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Breweries with most no. of beers reviewed on BA vs Sales Volume Rank

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by AmitC, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012

    The thought just came into my mind as i came across this list of largest craft breweries in USA by sales volume. The list surprised me a lot. There were a lot of names (on top) that i have not had anything from yet (I am a beginner, novice what you want to call me). I then decided to see how popular a brewery's beers really are in the craft world (one measure is the beers reviewed - it is flawed but it does provide a lot of food for thought). A lot of surprises here as well. I knew, though, that Dogfish Head will be somewhere on top - and it come right at number 1. Phenomenal stuff Sam. Even when i had not heard this word called 'Craft Beer' i did hear these names Dogfish Head, 60 Minute, 120 minute etc.

    Got the list from here (I am not sure how authentic this is - but i found this on Stone's wikipedia listing):

    http://www.brewersassociation.org/p...ociation-releases-2010-top-50-breweries-lists

    Please (BA veterans) let me know your thoughts on the list and how do you experienced BAs see the data. Include some breweries that are not in the original top 50 sales volume list 2010. I have included few that are a surprise exclusion to me - Founders, FFF etc.

    For a better view of data:

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B9mwxAdTmjfSRkV6LTliMkdXSzA


    Sales Volume Rank (2010) Brewing Company City State BA Total Beer Reviews BA Review Volume Rank (As of 1/1/2013)
    1 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA 32,767 1
    11 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE 32,767 2
    2 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA 27,437 3
    14 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA 26,218 4
    8 Bell's Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI 23,916 5
    25 Rogue Ales Newport OR 22,751 6
    29 Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA 19,447 7
    17 Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA 16,449 8
    16 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY 13,773 9
    3 New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO 13,369 10
    28 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD 11,627 11
    22 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH 11,425 12
    5 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR 10,645 13
    40 North Coast Brewing Co. Inc. Fort Bragg CA 10,304 14
    7 Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY 9,306 15
    10 Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO 8,385 16
    21 New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI 8,090 17
    36 Oskar Blues Brewery Longmont CO 8,089 18
    43 Bear Republic Brewing Co. Cloverdale CA 8,055 19
    23 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA 7,466 20
    9 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA 6,920 21
    26 Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA 6,028 22
    15 Abita Brewing Co. Abita Springs LA 5,194 23
    18 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR 4,900 24
    42 The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. Maplewood MO 4,494 25
    19 Shipyard Brewing Co. Portland ME 4,325 26
    45 Breckenridge Brewery Denver CO 4,255 27
    33 Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO 3,998 28
    4 Spoetzl Brewery* Shiner TX 3,590 29
    12 Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co. Juneau AK 3,547 30
    13 Long Trail Brewing Co. Bridgewater Corners VT 3,546 31
    27 Sweetwater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA 3,262 32
    39 Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT 2,835 33
    37 Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY 2,596 34
    20 Summit Brewing Co. St. Paul MN 2,573 35
    38 Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Eureka CA 2,517 36
    49 Real Ale Brewing Co. Blanco TX 2,118 37
    48 Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Houston TX 2,080 38
    34 BridgePort Brewing Co.* Portland OR 1,822 39
    46 Utah Brewers Cooperative Salt Lake City UT 1,581 40
    32 Stevens Point Brewery Co. Stevens Point WI 1,535 41
    35 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO 1,491 42
    50 Ninkasi Brewing Co. Eugene OR 1,481 43
    30 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA 1,196 44
    47 Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants Chattanooga TN 1,196 45
    44 Karl Strauss Brewing Co. San Diego CA 894 46
    31 BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. Huntington Beach CA 285 47
    41 Mac and Jack's Brewery Redmond WA 140 48
    6 Independent Brewers United (IBU)* Burlington VT 49
    24 Kona Brewery LLC* Kailua-Kona HI 50
    Some obvious Omissions
    NA Founders Brewing Company Grand Rapids MI 20,217 Would enter at 7th
    NA Three Floyds Munster IN 14,164 Would enter at 7th
    NA Hill Farmstead Greensboro Bend VT 2,804
    NA Alpine Beer Company Alpine CA 3,140
    thecraftculture likes this.
  2. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Keep in mind two breweries could sell the same amount of beer, but one could have a lot more reviews due to broader distribution. Some breweries go broad and others are content to stay within a more narrow range of cities/states.
    beertunes likes this.
  3. pwoody11

