These are the fastest-growing craft breweries in the US, according to the Brewers Association

US trade body the Brewers Association has published a list of the country’s craft breweries that are becoming popular, fast.

(Image: The Brewers Association)

Representing 27 states across the U.S., the breweries experienced average (median) growth of 163% in 2018. Those on the list range from 50 barrels to more than 40,000, and grew from less than 70,000 barrels collectively in 2017 to more than 170,000 barrels in 2018.

Lake Time Brewery in Iowa topped the list in this year’s report, brewing a range of styles and innovate flavours including a peanut butter stout, and funfetti cream ale. It was followed by Fins Big Oyster Brewery in Delaware, which launched in 2015 and expanded a year later into a new brewing facility which also features a barrel ageing room and a 40-seat restaurant.

“Even as market competition continues to increase, these small and independent breweries and brewpubs demonstrate there are still growth opportunities across a diverse set of regions and business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.

The ranking includes only small and independent breweries, which represent around 10% of total craft growth by volume for the year, and include 13 brewpubs, 35 microbreweries, and two regional craft breweries.

Growth is measured based on production at their own facilities. Breweries must have opened by December 31, 2016 or earlier to be considered.

The BA also published a list of the country’s most lucrative craft breweries earlier this month, all of which adhere to the industry body’s guidelines on business size and values.


The BA’s definition of craft covers those brewers deemed to be “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”.The association describes an American craft brewer as “small, independent and traditional”.

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”.

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.”

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