News Brewers Association Lists Top 50 US Breweries of 2012

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Apr 10, 2013.

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  1. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Apparently, they have convinced the powers-that-be in the Brewers Association that their corn adjunct is used (in the words of the B.A.'s "Traditional" definition) "... to enhance rather than lighten flavor."

    Similarly, as noted above by rlcoffey, both Anchor and Shiner/BridgePort/Trumer are owned by " alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer" - Anchor by the importer The Griffin Group, and Gambrinus began as one of the two major importers of Corona (until 2006) as well as of Moosehead.

    Shame? I guess the $38.8 million John Hall pocketed should ease that somewhat...

    Well, not to the Brewers Association, apparently...:wink: (to just mention one entity)
  2. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I expect that, but will that lead to multi-state expansion too? Will Minnesota be able to soak up all the extra capacity, or will the rest of us get to participate?
  3. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    And a similar thread a few months back, some Michigander was claiming that Founders would be bigger than Bells in 2013. Which is a joke, of course, even as fast as they are growing.
  4. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    All guidelines are arbitrary.

    Okay, maybe not the 10 commandments, but I dont think the BA was granted stone tablets from God to define a craft brewery.
  5. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    Cold Spring made it due to the Third Street Brewing arm of their operation. Third Street is near omnipresent in the state of Minnesota.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    He then agreed that the limit for Founders is higher than Bells current production, and that Bells has a lot of tanks on order. Founders can get to the 300k+ range. Bells has said they can get to 800k, and they own the land around the brewery.
  7. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I think PART of the problem is that:

    1. Grain Belt is a pre-craft era brand AAL (even though not owned by Schells at the time)
    2. Schells is a pre-craft era AAL brewery

    Im not sure how Shiner avoids that though. They are still the major outlier, IMO, not Schells.

    I think New Glarus gets by due to starting in the 90s and not originally being a "Spotted Cow" brewery that happens to brew some more interesting stuff on the side.

    From the distance of being outside the midwest, I can see the difference between New Glarus and Schells. I have no emotional attachment to either. I think some too close get overly bothered by this stuff.
    Reneejane likes this.
  8. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Yep, which was my point at the time. He was assuming Founders growth and Bells staying flat, which is silly.

    Edit: And dont forget, Larry Bell no longer has minority shareholders standing in his way.
  9. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    This is a fascinating discussion. And, truly has given me a lot to think about. There is a side discussion about adjunct usage over on the 6-row smash thread in the homebrewing forum (Edit: adding link: ) that some of you may want to venture over to read. Apparently, given the commodities pricing for corn and rice, it isn't in fact, cheaper to use that than malted barley. So, the point of using adjunct is, and my guess is, always has been, to enhance or improve. And, in some styles, "lightening the body," would surely be an enhancement.

    Check out the BJCP style guides,

    here's style 01 (incl, AAL):

    here's style 06 (incl. cream):

    Both styles should taste similar to MJRyan's inability to differentiate them, that's really I suppose written into the style. And, both styles, seem to require the use of adjunct to really compete.

    And, BJCP, another reputable beer organization does, at least, consider style 01 (and 06) to be, "real beers," worthy of being judged, whereas malt liquor is not included in their style guides.

    Also, are we *SURE* Shiner Bock uses adjunct, per the style guidelines, adjunct is a no-no:

    So, I'm inclined to say the Brewers Ass'n, shouldn't say craft excludes style 01, if they're going to have style 06. Realistically, style 01 should be brewed to style.
  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,815) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Shiner, and Genesee, and Yuengling, etc. are American Style Bocks, which were more popular 'back in the day', and are pretty much a slightly maltier (and maybe even stronger) version of a brewery's adjunct-based lager, sometimes with caramel coloring added. These are not to be confused with their Continental cousins.

    I have an old Dave Miller homebrewing book from the 80s and he even gives a recipe for this style, as homebrewers back then would have been quite familiar with it. It's kind of strange that the BJCP doesn't recognize the substyle these days, considering how popular Shiner seems to be. But, anyway, it's part of a tradition that goes pretty far back.
  11. emannths

    emannths Initiate (187) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    Shiner Bock is an "American Bock" that definitely does not conform to the German-focused BJCP Bock styles in flavor or ingredients. It's basically a AAL with some color.
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    The BJCP considers the "American Bock" beers (which, IIRC, Spoetzl used to call Shiner Bock on the rear label) 4A. Dark American Lager and even lists Shiner Bock as an example. Most US bocks - but not all - in the post-Repeal era were adjunct-brewed, and Shiner Bock clearly dates from that era and was even a seasonal release before it became Spoetzl's flagship.