    pwoody11 Savant (445) Delaware Nov 23, 2009

    Too lazy to go through the whole thing, but I find DFH's numbers interesting. I just typed a two paragraph hypothesis about this deviation, but it didn't look as clear as it did in my brain. Anyone care to explain?
  4. Xul

    Xul Advocate (500) California May 18, 2008

    Not sure where you got the numbers for total reviews, but those two are off. 32767 is the max value of a signed 16-bit integer, and both breweries have a total number of reviews exceeding that.
  5. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012

    Of course i know that.. but how do you explain Dogfish topping SN and Sam Adams (with probably better distribution) and SAM Adams having a huge line up of beers?
  6. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Because DFH appeals to the geeks here more, who actually do geeky things like review a beer online, and because Sam Adams is mainstream craft. The mainstream craft consumer is very different than the active person here on Beer Advocate.
  7. Xul

    Xul Advocate (500) California May 18, 2008

    Also, other totals seem to be off. Sierra Nevada beers have a total of 32,468 reviews...where did you get those figures?

    Edit: Just saw that it's the "Beer Reviews" field on the brewery page. If you total up the number of reviews for all of their beers (copy and paste the active and archived lists into Excel and use the sum function), it's very different. Not sure how the BA code is calculating that "Beer Reviews" total, but it seems to be wrong.
  8. Since the list was based on sales volume for the top 50, no obvious omissions, as those breweries obviously are not in the top 50.

    "Some obvious Omissions
    NA Founders Brewing Company Grand Rapids MI 20,217 Would enter at 7th
    NA Three Floyds Munster IN 14,164 Would enter at 7th
    NA Hill Farmstead Greensboro Bend VT 2,804
    NA Alpine Beer Company Alpine CA 3,140 "
  9. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012

    Very good catch.. Numbers are from each breweries profile page on BA.. yes i did go to each breweries page and collected the numbers.

    I guess BAs should look into the changing the properties of that field.

    i was wondering how on earth could numbers be the exact same... (I then thought may be a great coincidence that numbers match when i decided to pull them up.. huh)

    Correcting the two numbers..

    1 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA 36,328 1
    11 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE 33,268 2
  10. kingofhop

    kingofhop Savant (430) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    Yemen. You mean to tell me that some folks here on BA are just fanboys and Internet fashion followers? Heaven forbid.
  11. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012


    May be by sales volume they are not yet in... but in 2 years may be they migt have broken into top 50, who knows.. my idea was to list the popular ones i was disappointed not to see there.

    I am requesting others to do the same. Founders and FFF do enter at 7th and 10th in the review list.
  12. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Possibly some self-styled connoisseurs consider themselves off-centered people, and so therefore seek out off-centered beers? ;)
  13. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012

    I consider myself a bit off-centered and may be you are too, according to me. To the general public most BAs enjoying craft beers are some way or the other off-centered.

    'self-styled connoisseur' - for your beer bro.. i thought here at BA we respected each other
    kingofhop likes this.
  14. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Well, there is a winky smile in that short post so it hopefully comes across with humor.
  15. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012


    :oops:
    yemenmocha likes this.
  16. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    When I review the same beer 3-4 times on BA does it count towards the total # of reviews? I've reviewed some IPA's on draft, cask, bottle, and can for example. I wonder if that phenomenon skews things.
  17. kingofhop

    kingofhop Savant (430) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    We do respect each other, AmitC. I've never seen the love expressed for each other as I have on this site, brother.
    AmitC likes this.
  18. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012


    Good point. May be.
  19. Founders did make the top 50 in 2011, at around #49 or 50. I see this List was from 2010.
  20. AmitC

    AmitC Savant (495) New York Sep 21, 2012

  21. AmitC likes this.
  22. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (530) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Hmmm...I would like to find the second section of that BA list with percentage of total sales included. Been looking for that data with no luck. Curious about how big a bite craft is really taking out of the big boys' bottom line...been looking for that kind of data, been unlucky so far.

