The Brewer’s Association today released its annual list of the largest breweries in America based on beer sales volume, both for craft breweries and for U.S. breweries overall, in 2013. The previous year was a great time for the American craft brewing industry and, as expected, the rankings show the continued trend toward craft beer and away from traditional American- style lager.
“In 2013, craft breweries reached new all-time highs in production volume and dollar sales,” said Bart Watson, staff economist at the Brewers Association. “Beer lovers continue to demand high-quality, fuller-flavored and local beers from small and independent craft breweries.”
(click image below to see the full list of rankings)
Craft breweries are is defined as small, independent, and traditional, with production below 6 million barrels. To be considered independent, a brewery must have less than 25% of its ownership in the hands of an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not a craft brewer. The definition has been modified over the years and the 2013 version of the definition, just described, is the one used to create these rankings.
Here are some trivia notes regarding the rankings:
- California leads the United States, with the most craft breweries ranked in the top 50, with 13 overall.
- Ballast Point Brewing, a California based craft brewer, leaped 17 places in the rankings this year, from 46th to 29th place. New York’s Southern Tier Brewing was the second greatest mover, rising from 37th place to 31st place.
- On the losing end, Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries, based in Chattanooga, fell seven notches from 32nd to 39th place. The other big loser on the list was New York’s Blue Point, plunging from 36th to 42nd overall.
- The list of top breweries overall remains little changed, at least near the top. Anheuser- Busch is still number one and there are no changes in the top ten. But California’s Lagunitas Brewing is knocking on the door, moving up two positions to 11th place.