The beer industry is made up of companies specializing in the production of beer, although many of them produce other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Some of the big names in the industry include Netherlands-based SABMiller International BV, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (BUD), and Japan-based Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. (KNBWY). Demand for beer, a beverage, historically has remained stable throughout economic cycles. As a result, the beer industry is part of the much broader consumer staples sector.

Unlike many past economic downturns, the one that took place over the past year was spurred by the health crisis related to COVID-19. This has dramatically changed consumer behavior worldwide, sharply lowering beer demand in many regions as bars and restaurants have had to temporarily close or reduce capacity.

Beer stocks, represented by the broad Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), have dramatically underperformed the broader market. XLP has provided a total return of 8.6% over the past 12 months, well below the Russell 1000's total return of 33.4%. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of March 8, 2021.

Here are the top 3 beer stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Beer Stocks

These are the beer stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Beer Stocks

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Ambev SA ( ABEV) 2.56 40.3 18.7
Constellation Brands Inc. ( STZ) 220.63 42.8 21.5
Carlsberg A/S ( CABGY) 31.53 22.9 24.9

Source: YCharts

  • Ambev SA: Ambev is a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in the production and distribution of beer. The company also produces and distributes soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages including non-carbonated beverages. Ambev recently reported financial results for its 2020 fiscal year (FY), which ended December 31, 2020. The company's annual profits fell 3.7% as net revenue for the year rose 12.3%. Profit was weakened by costs of goods sold and other expenses growing faster than revenue. Ambev said that volume continued to be impacted in certain regions by restrictions related to the pandemic.
  • Constellation Brands Inc.: Constellation Brands is an alcoholic beverage company engaged in the production, marketing, and distribution of beer, wine, and spirits.
  • Carlsberg A/S: Carlsberg is a Denmark-based brewing company primarily engaged in the production and marketing of beer. The company also produces non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks. Its portfolio of brands include Carlsberg, Kronenbourg, and Tuborg, among others. Carlsberg recently issued financial results for FY 2020, which ended December 31, 2020. The company's annual profit declined 8.9% as revenue fell 11.2% for the year. Carlsberg said that it experienced reduced sales volumes, varying by region, due to the pandemic and related restrictions.

Fastest Growing Beer Stocks

These are the beer stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Beer Stocks

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD) 61.32 120.9 1,860
Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) 220.63 42.8 254.1
Boston Beer Co. Inc. ( SAM) 1074.97 13.2 135.7

Source: YCharts

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV: Anheuser-Busch is a Belgium-based holding company engaged in the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The company owns a portfolio of more than 400 different beer brands including Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois. Anheuser-Busch recently reported its financial results for FY 2020, ended December 31, 2020. Annual profit declined 78.9% as revenue fell 10.4%. Profit was adversely impacted by non-recurring costs and higher net finance costs compared to FY 2019. The company said its results were significantly impacted by the pandemic as annual volumes fell 5.7%.
  • Constellation Brands Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Boston Beer Co. Inc.: Boston Beer is a brewer engaged in the business of producing and selling craft-brewed beers and cider products at its own breweries and various other contract breweries. The company recently issued financial results for FY 2020, which ended December 26, 2020. Annual net income rose 74.4% as net revenue grew 38.9%. Boston Beer's strong growth occurred despite reduced keg demand from its on-premise distribution channels as well as higher, pandemic-related labor and safety costs.

Beer Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the beer stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Beer Stocks with the Most Momentum

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Boston Beer Co. Inc. (SAM) 1074.97 13.2 179.3
Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) 220.63 42.8 25.2
Carlsberg A/S (CABGY) 31.53 22.9 19.7
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 33.4
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) N/A N/A 8.6

Source: YCharts

  • Boston Beer Co Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Constellation Brands Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Carlsberg A/S: See above for company description.

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