Whiskey’s rich heritage and bold flavour make it an alcoholic beverage of choice, especially for alcohol connoisseurs. Whiskey is broken down into five global categories and is made with either corn, barley, or wheat. The most popular American whiskey is bourbon, which is primarily produced in the southern part of the United States. According to analysts at Technavio, the global American whiskey market, which was valued at 312.5 million liters (in terms of consumption) in 2015, is expected to reach 395.3 million liters by 2020, recording a CAGR of 4.82%. In this blog, we cover the top vendors in the market.
Key vendors in the global American whiskey market
Beam Suntory has evolved into one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, with centuries of product development, innovation and proven experience building successful global brands. Beam Suntory has the industry’s most extensive whiskey portfolio spanning the five global whisky categories: American, Japanese, Canadian, Scotch and Irish whiskies. Its brands include Jim Beam, Bookers, and Knob Creek.
Brown-Forman employs more than 4,600 people worldwide with about 1,300 of them located in Louisville, Kentucky. Brown-Forman, one of the largest American-owned spirits and wine companies and among the top 10 largest global spirits companies, sells its brands in countries around the world and has offices in cities across the globe. In all, Brown-Forman has more than 25 brands in its portfolio of wines and spirits.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo produces brands from more than 200 sites in over 30 countries. Its export-led International Supply Centre (ISC) employs over 4,000 people across more than 55 sites in Scotland, England, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.
Gruppo Campari, founded in 1860, is a leading player in the global branded beverage industry with a portfolio counting more than 50 premium and super premium brands, that spans three main segments: spirits, wines and soft drinks. The Group is today the 6th largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, and its products are marketed and distributed in more than 190 countries in the world.
America’s largest family-owned and operated distilled spirits producer and marketer, Heaven Hill Brands has grown beyond its traditional roots as a Bourbon distiller to become the country’s seventh largest overall distilled spirits producer and marketer with a portfolio of well-known, innovative and relevant products. In addition, Heaven Hill has seen its export business grow significantly with products now shipped to over 60 countries worldwide. Heaven Hill remains the world’s second largest holder of Bourbon Whiskey and produces some of the most successful distilled spirits brands in the U.S.
Other prominent vendors
Alexandrion Group Romania
Alexandrion is the largest producer of alcoholic drinks in Romania. Founded in 1994 by Nawaf Salameh, Alexandrion today has an active presence locally and internationally, with two production units in Romania. The company’s products include: Alexandrion, Brâncoveanu, Cava d’Oro, Kreskova, Alexander, Red Bowler scotch whiskey and 20 other brands of brandy and spirits.
Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company
Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company is a brewery and distillery based in Lexington, Kentucky founded in 1999 by Pearse Lyons, the president and founder of animal nutrition company Alltech. Alltech entered the beverage industry with the introduction of their Kentucky Ale. In 2012, the company opened its distillery and developed a line of spirits including Pearse Lyons Reserve, a malt whiskey, Bluegrass Sundown, a bourbon-infused coffee drink, and Town Branch Bourbon.
Kirin Brewing Company
Kirin Company, Limited is an integrated beverages company. It is a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings Company, Limited. Its major operating units include Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Mercian Corporation and Kirin Beverages Company, Limited. Kirin is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu.
The Sazerac Company is a privately held alcoholic beverages company with headquarters in Louisiana. It is the largest distilling company in the United States. The products of the company and its subsidiaries include various types of whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cognac, cocktails, cordials, liqueurs, “shooters”, and wine. Sazerac also has operations in California, Maryland, Illinois, Kentucky, Canada, Maine, and New Hampshire. In 2016, Sazerac completed the purchase of the Southern Comfort brand from Brown-Forman, Inc.
Willett Distillery, also known as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), Ltd., is a private family-owned and operated company that produces various brands of bourbon and rye whiskey. The company is located in Kentucky and primarily operates as a relatively large independent bottling company. The company has remained under family ownership and operation at the same location since it was created in 1935 as the Willett Distilling Company. In addition to marketing a number of its own brands, KBD also operates as a contract bottler for various others.
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