  13. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,815) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    That'll teach me for just doing a quick scan of the titles- I'll have to remember American Dark Lager from now on. At least it's still there.

    (That's a pretty awesome ad, btw)
  14. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Cat 4A, especially Berghoff Dark, is what got me into beer.

    I guess I cant say I never drank adjunct american lagers, just that I never drank the pale colored AALs.
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,784) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    There has been a fair bit of discussion on Shiner Bock and what beer style it is. In past threads I have used a self-described beer style of American Amber Adjunct Lager (AAAL). I have a preference for this descriptor since it basically sums up what TongoRad stated: “pretty much a slightly maltier (and maybe even stronger) version of a brewery's adjunct-based lager.”

    The biggest selling AAALs that I am aware of are Yuengling Lager and Shiner Bock; I am sure that jesskidden will correct me if I am wrong here. I purchased Genesee Bock for the first time this year; that beer is tasty and if you factor in the price that beer is an excellent bargain.

    There are a number of newer beers that are being introduced which sound like AAAL beers to me: Budweiser Black Crown, Third Shift Lager (from MillerCoors) and Batch 19 (from MillerCoors). Batch 19 is being marketed as a Pre-Prohibition Lager but it tastes like an AAAL to me.

    I am sure that there are other AAAL beers out there but the above come to my mind at the moment.

  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Looks like Spoetzl themselves enters (and have won medals) Shiner Bock in the GABF's "American Style Dark Lager" category.

    I always get my Augsburger/Berghoff history and chronology wrong (esp. since the the latter never made it to my region, after Stroh bought the Augsburger name and Huber replaced it with Berghoff after he re-acquired the brewery) - but at some point didn't they go all-malt? The new Berghoff website now lists their Dark as a dunkle, with the goofy name of "Sir Dunkle Dark" (a few more beers of theirs got the goofy-name treatment). No mention of adjuncts, either pro or con.
  17. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The BJCP is for homebrew comps. If I were to brew a Shiner Bock type beer, I would enter it under category 4A, American Dark Lager.
    Look at the commercial examples - Shiner Bock!

    Category 5 is for the real Bocks. Those must be all malt, and over 16 Plato, or 1.064 OG. Shiner Bock doesn't meet either of those requirements.

    Edit - I see I was late to the party.
  18. Benish

    Benish Champion (862) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I graduated from UW-Stevens Point. I surprised Stevens Point brewery made both list as I considered it a small brewery. It is good beer but not outstanding. It's what I drank a lot of in college as it was very affordable and much better than the Big Beers. They have been around for a long time though. Curious if it's sold out of WI?
  19. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    Yes, it is, but it's helpful to see what other associations consider beer styles. GABF uses another style guide:

    Edit: It is the same publisher of this style guide and the list.

    Their definitions are FAR narrower and they get into using the word, "craft" in interesting ways.

    Here's what they say under American Amber Lagers (a style we've been talking about), "Craft-brewed versions of classic full-flavored all-malt lagers."

    the word, "adjunct," is only seen in American-Style Light Lager.

    I offered up the BJCP style guidelines to show an alternative view on another associations consideration of style, mostly in support of the Schell-supporter's position that Schell should not be shut out of the definition for craft.

    Here's the definition of Cream ale, another one we've been debating:

    They seem to be making a strange comparison between craft and mainstream based on a very vague descriptor, "robustness," "Craft versions offer a slightly more robust flavor than mainstream versions."
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, it is "small" in Brewers Association-ese (i.e., "under 6m bbl/yr"), but recent additions put their capacity (not sales) at over 100,000 bbl. and they now distribute in more than half the states in the union. They made it to NJ, for instance, a few years ago (where it seems to just sit and go stale in most retailer locations).

    Based on their location in the Top 50, it looks like they're brewing in the range of between 50,000 - 75,000 barrels a year.
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    GABF, and the Worl Beer Cup are run by the Brewers Association, and have their own guidelines. There are even more categories for the WBC.

