Let's kick off with older of the two tables, wjhich shows the state of play back in the mid-1970s, when the Big Six was a boout at its peak.
Between them the Big Six owned getting on for 40,000 on licences. Now I'm not sure if that's only pubs. I suspect not. I have a feeling, given the size of the total, that there are other non-pub on licences included.
The Big Six weren't all roughly equal. Bass Charrington was significantly bigger than anyone else. They owned more pubs and their share of beer sales was larger. They had almost double the mnarket share of the two smallest, Watney and Scottish & Newcastle. The latter owned fewer pubs than the others because much of the trade in Scotland was nominally free. Though, in practice, most pubs North of the border were tied through loans.
Significantly, the Big Six between them owned almost three times as many pubs as all the other breweries combined. It should really be the Big Seven, but CAMRA generally left them out as they didn't have a tied estate. They had a diifferent model to all the other breweries, providing bottled Guinness for other breweries' pubs.
|Pub ownership 1974 - 1976|
|Bewery||Uk Breweries||% beer sales||On Licences (1974)||% On Licences|
|Scottish & Newcastle||3||11||1,678||1.48%|
|Total Big Seven||58||91||38,331||33.7%|
|“The Brewing Industry, a Guide to Historical Records” by Lesley Richmond & Alison Turton.|
|No. breweries and % beer sales 1976|
|No. on licences 1974|
The situation today looks very different, with most of the large brewing groups owning no pubs. The exception being Heineken. Though two-thirds of the tied houses belong to just three breweries: Mastons, Greene King and Heineken. The latter two have estates approaching those of the BIG Six in size.
|Brewery-owned pubs in 2017|
|Adnams & Co PLC||49|
|Anheuser Busch Inbev UK||0|
|Arkell's Brewery Ltd||96|
|George Bateman & Son Ltd||48|
|Daniel Batham & Son Ltd||11|
|S. A. Brain & Co Ltd||203|
|C & C Group PLC||0|
|Camerons Brewery Ltd.||58|
|Carlsberg UK Ltd.||0|
|Elgood & Sons Ltd||28|
|Everards Brewery Ltd||172|
|Felinfoel Brewery Co Ltd.||73|
|Fuller. Smith & Turner PLC||373|
|Greene King PLC||3,048|
|Hall & Woodhouse Ltd||188|
|Harvey & Sons (Lewes) Ltd.||48|
|Joseph Holt Ltd.||128|
|Hook Noiton Brewery Co. Ltd.||36|
|Hydes Brewery Ltd.||53|
|J W Lees & Co. (Brewers) Ltd||141|
|Liberation Group (Butcombe)||69|
|McMullen & Sons Ltd.||125|
|Molson Coors (UK) Brewers||0|
|J.C. & R.H. Palmer Ltd||54|
|Frederlc Robinson Ltd||261|
|St Austell Brewery Co. Ltd||176|
|Shepherd Neame Ltd.||314|
|Samuel Smith Old Brewery||300|
|Timothy Taylor & Co.Ltd.||20|
|T & R Theakston Ltd||0|
|Daniel Thwaites PLC||248|
|Wadworth & Co Ltd.||224|
|BBPS Statistical Handbook 2018, pages 70 - 71.|
Bass Charrington once owned almost as many pubs as the total number of brewery-owned pubs today.