Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The 50 biggest breweries and craft breweries in the U.S.

On 12 March 2019, the [U.S.] Brewers Association released its annual lists of the top fifty biggest U.S. 'craft' beer companies and the top fifty biggest overall brewing companies in the U.S. ... both ranked based upon sales volumes.

The rankings do not mention the actual sales volume numbers. The BA will publish those in May 2019.

2018 Top 50 U.S Craft Brewing Companies (map)

Taking a quick look ...
  • The Nos. 1 through 4 'craft breweries are Yuengling, Sam Adams (Boston Beer), Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium.
  • Nos. 1 through 4 overall largest are Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (When did the conglomerate drop the full Anheuser-Busch InBev name?), MillerCoors, Constellation (Corona, etc.), and Heineken (Lagunitas, etc.). On that list, the highest position for a [U.S.] Brewers Association-approved 'craft' brewery is 6th, for Yuengling.
  • One Georgia 'craft' brewery is on the lists. SweetWater Brewing, of Atlanta, is at no. 14 on the 'craft' list and no. 23 overall. (YFGF is based in Georgia.)
  • Keep in mind that the BA does not define 'craft' beer.It does, however, define its membership as 'craft' breweries.
    An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer.
    • Small Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
    • Independent Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
    • Brewer Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.

    It's interesting to note that, in this iteration of its definition, the BA's decades-old requirement of "traditional" is no longer in the triad, instead replaced by the anodyne, "makes beer."
2018 Top 50 U.S Overall Brewing Companies


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