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Became the world's second largest brewery company (after Anheuser-Busch) before bothering with a public flotation. Although it spent its early years growing by taking over and emasculating or closing down small Belgian brewers, and although it produces almost all of Belgium's worst beer, it has adopted a policy of becoming "the world's local brewer" and maintaining the distinctions between different beers rather than producing a standardised industrial product, making it one of the least bad people to have your favourite brewery taken over by.

In its home market, it produces these brands: The many foreign brands owned include Labatts, and it has at the time of posting a bid under way for Bass which would make it the UK's largest brewer, meaning that the French would own Britain's water and the Belgians its beer; they should just be thankful it is that way round.

Update: In 2004 Interbrew merged with the Brazilian company AmBev to form InBev, the world's biggest brewer by volume; the company now offer four globally distributed beer brands - Becks, Stella Artois, Leffe and Brahma and a couple of hundred others with local distribution in various parts of the world.


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