Craft brewers continue catching on

Sales of large domestic brewers continued to lag behind their 2004 peak level last year, but the craft beer segment continued its boom, according to the latest figures just released by The Brewers Association.

The Association, which tabulates industry growth data, reports that in 2006 77.7% of the craft beer produced was made from the top 50 craft brewing companies. Additionally, 34 of the top 50 brewing companies in the U.S meet the Association’s definition of a craft brewer.

With nearly 1,400 small breweries, the segment topped 6.7 million barrels in 2006. The fastest growing craft beer sector in 2006 was microbreweries (those under 15,000 barrels a year). Sales were up 16%.

“If you Google craft beer you’ll see more press coverage than ever before. This is because beers from craft
breweries provide diversity and flavor and that’s what people want,” stated Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the
Brewers Association.

No surprise in the leaders among overall brewing sales, with Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors ranking 1-3. In the craft beer area, nine of the top 10 in sales were California breweries, all following top-ranked Alaskan Brewing Co. of Juneau, AK.

Twenty-two states are represented in the top 50 brewing companies list, according to the Brewers Association. California hosts (7) top breweries. Colorado has (5) and Oregon and Wisconsin each host (4) top producers. The remainder of the top 50 operate from New York (3), Pennsylvania (3), Vermont (3), Washington (3), Illinois (2), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (2), Missouri (2), Alaska (1) , Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Ohio (1) and Texas (1), Complete listings of the top 50 craft brewing companies by state and top 50 overall brewing companies are included below.


1. Anheuser-Busch Inc., St Louis, MO
2. Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
3. Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO
4. Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL
5. Boston Beer Co Boston MA
6. D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., Pottsville, PA
7. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
8. Gambrinus, San Antonio, TX
9. New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
10. High Falls Brewing Co., Rochester, NY
11. Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, OR
12. Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville, WA
13. Pittsburgh Brewing Co., Pittsburgh, PA
14. Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA
15. Minhas Craft Brewery, Monroe, WI
16. Matt Brewing Co., Utica, NY
17. Deschutes Brewery Inc., Bend, OR
18. Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
19. Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK
20. The Harpoon Brewery, Boston, MA


1. Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK
2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
3. Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA
4. Gordon Biersch Brewing Co., San Jose, CA
5. Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, CA
6. Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
7. The Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, CA
8. Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe, Eureka, CA
9. BJ's Restaurants Inc., Huntington Beach, CA
10. North Coast Brewing Co., Fort Bragg, CA
11. Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Boonville, CA
12. New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
13. Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Inc., Louisville, CO
14. Flying Dog Brewery, Denver, CO
15. Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
16. Breckenridge Brewery, Denver, CO
17. Boulder Beer Co., Boulder, CO
18. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Lewes, DE
19. Sweetwater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA
20. Kona Brewing Co., Kailua-Kona, HI

The Brewers Association defines "craft brewer" as small, independent and traditional. "Craft beer" comes only from a craft brewer. "Small" means an annual beer production of less than 2 million barrels. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.

An "independent" is defined as less than 25% of the craft brewery being owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not a craft brewer. "Traditional" is defined as a brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers 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.

To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's No-Alcohol Drinks Notebook latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

No comments: