Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Brewers of 2013

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder Aug 23, 1996 Colorado
    Staff Moderator Site Editor Fest Crew Subscriber

    Boulder, CO - March 31, 2014 - The Brewers Association — the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume and the craft brewer definition in 2013¹. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 38 were small and independent craft brewing companies.

    "In 2013, craft breweries reached new all-time highs in production volume and dollar sales," said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. "Beer lovers continue to demand high-quality, fuller-flavored and local beers from small and independent craft breweries."

    (Link: or click to expand.)
    ¹The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association in 2013: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewer's brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

    Note: The Brewers Association updated the craft brewer definition in 2014. The new definition can be found on the Brewers Association website and will be used to collect 2014 data, published in 2015.

    2Top 50 U.S. Overall Brewing Companies notes: (a) includes Bass, Beck’s, Bud Light, Budweiser, Busch, Goose Island, Landshark, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and Wild Series brands. Does not include partially owned Coastal, Craft Brew Alliance, Fordham, Kona, Old Dominion, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (b) includes A.C. Golden, Batch 19, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Coors, Keystone, Killian’s, Leinenkugel’s, Miller and Tenth & Blake brands; (c) includes Pabst, Schlitz and 28 other brand families; (d) includes Alchemy & Science and Sam Adams brands; (e) includes Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Magic Hat and Pyramid brands; (f) includes Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (g) includes BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands; (h) includes Boulevard and Ommegang brands; (i) includes Mountain Crest and 10 other brand families; (j) includes Flying Bison, Saranac and Utica Club brands; (k) includes Casco Bay, Sea Dog and Shipyard brands; (l) includes Grain Belt and Schell’s brands; (m) private label brands, primarily for grocery store chains; (n) includes Long Trail, Otter Creek, The Shed and Wolaver’s brands; (o) includes Butte Creek, Kingfisher, Mendocino and Olde Saratoga brands; (p) includes Cold Spring and John Henry brands; (q) includes James Page, Point and Whole Hog brands; (r) includes Iron City and 17 other brand families.

    # # #
  2. Kanger

    Kanger Sep 3, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Good to see Sixpoint on there. And right below Bluepoint - interesting.
  3. beerwolf77

    beerwolf77 Jun 5, 2009 Wisconsin

    Always love seeing New Glarus in the top 25 on the overall list. Knowing that all that beer is distributed to only one state.
    amano_h, timtim, Stevedore and 3 others like this.
  4. lic217

    lic217 Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Cool list

    Unfortunately I have not had a single beer from many of those breweries. I need to get around the country more in order to try more beers (cannot trade as of now with two little kids).

    Also I hope that New England Brewing Company shows up on that list soon. Those guys are brewing some world class beers. They have a few hoppy beers that can challenge Pliny the Elder and the Vermont big boys.
    CTbrew32 likes this.
  5. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    I disagree with the Brewers Association omitting August Schell as a craft brewery.
  6. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    That explains them being bought out by Anheuser-Busch.
  7. mani

    mani Jun 16, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm sure Ballast Point is happy to see their expansion make them jump up the list...
    charger62790 and StroppyMare like this.
  8. StroppyMare

    StroppyMare Jul 7, 2012 California

    Go Ballast Point! I love their Sea Monster and Victory at Sea so much, I may be solely responsible for their appearance here.
    charger62790 and snohojimbo like this.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That'll change with next year's list. Schell will be listed, and Blue Point (purchased by AB) will drop off, the "Craft" list.
    TongoRad likes this.
  10. DrumKid003

    DrumKid003 Aug 10, 2013 Oklahoma

    No Oklahoma breweries, so therefore I don't give a fuck where anyone else places.
  11. Drift

    Drift Mar 26, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Meh I don't agree with that list for the most part
  12. Sumdeus

    Sumdeus Mar 17, 2014 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    You don't agree with a list based upon statistics such as volume ofproduction?
  13. mani

    mani Jun 16, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    It's amazing how many people just skim the OP.
    cjgiant and jcos like this.
  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The first of many making their viewpoints known.
  15. Benish

    Benish Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    It means one thing, that's what majority of Wisconsinites drink. Pretty awesome.
  16. Todd

    Todd Founder Aug 23, 1996 Colorado
    Staff Moderator Site Editor Fest Crew Subscriber

    Note: an update has been applied by the Brewers Association.
    Danmullens1 likes this.
  17. Hubbs85

