Your average international brewing conglomerate might attract sneers and derision from craft beer fans but requiring the capacity to brew literally millions of beers a year takes some serious effort. And that means some serious production facilities to go with it too. Sometimes running into the tens of millions of square feet, many of these breweries are monstrously big – churning out hundreds of thousands of bottles and cans every hour. But what are the four single biggest production facilities in the world? Spoilers: three of them are owned by the world’s single biggest brewer, ABInBev.
Miller Coors’ Golden Brewery, Golden, Colorado, USA
Yearly production: 23 million hectolitres
The single largest beer brewery in the world, MillerCoors only narrowly misses out on a place amongst the top four brewers in the world as a company. This facility stands exactly where Adolphus Coors started his first brewery as an American immigrant way back in 1873. That’s a proud history right there! Today, his descendant’s brewery is 100% sustainable – setting a benchmark for the rest of the world’s big brewers. Powered entirely by solar power, every single piece of waste here is re-used or recycled. Think about that next time you taste a Coors Light, and it might go down a little smoother.
Modelo’s (owned by ABInBev), Apan Brewery, Apan, Hidalgo, Mexico
Yearly Production: 12 million hectolitres, to be expanded to 24
Planned to overtake Coor’s Golden Brewery as the biggest producer globally, this plant will also bottle and distribute beer as well as brewing it. Scheduled to open in 2019, it will provide 1,200 jobs – many to local people – and will brew exclusively Corona and Victoria beers. Founded in 1920 in Mexico City, Modelo merged with ABInBev in 2012.
AB InBev’s Putian Brewery, Fujian, China
Yearly Production: 15 million hectolitres
Only opened in 2017, the Putian Brewery is the largest brewing facility in Asia. And no, it has nothing to do with Putin. Aiming to compete with domestically made beer, such as the world’s most popular beer, Snow, ABInBev is aggressively targeting this huge market with imported American beers like Budweiser. Capable of producing 160,000 cans an hour – this new brewery is a real statement of intent from the multinational conglomerate.
South African Breweries’ (owned by ABInBev) Alrode Brewery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Yearly Production: 9 million hectolitres
The biggest brewery in Africa, this one is also owned by AB InBev – this time by way of their subsidiary SAB. This brewery mainly churns out the popular local beer, Castle, as well as bottling imported European brands such as Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell. SAB were part of the SAB Miller Group until 2016 when ABV bought them up and sold the Miller portion of the business to Molson-Coors for $12 billion. You can visit this brewery, plus the SAB World of Beer exhibit, throughout the year on the South East side of Johannesburg. Highlights include the packaging hall, where they label 250,000 bottles of beer an hour, and exclusive access to the tap room with cold beer and great views of the city.