    Also...contract brewing and acquisitions. Does ABI now get credit for Goose Island volume? I know Boston Beer brews and bottles for other folks, and Stevens Point packages for Capitol and others. Pretty sure Harpoon does too and was kinda surprised seeing Harpoon that far up on the lists. Who gets the volume in the case of co-manufacturing agreements and such? I think there are quite a large number of these types of agreements where a brewer can't afford capital. Might not matter that much in the bigger picture, I guess, maybe nitpicking. Be fun to see an ABI annual report if things are broken out by division, or whatever they call their acquisitions.
  23. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,035) Washington Sep 24, 2007

  24. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (530) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Thanks, beertunes. I will dig into the Association website some more. Looks like the demographics are mighty interesting as well. Six percent - higher than I would have guessed. but still not a huge market share and heavily influenced by market location. Might have another data source at work, but would have to be super careful using it...I like making money to buy beer...
  25. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,035) Washington Sep 24, 2007

  26. mwilbur

    mwilbur Savant (375) Minnesota Dec 2, 2007

    Interesting stuff, but if we are going to make some kind of scientific inquiry the data should be obtained at the same time, not 3 years apart. Off the cuff, I would think that sales volume is a better measure of a brewery's brewing capacity and distribution ability (or desire) and that review volume is more a reflection of quality. But certainly these things are intertwined. It will be harder to make and distribute a lot of beer if it isn't quality beer (although not impossible a la MBC) and likewise it will be harder to get a lot of reviews if you have very small distribution. Perhaps a ratio of review volume to sales volume (to clarify: not ranking) would better correlate with brewery quality. However, as a brewery expands, increases distribution, and enters into the large-crafting (mainstream craft) beer realm (e.g. Sam Adams), I'm sure BA interest wanes and reviews will subsequently tail off (especially in proportion to volume). Does this mean that the quality tails off? Honestly, probably not. So, perhaps sales volume is simply more representative of general population interest/like and review volume is more representative of BA population interest/like.
    LeRose likes this.
  27. The problem is figuring exactly where the lost sales went or where the gains came from. AB and MC both were down about 3% each in total barrelage from 2010 to 2011 (2012 figures are not in yet). Craft was up, but so was Crown (Corona and other imports), the Mike's FMB's and Yuengling. And AB and MC both often note that they've lost some beer drinkers to wine and spirits.

    AB and MC together were down 5 million barrels - yet craft's total increase only amounted to about 1.3m bbl.

    See right sidebar for a variety of stats at Beer Insights

    According to the Brewers Assoc. footnote for Anheuser-Busch:

    "*Top 50 U.S. Overall Brewing Companies notes: (a) includes Bass, Beck's, Busch, Goose Island, Landshark, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and Wild Blue brands. Does not include partially owned Coastal, Kona, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands"

    Within the industry, barrelage is traditionally listed under the owner/marketer of the brand, not the "contractor" brewery (excise taxes, TTB COLA's., etc are a different matter).

    The big variation with barrelage figures for Boston Beer Co. are a result not of their contract brewing (they don't do very much of it at this point- now that their initial deal with Diageo to continue making their FMB's is expired) but the fact that the Brewers Association does not count BBC's own FMB's (HardCore, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard and now that Travelers Shandy) whereas other industry sources and the BBC itself do.
  28. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (530) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    jesskidden - thanks for the information. I work in R&D for a pretty big fruit and juice company and see marketing data every quarter when they share it...I am always amazed about ho convoluted it gets.

    And thanks for the clarification on who owns the barrelage. That varies with us depending on how we farm stuff out, so I am told anyway. Doesn't make sense to me - still our product - but if we sell the ingredients it counts differently.

    Yes - hard to figure if the lost volume went to craft or elsewhere.

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