Bottoms up: Oktoberfest is cancelled, but our glasses are still full

Nothing like a sip of cold beer in the crisp autumn Munich air. Oktoberfest, the festival synonymous with beer drinking and celebrating Bavarian culture, has been cancelled  for the second year in a row, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even though we won’t be chugging drinks in Germany this fall, there are other ways to mark Oktoberfest, one of which is investing.

What is Oktoberfest? 

Oktoberfest has been around since October 12th, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig, who was later Bavaria’s King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Munich’s citizens were all invited to participate in the royal event, which took place in the fields at the city gates. Oktoberfest took place annually until 2020, when it was first cancelled due to COVID-19. 

In 2018, Oktoberfest generated an income of more than $1.42 billion (€1.2 billion) for the Bavarian capital economy1, according to data from Munich’s economic department, and in 2019, it attracted 6.3 million visitors from 45 countries2. In the same year, 7.3 million litres of beer were poured, at about $14 per litre (€11.8).

Even though the festival has been cancelled, investors are still interested in the beverage market, and we have rounded up some of the beer stocks out there for anyone interested in celebrating Oktoberfest with stocks. 

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Dating back to 1366, this Belgian beer brewing company represents over 500 beer brands. Some well-known names include Stella Artois, Budweiser and Hoegaarden, to name a few. With a market cap of $95.8 billion, it is the world’s largest brewing company.

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The Boston Beer Company

Founded in 1984, The Boston Beer Company has been brewing more than 60 styles of Samuel Adams beer, and is also the maker of brands such as Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Twisted Tea and more. The company brews its beers in the US, and is considered one of the biggest craft breweries in the country, with a market cap of $6.3 billion. 

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This Brazilian beer and soft drink maker is Brazil’s largest company, and the third-largest company in the entire southern hemisphere, with a market cap of $46.5 billion. It is a subsidiary of Interbrew International, itself a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, and operates in 14 states around the US.

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Compañía Cervecerías Unidas (CCU)

Founded in 1902, Compañía Cervecerías Unidas is a producer of beer, soft drinks, mineral and bottled water and other beverages, based in Santiago, Chile. With a market cap of $3.3 billion, CCU is Chile’s largest brewer and operates in South America. 

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While we can’t celebrate in Munich this year, we hope that Oktoberfest will return next year. In the meantime, we can enjoy a cold one and continue looking for the next investment opportunity.