    Hubbs85 Feb 5, 2011 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Look at Ballast point go! They're new to us in GA, and Sculpin flies off the shelf. Our local boys, Sweetwater jumped up 5 also. Trying to do our part down here.
  18. chicagoish

    chicagoish Jun 14, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Troegs needs to break on that list. They make many great brews. Esp. Nugget Nectar!!
  19. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    These "top" posts are always ass backwards. Im not even going to waste the time reading them anymore.
  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Number 2 of the many. Did you read that it was about volume of production? Probably not. You should not read them anymore.
  21. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    They're still ass backwards. These are based on most accessible and "popular" demand. Not quality.
    marleyr likes this.
  22. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You should read that this list is about the top breweries by production volume. Nothing more than that. Please read the press release.
  23. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    Ive read not denying their simply saying that it has nothing to do with overall quality.....
  24. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Where did it say it had anything to do with "quality"? It was the top craft breweries by production.
    wspscott, Providence and RandomExile like this.
  25. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    Did I say that that they were referring to i didnt. youre missing my point completely. Im saying the reason most of these breweries are at the top of this list is due to accessibility and popular demand. I know lots of people who are not into craft beers yet they drink Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, bells etc. (not discrediting the names mentioned)
    MiWolfman likes this.
  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    He's right - the only reason BBC and SN brew and sell so much beer is because so many people buy it! :rolleyes:
  27. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You said quality there.

    I have a lot of high quality beer in my homebrewry. For some reason it did not make this list,
    Providence, Twal and RandomExile like this.
  28. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    How is that?
  29. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    i said quality i wasnt stating this list was based upon it. And this is my point exactly.....there are a lot of breweries(home brews as a far stretch) that do not apply to this list simply because they arent so widely available. Like i stated before, There are alot of people who arnt beer advocates who are not big into craft beer but are huge consumers of some of the companies that are high up on this list.
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The list is generated on the production volume, nothing more, nothing less. It comes out every year.
    MiWolfman and RandomExile like this.
  31. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    List makes sense to me. I'll step out of the thread and let the poo flinging continue.
  32. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    It doesnt stop me from complaining about the people who populate this production or the reasoning behind it.
  33. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    People who drink Sierra Nevada, Bells,Goose Island ect are into craft beer.
    BathSaltTrader likes this.
  34. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    They were/are a popular brewery. Anheuser-Busch wanted a piece.
  35. Zorro

    Zorro Dec 25, 2003 California

    Without Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer I would have had some seriously miserable airport layovers. Usually if nothing else you can get a SNPA or a Boston Lager in every airport except Memphis.
  36. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Not to take away anything from New Glarus' amazing success in its home - and only- market in Wisconsin (I can never remember if Spotted Cow is the #1 seller in the state, or just the #1 draft beer), but "majority" might be a bit of an exaggeration. According to the Beer Institute's Brewers Almanac, total beer sales ("apparent consumption/wholesale shipments" in their terminology) in WI is around 4.9 million barrels a year, and New Glarus' barrelage is still under 200,000.

    Well, "popular" is relative - when a brewery is in the #40-50 range on the B.A.'s Top 50 Craft, that puts it well under 100k bbl./yr. BP's around 60,000 bbl/yr, less than half a percent of total "Craft" sales. Once in AB's stable, BP added barrelage will be pretty insignificant considering their 98 million barrels. Obviously, AB hopes that changes.

    Also, Blue Point had the second worst year of any of the Craft Top 50 as far as "rank" goes, dropping 6 places (only the multi-brewpub chain, BrewWorks, did worse). Part of that was probably because of capacity issues at their home brewery.
  37. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    The last time I drank Toasted Lager the label read Blue Point Brewing Patchogue and Rochester NY.
  38. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, over the years they've done contract-brewing at a number of breweries. Off hand I seem to remember them using City Latrobe, Olde Saratoga (Mendocino) and a Baltimore area brewery*, besides Genesee in Rochester.

    I supposed we'll see "Baldwinsville, NY" or "Newark, NJ" soon.

    *EDIT- Oh, yeah - Clipper City.
    #38 jesskidden, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  39. rgordon

    rgordon Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    That 17 place jump was the most interesting piece of info I noticed. Also, Lost Coast being in there as well. They are a very underrated brewery that folks around here rarely mention.
  40. mani

    mani Jun 16, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. After reading through the names on the list, first thing I did was look for the movers, see who's up, who's down.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!