Top 10 biggest US craft brewers15th April, 2013 by Andy Young
The Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group that collates production statistics for the US brewing industry, has released details of the top craft breweries in the US.
The association describes an American craft brewer as “small, independent and traditional”.
Small means that the brewer has an annual production of six million barrels of beer or less, “flavoured malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition”.
Independent means that “less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer”. And traditional relates to “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 flavour.”
The association claims that there are more than 2,000 breweries in the US and 97% of these are “small and independent”, adding that “on average, most Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery, and hundreds of thousands of people have toured or tasted at their local brewery.”
Craft beer sales are booming in the US and the association said: “Nielsen research confirmed that beer drinkers are shifting to more robust beer styles and we know from Information Resources that seasonal beer is one of the top selling craft beer categories.”
Speaking about these results Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, said: “In 2012, craft surpassed 6% of the total US beer market, with volume and dollar sales reaching record levels. Increasingly, beer lovers are turning to craft brewed beer from small and independent producers to satisfy their thirst for bold, innovative and flavour-forward beers.”
Click through the following pages to find the top 10 US craft brewers, based on 2012 beer sales volume.