Barbara Kipfer & Robert Chapman, Dictionary of American Slang, fourth edition (2007) offers the following definition of wife-beater:
wife-beater n A sleeveless undershirt worn by men * Fr[om] regarding this as the attire of a male would do this
Kipfer & Chapman doesn't provide a date of origin for the term, but it doesn't appear in the third edition of Dictionary of American Slang (1995), suggesting that it became popular fairly recently.
Tom Dalzell & Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2015) has this entry:
wife-beater noun 1 a sleeveless tee-shirt or undershirt US [Examples from 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2001 omitted.] 2 any alcoholic drink, especially beer UK: Wales [Example from 2004 omitted.]
Th earliest instance in Google Books search results of wife-beater as an alcoholic drink is in David Huggins, The Big Kiss (1996):
I needed a drink and stopped for a vodka in a grim thirties boozer at the end of a row of shops that had been cur adrift at the edge of a housing estate. The shops read like a list of idle pleasure—Tobacconist, OffLicence, Bookmaker's and Video rental store. There was Sky TV in the pub and the bar was awash with Premier League football shirts. I pushed my way to the bar through a group of Crystal Palace supporters drinking their sugary pints of Wife-beater. I bought my vodka and sat by a bleary window that gave onto a world of concrete and tarmac.
The first Google Books matches for wifebeater in the shirt sense are from 2000 and 2001—much later than the earliest newspaper instance cited in Dalzell & Partridge (above):
Preppy is in, grunge is out. Lycra is out, vinyl is in. Bowling shirts are in, wife beaters are out. —The Boston Globe, p. 35, 28 September 1994.
I first heard "wifebeater" used as a slang term for a plain white cotton sleeveless undershirt (a garment that I would have called an undershirt or—if it was thick enough—a tank top) about eight years ago, when my son returned to California from his first semester of college in Kentucky. Evidently, wifebeater was the standard term for the garment among college kids in Lexington.
Considering how tone-deaf and potentially offensive use of the word wifebeater in a jocular sense might seem to be, both slang senses of the word emerged surprisingly recently—well after the dawn of the supposed era of political correctness.
So far, no one has posted an answer that takes up the suggestion raised by Kit Z. Fox and StoneyB in comments beneath the poster's question that the connection between the name Stella and the word wifebeater might involve the movie version of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). For much of the movie Marlon Brando's character, Stanley Kowalski, wears various T-shirts and undershirts—including wifebeaters, in various stages of uncleanness and decrepitude.
In one of the most memorable (and most mimicked) scenes in the movie, Stanley, standing on the pavement outside and looking up at a door and a window on the second floor, repeatedly bellows to his wife Stella DuBois, who has locked him out of the apartment, "Stella! Stella! Stella!" The tableau actually occurs twice in the movie, once at the very end. Stanley is a frightening character—moody, unpredictable, and prone to bouts of extreme drunkenness and/or violence. We don't ever see Stanley attack Stella, and perhaps he never would—but it's hard to say that anything is really off-limits to him. (He certainly assaults Stella's sister, Blanche.)
In any case, millions and millions of people are familiar with the movie—or at least with the "Stella! Stella!" monologue—and someone who was familiar with wifebeater as slang for the undershirt that Stanley sometimes wore in the movie might have connected Stella DuBois with Stella Artois and wifebeater with Stella DuBois.
On the other hand, if wifebeater as a shirt is not attested earlier than 1994 and if wifebeater as a drink is attested no later than 1996, that gives the term very little time to have jumped from the United States to the UK in the shirt sense and then to have transformed itself into the drink sense before dying out (in the UK) in the shirt sense. On the whole, the likelier scenario is that the U.S. and UK senses of the term emerged independently of one another, with no influence by A Streetcar Named Desire on UK usage.