Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The top 50 US breweries of 2008; craft beer growth

The Brewers Association (BA) —an advocacy group for small breweries in the US— has released its top 50 rankings for year 2008 for US breweries (based upon sales volume) as well as the top 50 'craft breweries', as it defines that category.

Overall, Anheuser-Busch Inbev is number one. Boston Beer, maker of Samuel Adams is the number one craft brewery, and number four overall, finishing just ahead of Yuengling.

The Brewers Association lists the top 10 craft breweries as:

  1. Boston Beer Co.
  2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  3. New Belgium Brewing Co.
  4. Spoetzl Brewery
  5. Pyramid Breweries Inc.
  6. Deschutes Brewery
  7. Matt Brewing Co.
  8. Boulevard Brewing Co.
  9. Full Sail Brewing Co.
  10. Magic Hat Brewing Co.

The 50th largest US brewery on this list is Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Montana. The 50th largest 'craft brewery' is the Saint Louis Brewery, of St. Louis, Missouri. Maryland's Flying Dog brewery ranks as 41st overall and 30th in the 'craft' category.

Overall Craft Beer Growth for 2008.

Furthermore, the BA has announced that "growth of the craft brewing industry in 2008 was 5.8% by volume and 10.5% by dollars," producing 8.6 million barrels of beer for sales of $6.3 billion. Contrast that with beer's overall growth of 0.5% and with the double-digit growth of craft beer in 2006 and 2007. The report is available at the association's website at beertown.org.

The Brewers Association releases these figures annually in anticipation of its Craft Brewers Conference, which this year will be held in Boston 21 April - 24 April. Actual sales figures and further analysis will be released in May in the association's New Brewer Magazine.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's worth pointing out that almost all those Top Ten craft breweries were beers I was seeing in almost any/every supermarket and Wal-Mart I visited out West. (Heck, some of them you could find in gas stations and convenience stores!) The lesson here may well be "do whatever you have to in order to secure a megastore-distribution account"--that seems to be the make-or-break issue, and is probably why places like Flying Dog, Stoudt's, and other potential big players stand little chance being based in regions where you won't find beers in supermarkets.


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