The 5 Best Alcoholic Beverage Brands of 2013

Consultancy firm Interbrand annually bestows top honors to the best global brands. Here are the top alcoholic beverage brands for 2013:

Company

Brands (Ranking) in the Top 100

Percent Change in Brand Value Since 2012

Anheuser-Busch InBev
(NYSE: BUD  )

Budweiser (31)
Corona (93)

6%
5%

Brown-Forman
(NYSE: BF-B  )

Jack Daniel's (86)

7%

Diageo
(NYSE: DEO  )

Johnnie Walker (82)
Smirnoff (95)

10%
5%

Sources: Interbrand, Yahoo! Finance.

Impressively, four of the five brands mentioned above (the exception being Corona) have secured spots on the Best Global Brands list since its 2001 inception. Both Budweiser and Smirnoff brands have lost ground on the list since 2001, with Budweiser slipping from No. 26 to its current No. 31 and Smirnoff plunging from No. 78 to No. 90. By comparison, both Jack Daniel's and Johnnie Walker brands have soared, climbing four spots and seven spots, respectively, since the list's inception. Corona didn't make the list until 2010, when it debuted at No. 85. The popular beer brand currently sits at No. 93.

Jack Daniel's and Johnnie Walker brands also enjoyed the largest jump in value during the past year. Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel's increased 7%, and Diageo's Johnnie Walker brand value climbed 10%. Spirits maker Diageo plans to significantly ramp up its Scotch whiskey production over the next several years due to a global thirst for whiskey coupled with staggering emerging market growth. Jack Daniel's is also clearly resonating with thirsty consumers worldwide. The brand grew 32% in Latin America in 2012. And new offerings like its Tennessee Honey Whiskey have helped the brand gain traction with both women and millennials. 

Do the best alcohol brands equal punch-drunk stockholders?
Even though the three companies behind these brands have returned stellar profits to their shareholders during their publically traded lives, none of these companies have edged out the S&P 500's 23% year-to-date return. In fact, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brown-Forman, and Diageo have returned 17%, 15%, and 11%, respectively, so far this year. 

But when we look at performance over a longer span of time, all three of these beer and spirits makers have outperformed the overall stock market.

BUD Total Return Price Chart

BUD Total Return Price data by YCharts.

Brown-Forman, Diageo, and AB InBev returned 153%, 125%, and 109%, respectively, over the past four years. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 returned 71% during that same period.

Foolish takeaway
The companies behind these blockbuster brands trace their histories back for well over a century apiece. In addition to their respective brand strengths, the longevity and fortitude of these beverage giants has helped them gain immense traction worldwide. It also appears to be quenching the thirst of their long-term shareholders.

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