Asahi is Australia's largest brewing company. The Japanese food and beverage giant cemented its position as the country's biggest producer with the acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) from AB InBev in 2019. The multinational has long been involved in the craft beer industry here and globally and today owns many of the country's most-awarded breweries.
Kirin acquired Lion Nathan (now Lion) in 2009. It is one of Japan’s largest beverage producers and a major member of the Mitsubishi Group. Alongside the long-established brands in its craft portfolio, such as Little Creatures, James Squire and White Rabbit, Lion has created a number of its own brewpub-based brands in Australia, although two of them – Bevy in WA and Tiny Mountain in Queensland – ceased operating in 2023. The company snapped up the Fermentum Group, including Stone & Wood, Fixation, Two Birds and Forest For The Trees in 2021, with the last two of those since ceasing operations.
The Endeavour Group demerged from Woolworths in 2021 and is Australia’s largest drinks retail business, operating both bottleshops and venues. These include Dan Murphy’s, BWS, ALH Hotels and the Jimmy Brings delivery service. The ASX-listed business also creates and manages its own drinks portfolio under the Pinnacle Drinks banner, which includes spirits, wine, locally-made and imported beer. For the purposes of this, we have focused on their craftier Australian brands.
The Coles Group is one of Australia's largest supermarket companies with more than 2,500 retail outlets nationally. That includes close to 900 liquor stores across the country, which trade as Liquorland, First Choice Liquor Market and Vintage Cellars.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is a major drinks business that’s headquartered in England but operates in Europe, Asia and Australia. It purchased Feral in 2017 and in 2021, announced it would exit beer and cider in Australia but later said it would retain the craft brewery.
Starting out as Founders First with an investment in Jetty Road Brewing before rebranding as Mighty Craft as the business grew, this "craft accelerator" has invested in a number of drinks brands – beer and spirits – and floated on the ASX in 2019. More recently, it has been looking to sell some of the breweries within the portfolio, with Jetty Road sold to a group led by a former CUB CEO in November 2023.
Catchment Group was created by the team behind Catchment Brewing Co in Brisbane's West End after it acquired other local beer brands. Those involved in the business also own a number of hospitality venues.
Good Drinks was created by the Gage Roads team as a home for their drinks brands, a mix of those they've acquired (Matso's) and those they've created. The ASX-listed business also distributed a number of imported brands, including Miller and San Miguel.
Tribe started out in Smeaton Grange when the owners rebranded contract brewing operation BrewPack. In 2019, they opened a far larger production facility in Goulburn where they produced a range of beverages for others as well as their own beer brands. These included Stockade Brew Co and two acquired brands: Mornington Peninsula Brewery and Wilde Gluten Free Beer. The business went into administration in early 2023, owing millions of dollars, before exiting administration under new owners.
Formed by Sydney craft breweries Wayward and Batch in October 2022, Local Drinks Collective sells the beer, seltzer and hop water brands produced by both companies. It also operates a number of venues around Sydney, including those Batch acquired from Bucket Boys, although they have since put their Marrickville bar and bottleshop on the market.
Bickford's are best known around Australia for their range of cordials but, under the VOK Beverages banner, also produce a wide range of alcoholic drinks. In 2017, they acquired fellow SA operation Vale Brewing and sibling brand Fox Hat, both of which have enjoyed ongoing success at their home state's annual beer awards. They own a third beer brand, Hobo, and in 2022 opened a new home for Vale Brewing in McLaren Vale.
Triple-1-Three are in the business of delivering good times, mainly via beer, live music and colourful pop-up activations. Beer lovers would know them best through their award-winning brewery Otherside, while they also operate live music venues Freo.Social and Mojos in Fremantle and are opening a bar at Perth Airport in late 2023. In August 2023, they acquired Nowhereman's brewpub in West Leederville and brought that brewery's team into the fold.