Michelob was the fastest growing brand according to a new report.

By Mike Pomranz
June 04, 2021
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Over the past decade, beer diehards may have switched to hazy IPAs and barrel-aged stouts, but for casual drinkers, beer will always have a place as the cold beverage of choice during a hot day at the beach. And by aligning themselves with those vacation vibes, Corona has pushed its way to the top of the brewing world as the most valuable brand—at least according to a new list.

Brand Finance—which bills itself as "the world's leading brand valuation consultancy"—has released its annual report on the world's top 50 most valuable beer brands, and once again, Corona took the first spot, despite Brand Finance suggesting that Corona lost over $2 billion in value over the past year. The rest of the top 10 are Heineken, Budweiser, Victoria, Bud Light, Snow, Modelo Especial, Kirin, Miller Lite, and Asahi.

Bottles of Corona Extra beer are on a shelf in a store.
Credit: SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

Importantly, these figures are "valuations," and aren't directly based on beer sales, but instead attempt to quantify "the present value of earnings specifically related to brand reputation." With that in mind, the report suggests that Corona's success stems from being "the bestselling imported drink in the United States, with an additional presence in over 120 countries" as well as recently becoming "one of the fastest growing grocery products in the United Kingdom," though the report also mentions that "its similarity in name to coronaviruses" could have also contributed to Corona's recent dip.

Meanwhile, a brand most Americans will be familiar with–Michelob–was highlighted as the fastest growing brand, jumping up 13 spots to number 21 in the rankings after seeing its value increase 39% to $1.2 billion. "Over the last year, the brand has cemented its position as an innovative presence within the sector through its digital-based 'Ultra Beer Run' campaign–an initiative that offers free beer as a reward for exercising," Brand Finance notes.

But overall, the report found that, as it was for many industries, 2020 was a tough year for beer with the 50 most valuable brands shedding 16 percent of their worth. "The pandemic has undoubtedly forced change upon the world's beer brands, which have grappled with consumers' significant lifestyle changes brought about by the limitations on social interaction," Richard Haigh, Brand Finance's managing director, stated. "Brands with a strong existing reputation and good levels of familiarity amongst consumers are those most primed to weather the storm."

Speaking of weather, as one of the world's best known beach beers, Corona would seem primed for a comeback as people resume traveling. Plus, the brand now offers hard seltzer, so that's got to increase their value, right?