The Boulder, Colorado-based trade organization, the Brewers Association has released its annual list of the country’s biggest brewers in 2019 and we’ve last year’s Top 10 breweries.
“Although 2020 will be a markedly different year than 2019 for the craft brewing market, these companies are well positioned to help the craft category weather the current market uncertainty and rebound with the flavor, variety, and innovation that beer lovers have come to expect from small brewers,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.
And these are the largest “craft” brewers in the US, based on volumes last year.
10. Artisanal Brewing Ventures
Not one brewery but actually a syndicate of three independent breweries, Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV) which launched in 2014, includes Victory Brewing (Downingtown, PA), Southern Tier ((Lakewood, NY) and the recently acquired Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, NY).
9. Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA) –
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996 and renowned for its big West Coast-Style IPAs, Stone Brewing is the ninth biggest craft brewery in the nation, and the largest in San Diego County.
Founded in 2015 CANarchy is, like ABV, a family of breweries including Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, the Perrin Brewing Company, Wasatch and Squatters breweries… Clearly a case of being “stronger together,” none of these breweries would have made into 2019’s Top 10 alone.
7. Bell’s Brewery (Comstock, MI)
One of the oldest craft breweries in the US, Bell’s Brewery was founded by Larry Bell in 1983. It now ships to over 32 states and remains a family-owned operation.
6. The Gambrinus Company (Texas)
A family-owned brewer headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the Gambrinus Company is an undeniable force. Gambrinus is best known in the US for selling Shiner Beers, all of which are brewed at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.
5. Duvel Moortgat
Although Duvel Moortgat is based in Belgium, it has acquired a portfolio of brands worldwide, including three important breweries in the US. In 2003 it acquired the Belgian-influenced Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. In 2014 it bought Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, MO. And in 2015, it acquired Firestone Walker California’s fourth-largest craft brewery.
4. New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)
Founded in Fort Collis, Colorado in 1991, New Belgium expanded to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2016 and Denver in 2018.
Late last year, New Belgium was acquired by craft beverage division of Australian food and drink company Lion, itself owned by Japan’s Kirin, ensuring, that according to the Brewers Association’s current craft brewery definition, it won’t be making the BA’s Top 50 Craft Brewery list for 2020.
3. Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA)
Established by homebrewers Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi in 1979, Sierra Nevada Brewing is the largest privately owned brewery in the United States, with production facilities in Northern California and Asheville, NC.
2. Boston Beer Company
Best known for its Samuel Adams beer brand, Boston Beer is now a publically held drinks company that sells more of its Truly hard seltzer line than it does beer.
In 2019, Boston Beer acquired the Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery which currently sells beer in over 40 states and Washington DC.
1. Yuengling and Son Inc (Pottsville, PA)
Established in 1829, Yuengling is one of the oldest and longest-running, breweries in the US.
Yuengling became eligible for “craft brewer” status in 2014, after the Brewers Association changed its definition to include beers “adjunct grains”, such as corn, in early 2014.