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SABMiller was created in 2002 when SAB (South African Breweries) acquired Miller Brewing from Altria Group. SAB is a global brewer with operations dating back to 1895. Miller was the second largest US brewer after Anheuser-Busch. Altria is the new name adopted by the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company in 2003. In 2007, SABMiller announced a joint venture with MolsonCoors under which MolsonCoors products will be marketed by SABMiller. The JV will be known as MillerCoors with headquarters in Chicago, IL.


South African Breweries was founded in 1895 in South Africa. It began global expansion efforts in 1990 and acquired Miller Brewing in 2002.

Miller Brewing

Miller Brewing company was founded in Milwaukee, WI, in 1855. In 1966, surviving family members sold a contolling interest to WR Grace, one of the oldest US chemical companies. Under Grace, Miller Beer was marketed as "The Champaign of Bottled Beer." In 1969, the Miller Co. was sold to Phillip Morris, who undertook a major marketing program, as had been common in consumer products like cigarettes. Specifically they introduced Miller Lite, which grew to be the first successful low calorie (less filling) beer. A major battle for market share ensued especially with leader Anheuser-Busch, who responded with Bud Light.

Eventually the battle for beer market share settled down with Anheuser-Busch the leader with 48.2% (128 MM bbls) and SAB/Miller including MolsonCoors in a solid second place with 29.5% in 2007.

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