    I find the craft vs not craft argument to be tedious.
  22. Benish

    Benish Champion (862) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I had no idea they made it to NJ. Wow.
  23. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I lived in Madison 92-94, so it was definitely adjunct then :relaxed: . Last I looked, they were still listed as non-craft, if they have gone all malt, I guess they flip to the craft list?

    I havent had the Dark in nearly a decade, last time I bought a 6 pack, I remembered why I didnt drink it anymore (but I still think of it fondly, drinking pitchers of it and playing darts in summer of 1993). I havent seen those new names on my local shelves, will have to check.
  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, as I said, I get the histories of the two brands confused - maybe it was Augsburger (during it's Stroh and Stevens Point eras) that went all-malt.

    Berghoff is now controlled by the previous owners of Huber, and merely contract-brewed by Minhas - a non-craft brewery, but that doesn't mean they can't contract-brewed a "craft beer" for someone else (as has Miller, Genesee, Stroh, City and others).
  25. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I thought Minhas owned Berghoff. Huh.
  26. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    That's what I said. It makes no sense that they make that much beer
  27. telejunkie

    telejunkie Disciple (314) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    When they bought Otter Creek, they jumped significantly on this list.
  28. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    I would assume it will bring them to other places. They're already making their way into Iowa right now. In February 2011 Surly said with their new brewery would probably be well above 25,000bbls a year, which means they can't self distribute anymore. Once they get the new brewery and start going through distributors I would assume they'll be making it to some other places. I have a feeling they'll be expanding much faster than they anticipate once they start using distributors because their beers are in HIGH demand still outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Almost nowhere north of the Twin Cities metro gets Surly yet. It's wanted in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc.
  29. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Its wanted in KY, but Im not holding my breath.
  30. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    Yeah...I'd expect it to be quite awhile before they get to Kentucky. I'd bet at least 5-10 years unless they really decide to start expanding. In the mean time, I can do trades I'm sure :grinning:
  31. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    When I asked who drinks their products, I obviously included Third Street in the question. I don't know what "near omnipresent in the state of Minnesota" means. I never see it on tap, and I rarely see more than one variety in a store. I don't think I have ever seen anyone buy a Cold Spring product.

    By my reckoning, the only way Cold Spring can be a top 50 craft brewer is if you add in the contract brews they make (like they used to for Dave's Brewfarm).
  32. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I dont think so, but that might be the case. For example, City is listed with zeros for both locations in the 2011 list, with a note that they have no proprietary barrels. The Lion was at only 28k barrels in the 2011 list (and 15k the years before that). Im pretty sure they contract brew more than that.

    That doesnt mean it isnt inconsistently reported, as its put together via self-reporting and/or estimation. Maybe Cold Spring reports everything they produce. The Lion had the symbol for "estimated" while Cold Spring didnt on the 2011 list, so now Im thinking you were probably right, so my "I dont think so" to start this reply is wrong. :confused:
  33. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (592) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    I have heard that Spotted Cow is the #1 selling beer on tap in the state of Wisconsin. That means it beats Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller, Coors and all of the other Macro crap for sales on tap. That's pretty impressive!
  34. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    With the exception of the Rochester area and Fargo-Morehead area, Third Street has a strong presence. I have seen several people buy their products. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't out there.
  35. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,582) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

  36. oneraindog

    oneraindog Initiate (15) Oct 6, 2003 Pennsylvania

  37. AHood

    AHood Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2012 Texas

    Haha, so true. Never been to WI, but dated a guy for 3 years from La Crosse and all I ever heard was "Spotted Cow, Spotted Cow, Spotted Cow" I still have yet to try anything from NG though :/
  38. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    This doesn't really change my reaction. If anything it strengthens my incredulity. How does Cold Spring, a brewery whose products I rarely see and even more infrequently see being purchased, crank out 6 times as much beer as Surly, and basically as much as Summit?

    It makes as much sense to me as finding out that Moxie outsells Pepsi would.
  39. redbeerdviking

    redbeerdviking Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I am surprised that Yuengling has done more sales than Sam Adams....
  40. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,221) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    If beer contract-brewed for other companies were counted under the contractor brewery and not the marketing company, then "breweries" like #3 Pabst, #22 World Brews and Narragansett (#50 last year) would be "0".

    And City (which owns 3 different "+million barrel" capacity breweries) would be on the "non-craft" list somewhere in the Top 20.
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