largely depends on, well, dependability. One of the most common traits many of the world’s most popular beers share is a familiar “go-to” appeal, the assurance that you know exactly what you’re getting when you crack open a bottle. Throw in some creative marketing and an eye for public trends and you’ve got a sure bet of a brew.
Here are the 11 bestselling beer brands in the world, according to the annual Euromonitor report. You may recognize many of the listed labels, while others may be worth a first-time sampling:
11. Coors Light
This low-calorie Canadian lager was truly the first of its kind when it launched its “light” beer in 1978. Low on calories and sugar while still maintaining a 4% alcohol content, the beer quickly grew in popularity, eventually expanding into US and UK markets before going worldwide. Since then the brand has been going strong, with 2008 bringing a new focus on the Asian market, whose bestselling beer (and #1 on this list) surely piqued the interest of owner Molson Coors.
Recently listed in Forbes Magazine’s Most Valuable Brands list, the 1925 Mexican founded and Anheuser-Busch owned label is imported by more than 120 countries in the world, with overall revenue increasing by 23% in the past year alone. Introduced to the US market in 1981, with a particular angle on being the definitive “summer” beer, Corona Extra quickly became one of the bestselling beers in U.S. history, eventually becoming the #1 imported brand.
Described by RateBeer as having “the classic mouthfeel of a lager beer, strong body flavor, and neutral aroma,” Brahma was founded by Companhia Cervejaria Brahma in 1888 and eventually purchased by Anheuser-Busch. The most popular beer in Brazil, this crisp and unfussy lager is a bar staple at games, parties, and restaurants, available in classic Brahma (4.3%) and Brahma Chopp (5%).
With claims to being produced by China’s oldest brewery, this lager is the most popular beer in its native Northeast China. Traditionally served ice cold, the 4.8% proof lager was recently acquired by Anheuser-Busch, bringing an even wider distribution and consumer recognition.
One of the most widely recognized brands in the world, in 2015 Heineken won the Creative Marketer of the Year award, a noteworthy indicator of the brand’s reach and appeal. Founded by Gerard Heineken in 1864, the Holland-based brand has set the standard for popular lagers, with its light, slightly sweet taste and solid 5% alcohol content–along with some wickedly clever marketing schemes–owing to its reputation as the best beer in the world.
Founded in 1980 by the Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co., Yanjing was declared the official beer of China in 1995, with a special serving ceremony taking place in the Great Hall of the People that year. The pale ale-style beer is noted for its bittersweet flavor and heady white foam, and as of now ranks as the sixth bestselling beer in the world.
With most varieties containing only 2.8% alcohol content, this pilsner is definitely on the lighter side of the bestsellers on this list. Owned by Anheuser-Busch, Skol was the 1964 collaborative effort of British, Canadian, Belgian, and Swedish breweries with an eye for creating a popular and palatable international beer brand.
Arguably one of America’s most recognized brands, the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser lager was introduced in the US in the 1800’s and modeled after the older European brewing traditions. Revered for its deep amber color and refreshing taste, the brand has since spread to more than 80 markets around the world.
3. Bud Light
No, you’re not seeing double. This Budweiser sibling holds its own against the founding lager with an even greater influence on the international market. First introduced in 1982, the light lager was among the first to join the health-conscious beer movement, containing less sugar and calorie content than its founding counterpart but an equally sizable alcohol content of 4.2%. Whether you prefer the classic lager or its lighter version, Budweiser has clearly earned its place among the best beer in the world nominees.
Crafted by German immigrants in Hong Kong in 1916, Tsingtao was introduced to the US in 1972, swiftly becoming the highest-selling Chinese beer in the nation and further increasing it’s international reach by 0.1% each year since 2009. Traditionally served by the bottle with a chilled glass of ice, this hop-heavy pilsner is now a common sight in bars and restaurants around the world.
If you don’t recognize this brand don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. And yet Snow is the official #1 bestselling beer in the world, with sales volumes going through the roof by 573% in the past decade. Although it’s almost exclusively sold in China, with a particularly mild, highly carbonated taste that may not appeal to the Western brew devotee, the 4% proof lager is considered the best beer in the world according to its regional consumers, selling out (and at only $1 a liter) above and beyond its competitors.