That beer you’re drinking from that cool independent brewery may not be what you think. Another very cool data visualization from Philip H. Howard and Ginger Ogilvie at Michigan State University called Concentration in the US Beer Industry. Similar to their last project visualizing the soft drink industry in The Illusion of Diversity, this new project shows the breweries and individual beers owned by the top 13 companies.
There is an appearance of great diversity in the number of brands and varieties of beer sold in the United States. The beer industry, however, is dominated by a relatively small number of firms.
AB InBev owns, co-owns or distributes more than 36 brands, for example, while MillerCoors controls at least 24 more. MillerCoors also brews Metropoulos & Company’s products under contract (thus the company that controls Pabst and 21 other brands is a “virtual” beer company).
Only meant to show which companies own which beer brands, the three bubble sizes are used to show parent companies, brewery brands and individual beer brands. They designed a separate treemap visualization to show market share.