Top 50 Craft Brewers

Before you say anything, I know this is old news.  The list below of the Top 50 Craft Brewers based on 2009 sales was released by the Brewer’s Association in April, and these stats have been covered on more than a couple of sites.  But not here, until now.

The reason I’m posting the list here is because I keep going back to it.  I’ll read about a brewery and want to see where it is on the list, or I get to thinking about the similarities between Victory and Stone, only to realize one is much larger than the other.  Or I want to see again how Sam and the gang at Dogfish Head is actually taking over the world with weird beers.  Or to muse why Bell’s is #12 yet I can’t get it in New Jersey.  And, thanks to Mike at Thank Heaven for Beer, to wonder where the hell Yuengling is on the list (I suspect they’re over the 2 milllion barrel limit to qualify as a craft brewery, but still).  You might call it an obsession or a yardstick, but either way, I’m tired of Googling it.

So I’m parking it here.  Do you see any surprises on the list?…

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

(Based on 2009 beer sales volume)

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
2 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
3 New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
4 Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
5 Pyramid Breweries Inc. Seattle WA
6 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
7 Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
8 Magic Hat Brewing Co. Burlington VT
9 Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
10 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
11 Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
12 Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
13 Kona Brewing Co. Kailua-Kona HI
14 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
15 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
16 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
17 The Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
18 Abita Brewing Co. Abita Springs LA
19 Summit Brewing Co. Saint Paul MN
20 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
21 Shipyard Brewery Portland ME
22 New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
23 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
24 Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. Newport OR
25 Long Trail Brewing Co. Bridgewater Corners VT
26 The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
27 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
28 SweetWater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
29 Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
30 Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA
31 Flying Dog Brewing Co. Frederick MD
32 BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery Huntington Beach CA
33 Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
34 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO
35 BridgePort Brewing Co. Portland OR
36 Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Eureka CA
37 Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT
38 Stevens Point Brewing Co. Stevens Point WI
39 Mac and Jack’s Brewery Redmond WA
40 Karl Strauss Brewing Co. San Diego CA
41 The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. St. Louis MO
42 Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY
43 Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants Chattanooga TN
44 Oskar Blues Brewery Longmont CO
45 North Coast Brewing Co. Fort Bragg CA
46 Breckenridge Brewery Denver CO
47 Utah Brewers Cooperative Salt Lake City UT
48 Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Houston TX
49 Boulder Beer Co. Boulder CO
50 Bear Republic Brewing Co. Cloverdale CA

.

The other half of the list looks at all brewers in the US and sorts them by sales volume.  No real difference, except it’s fun to see Pabst in 3rd place (which surprises me a little) and a couple of really good brewers in the top 10.  It makes beer in America look like it’s headed in the right direction, even if the top 2 macrobrewers on the list dwarf the other 48.

Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies

(Based on 2009 beer sales volume)

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Anheuser-Busch InBev St. Louis MO
2 MillerCoors Brewing Co. Chicago IL
3 Pabst Brewing Co. Woodridge IL
4 D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. Pottsville PA
5 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
6 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
7 New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
8 Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc. Portland OR
9 Spoetzl Brewery (part of Gambrinus) Shiner TX
10 High Falls Brewing Co. Rochester NY
11 Minhas Craft Brewery Monroe WI
12 Pyramid Breweries (part of IBU) Seattle WA
13 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
14 F.X. Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
15 Magic Hat Brewing Co. (part of IBU) Burlington VT
16 Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
17 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
18 Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
19 Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
20 Goose Island Beer Co. Chicago IL
21 Kona Brewing Co. Kailua-Kona HI
22 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
23 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
24 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
25 Iron City Brewing Co. Pittsburgh PA
26 August Schell Brewing Co. New Ulm MN
27 The Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
28 Abita Brewing Co., L.L.C. Abita Springs LA
29 Summit Brewing Co. Saint Paul MN
30 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
31 Shipyard Brewing Co. Portland ME
32 New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
33 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
34 Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. Newport OR
35 Long Trail Brewing Co. Burlington VT
36 The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
37 Mendocino Brewing Co. Ukiah CA
38 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
39 SweetWater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
40 Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
41 Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA
42 Flying Dog Brewing Co. Frederick MD
43 BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery Huntington Beach CA
44 Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
45 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO
46 Straub Brewery Saint Marys PA
47 BridgePort Brewing Co. (part of Gambrinus) Portland OR
48 Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe Eureka CA
49 Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT
50 Stevens Point Brewery Co. Stevens Point WI

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Categories: Beer

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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31 Comments on “Top 50 Craft Brewers”

  1. Don
    June 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    This list makes me a little sad. Not one brewery from Milwaukee. Talk about the collapse of an industry. Its like looking at a list of the top 50 steel mills and realizing none of them are in Pittsburgh, or the US for that matter. Actually the only two breweries that are even located in Wisconsin on both lists are Stevens Point and New Glarus. What happened?

    • June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

      I wonder if one of the smaller guys will buy up some of that brewing capacity that’s in Milwaukee one day. It would be wonderful to see MKE resurrected as a craft brewing powerhouse. I guy can dream I guess.

      • Don
        June 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

        Agreed!

  2. Evan
    June 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I don’t like that Pyramid is still listed as a Washington Brewery. Not only have they not brewed their “beer” here for years, we don’t want to claim them.

    I never realized Boulevard was so big. We just started getting them out here, and I’ve become quite the fan

    • June 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      I was surprised by Boulevard and Deschutes, mostly because they aren’t big in New Jersey. The Pyramid thing is like saying Rolling Rock is brewed in PA – it’s now in Newark NJ thanks to InBev.

