Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Top Ten American Craft Brewers

Just thought this might interest the American beer fans amongst you. The top Yankee 10, based on beer sales volumes (2007) are:

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

Now of course most of these aren't small by UK standards as a craft brewery in the US is defined as producing less than 2 million US barrels. At 1.45 million UK barrels, that's quite big! We don't see enough of some of these breweries over here and as they are so big, how about it boys? While the breweries maybe get more interesting below the top ten, there is still some good stuff to go at and its all in these dinky little bottles too!

The top ten overall is interesting too:

1 Anheuser- Busch Inc.
2 Miller Brewing Co.
3 Coors Brewing Co.
4 Pabst Brewing Co.
5 Boston Beer Co.
6 D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc.
7 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
8 New Belgium Brewing Co. Inc.
9 High Falls Brewing Co.
10 Spoetzl Brewery

The big boys still lead of course, but the American Beer Market is getting quite diverse, at least for those who wish to seek something different, which regrettably, most don't.


Tyson said...

Yes it would be good to see some of these on our shores. However, considering we struggle to get some of the decent German stuff, it seems unlikely at present.

Jeff Frane said...

In the first list, it might be worth noting that #9, Full Sail, is an employee-owned company. I admit being surprised not to see Widmer or Red Hook on the list instead of Deschutes, Full Sail and Boulevard. I'd be interested to see the numbers.

Nigel said...

Jeff, I suspect that the Red Hook and Widmer figures aren't there because they're partly owned by Anheuser-Busch.

Tandleman said...

Think you must be right Nigel. they are 11th and 12th overall but don't appear on the craft list.

Here's the top 50 craft:

11 Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co.
12 Magic Hat Brewing Co. & Performing Arts Center
13 Anchor Brewing Co.
14 Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
15 Shipyard Brewing Co.
16 Summit Brewing Co.
17 Abita Brewing Co.
18 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
19 Brooklyn Brewery
20 Stone Brewing Co.
21 Rogue Ales / Oregon Brewing
22 Long Trail Brewing Co.
23 New Glarus Brewing Co.
24 Kona Brewing Co.
25 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
26 Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
27 Great Lakes Brewing Co./Ohio
28 The Lagunitas Brewing Co.
29 Flying Dog Brewery
30 Sweetwater Brewing Co.
31 Bridgeport Brewing Co.
32 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants
33 Odell Brewing Co.
34 BJ's Restaurant & Brewery
35 Victory Brewing Co.
36 Mac and Jack's Brewery
37 Lost Coast Brewery and Café
38 Big Sky Brewing Co.
39 Pete's Brewing Co.
40 Otter Creek Brewing Co.
41 Karl Strauss Breweries
42 Breckenridge Brewery
43 Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
44 Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
45 Boulder Beer Co.
46 North Coast Brewing Co. Inc.
47 McMenamins
48 Utah Brewers Cooperative
49 Capital Brewing Co.
50 Blue Point Brewing Co.

and the top 50 overall

11 Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
12 Redhook Ale Brewery
13 Pyramid Breweries Inc.
14 Matt Brewing Co.
15 Minhas Craft Brewery
16 Deschutes Brewery, Inc.
17 Iron City Brewing Co.
18 Boulevard Brewing Co.
19 Full Sail Brewing Co.
20 Harpoon Brewery
21 Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co.
22 Magic Hat Brewing Co. & Performing Arts Center
23 Anchor Brewing Co.
24 Bell's Brewery, Inc.
25 Goose Island Beer Co.
26 August Schell Brewing Co.
27 Shipyard Brewing Co.
28 Summit Brewing Co.
29 Mendocino Brewing Co.
30 Abita Brewing Co.
31 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
32 Brooklyn Brewery
33 Stone Brewing Co.
34 Rogue Ales / Oregon Brewing
35 Long Trail Brewing Co.
36 New Glarus Brewing Co.
37 Kona Brewing Co.
38 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
39 Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
40 Great Lakes Brewing Co./Ohio
41 The Lagunitas Brewing Co.
42 Flying Dog Brewery
43 Sweetwater Brewing Co.
44 Bridgeport Brewing Co.
45 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants
46 Gluek Brewing Co.
47 Straub Brewery
48 Odell Brewing Co.
49 BJ's Restaurant & Brewery
50 Victory Brewing Co.

John Clarke said...

Lordy, lordy. Thanks to Robinsons employing Steve Holt of Vertical Drinks fame (amongst much else) bottled Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is now available to Robinson's licensees.

brendan said...

There are some really good breweries in that list. I am sorry you aren't getting access to too many of them. But the majority of Americans can't get half that list and they are more geographicly proximate. Like someone from New Glarus said the best beer, like the best politics is local.

Jeff Frane said...

Based on the complete list, I'd say Widmer and Red Hook were left off the first list because they no longer meet the "craft" criteria. Too big. I don't think ownership factors in. After all, Spoetzl (Shiner) and Bridgeport are both owned by Gambrinus, although they're listed as "craft" brewers.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

So if Craft beer is defined by barrels brewed, and Boston Beer Co sells more than D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc, but D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc don't figure on the Craft Brewer list (because they brew to much, but Boston Beer Co do because they don't brew to much) does that mean that D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc are brewing a lot more than they are selling?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Oh and by the way Hhhhmmm Deschutes.

Bushwhacker said...

I'd like to see a few more of them over here. Only went to the US once, in 1997, and had the good fortune to tour the Matt brewery and then get almost VIP treatment because I was actually interested in the beer itself. Naturally, it seemed to be available in every supermarket in quite a wide area.
They were quite proud of having a long history, dating back to the late 1800s, I believe. Didn't like to point out that my local brewer pre-dated them by 200 years, but then the "Saranac" beers are much better than Sheps IMHO. :o(

Kevin said...


Yuengling is not considered craft beer because there flagship brand is not an all-malt beer (Yuengling Lager uses adjucts.)


Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

So craft beer is not just defined by barrels brewed then. Odd definer, a bit rough on anyone who thinks they can brew a 'craft' Belgian. There's many a fantastic beer brewed including adjuncts and a whole lot of dire all malt brews.

Jeff said...

Living in the US, my favorite American craft breweries are Bell's, Dogfish Head, and Great Lakes.

CAMRA member in KCMO said...

Sorry that you cannot get my favorite Boulevard Pale Ale in the U.K. The Boulevard beers are only distributed in the middle part of the U.S. You might appreciate knowing that all of their bottled beers are bottled conditioned, i.e. RAIB. In addition, they have recently come out with an artisian, Smokestack series of strong beers with a Double IPA and three Belgian styles. You can check it all out at www.blvdbeer.com. Party on.