Top 10 biggest US craft brewers of 2018

US trade body the Brewers Association (BA) has released its annual list of the country’s biggest brewers based on sales volumes in 2018. while also revealing the biggest “craft” brewers.

Every year the BA details not only the biggest craft brewers overall, including the likes of Ab InBev, Constellation and MillersCoors, but the top 50 largest “craft beer” brands (definition below).

Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were small and independent craft brewing companies, highlighting the decreasing gap between craft and big beer.

“Although the market has grown more competitive, particularly for regional craft breweries with the widest distribution, these 50 small and independent brewing companies continue to lead the craft brewing market in sales through strong brands, quality, and innovation,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association.

DEFINITION OF CRAFT

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.”

Click through for a run down of the top 10 US craft brewers by 2018 sales volumes…

NB: Specific sales data has not been disclosed by the BA. Companies are ranked in order of volume produced or sold in the US (including imports).

The top 10 overall biggest brewers in the US (including craft) are as follows :-

1 Anheuser-Busch Inc. St. Louis MO
2 MillerCoors Chicago IL
3 Constellation Chicago IL
4 Heineken White Plains NY
5 Pabst Brewing Co. Los Angeles CA
6 D. G. Yuengling & Son Inc. Pottsville PA
7 Diageo Norwalk CT
8 FIFCO USA Rochester NY
9 Boston Beer Co.  Boston MA
10 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA

*Bold = a small and independent brewery

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