  3. Evan
    June 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    And you’re correct; Yuengling doesn’t fall under the “Craft Brewer” category. I also find it remarkable that they’re that big, and only distribute to a handful of states.

  4. June 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    You gotta get some Bell’s, Jim. They just replaced Founders down in SC as my go-to Michigan beer after some screw up with a distributor. And now I can’t even get my Oskar Blues fix anymore. Distribution systems are screwing things up for everybody.

    • Don
      June 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

      I hear you about the OB buddy! I could throw a rock and hit the brewery from here(figuratively of course) and Jim can get all the OB stuff he wants! What makes it worse is I used to have full access too. Its a mess.

    • June 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

      First off, It’ll be hard to displace Founders in my heart – I love their stuff. That said, i agree – I need some Bell’s. Our folks live in Milwaukee, so I plan to load up this summer when I’m out there. I’ve only had Two Hearted so far, and it was magically delicious.

      And I get all the Oskar Blues I want, which is good because it’s cans, but I think I’d trade for Bell’s.

      Good to see you posting here, wild man.

      • June 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

        Yeah, Founders won’t be replaced in my heart, just in my mouth. Some issue with the distributor forced them to switch, and in good ol’ SC (the whoopie cushion of the U.S.), they have to leave the state for a year before switching distributors. Red’s Rye was my old standby when Barley’s (my local) didn’t have anything on tap that I was craving. Now, Two Hearted has taken its place. It’s not a bad trade, but not one I wanted to have forced on me.

        A buddy of mine bought up all the Founders he could find when we got the bad news. It’s fun to find a Breakfast Stout hiding in the cellar once in a while. The NC border is only an hour or so away, so we’ll be bootlegging again just like the old days before too long. We used to bring back trunkloads of Dale’s before we got it down here. Good old days…

        • June 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

          Bootlegging is cool. I should make a run to PA (about an hour away) and “import” some Bell’s for myself. I just wish I had a bitchin’ Trans Am with t-tops and a cool cowboy hat.

          I also love to find a hidden gem in the boxes in the garage. The other night I pulled out a Nemesis I forgot I had. I put it back because I was just drinking, not savoring, but it’s on the radar now. Love that stuff.

  5. June 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    I live in chicago which is Yuengling free zone. Imagine my happiness that at a wdding in Maryland was all the Yuengling lager I wanted!

    • Don
      June 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

      Of course I don’t get them out here in Idaho, but Jim had some of the lager when he went to Hershey park, and said it was good in context, but probably not so great while sitting in his living room.

    • June 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

      Actually, I think Yuengling would be fine at home. I’ve been thinking about picking up a sixer as for session purposes. Normally I’d go Victory Lager, but Yuengling is a nice beer and cheaper to boot.

      • Evan
        June 25, 2010 at 10:02 am #

        Around these parts we get Full Sail’s Session line of lagers. $12/ 6pk, and they’re gooooooood. The Black Lager is one of the best I’ve had in that style, ever.

        • Don
          June 25, 2010 at 10:13 am #

          You really like their black session lager? I thought it tasted like Bud with black food coloring in it. Wasn’t real impressed. It is nice that it is cheap. I can pick it up for a buck a bottle. I haven’t tried their regular session beer. Perhaps its better.

      • Evan
        June 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

        I think it’s great, and know many who would agree. It’s a great example of a Schwarzbier in my opinion. Not supposed to be a very robust beer by any stretch of the imagination. Nice and quaffable, with a hint of toasted malts in there. Gold medal at GABF last year too

  6. June 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Not sure what the big deal is about Yuengling. Granted I haven’t tried everything they make, but the Lager and the Porter were good for the price but nothing to jump up and down about otherwise.

    Unrelated, it also looks like the Saranac people are kicking butt.

    • June 24, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

      No big deal with Yuengling, its just decent and simple beer. Their lager is a nice summer treat and comes in cans for the lake.

  7. June 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Yeah, I’d probably grab a High Life or PBR over a Yuengling – the beer that tastes like balls.

    • June 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

      Great. I just bought a 12 pack of balls (in cans).

  8. June 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    LOL! That’s pretty funny, but it begs the question as to how one knows of the flavor of balls to make such a comparison? 🙂

    This place gets real weird sometimes.

    • June 25, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      Obviously you aren’t familiar with my work…

      • Don
        June 25, 2010 at 10:18 am #

        Scott, Daniel uses profanity like other artists might use clay or oil paints. It is his true medium. So when he says a beer tastes like balls, that is out of respect for our PG rated site. I would suggest you take a trip over to Daniel’s site to see the master at work. You might want to put on a rain coat before you visit. It gets a little saucy, like sitting in the front row of a Gallagher show…

  9. June 25, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Don, I might have to quote that. He might want to put on the other kind of rain coat as well, if you know what I mean…

    • June 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

      Ha ha! I love you, Daniel! In a totally hetero way…not that there’s anything wrong with that…

      • Don
        June 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

        Watch out Daniel. Jim has a Man Crush on you…

        • June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

          Don’t tell him Don, you’ll scare him off!!

  10. June 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    I thought he was being literal! 😉 …not that there’s anything wrong with it in case he was.

  11. June 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Now Jim can have the taste of balls without having to drink Yuengling or take yoga classes.

    • June 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

      Ho boy.

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