Top 50 Breweries in the USA

April 19, 2012 - 9:06 AM
 by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

I love this time of year. The days are getting long and the air is slowly warming. Baseball season has begun and the fruit trees are in bloom. It is spring: the season of hope. For beer geeks like us this is also the time of year that the Brewers Association releases all sorts of statistics about the previous year. For instance, last week we shared the news that U.S. craft beer exports were up significantly in 2011. Who knew that people in Brazil craved our beer?

The Brewers Association has released its list of the Top 50 Breweries in America. There are things we can learn from this list. Be sure to pay attention to the footnotes and the caveats.


Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries in 2011

Boulder, CO • April 17, 2012 - The Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on 2011 beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 36 are small and independent¹ craft brewing companies¹,².

“In the last 15 years, craft brewing has gone from one percent of the overall beer market to almost six percent in 2011,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “We attribute a large part of that growth to the many talented brewers who are providing beer lovers with more beer style and flavor choices than ever before.”

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies
(Based on 2011 beer sales volume)

RankBrewing CompanyCityState
1Boston Beer Co.BostonMA
2Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.ChicoCA
3New Belgium Brewing Co.Fort CollinsCO
4The Gambrinus CompanySan AntonioTX
5Deschutes BreweryBendOR
6Matt Brewing Co.UticaNY
7Bell's Brewery, Inc.GalesburgMI
8Harpoon BreweryBostonMA
9Lagunitas Brewing Co.PetalumaCA
10Boulevard Brewing Co.Kansas CityMO
11Stone Brewing CompanyEscondidoCA
12Dogfish Head Craft BreweryMiltonDE
13Brooklyn BreweryBrooklynNY
14Alaskan Brewing & Bottling Co.JuneauAK
15Long Trail Brewing Co.BurlingtonVT
16Shipyard Brewing Co.PortlandME
17Abita Brewing Co.Abita SpringsLA
18Great Lakes Brewing Co.ClevelandOH
19New Glarus Brewing Co.New GlarusWI
20Full Sail Brewing Co.Hood RiverOR
21Summit Brewing Co.St. PaulMN
22Anchor Brewing Co.San FranciscoCA
23Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Paso RoblesCA
24Sweetwater Brewing Co.AtlantaGA
25Rogue AlesNewportOR
26Flying Dog BreweryFrederickMD
27Victory Brewing Co.DowningtownPA
28CraftWorks Breweries & RestaurantsChatta./Louis.TN/CO
29Oskar Blues BreweryLongmontCO
30Odell Brewing Co.Fort CollinsCO
31Stevens Point Brewery Co.Stevens PointWI
32Ninkasi Brewing Co.EugeneOR
33BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc.Huntington BeachCA
34Blue Point Brewing Co.PatchogueNY
35Bear Republic Brewing Co.CloverdaleCA
36Lost Coast Brewery CafeEurekaCA
37Big Sky Brewing Co.MissoulaMT
38North Coast Brewing Co. Inc.Fort BraggCA
39Saint Louis Brewery, Inc./Schlafly BottleworksSt. LouisMO
40Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.San JoseCA
41Breckenridge BreweryDenverCO
42Founders Brewing Co.Grand RapidsMI
43Saint Arnold Brewing Co.HoustonTX
44Karl Strauss Brewing Co.San DiegoCA
45Real Ale Brewing Co.BlancoTX
46Mac and Jack's Brewery Inc.RedmondWA
47Smuttynose Brewing Co.PortsmouthNH
48Utah Brewers CooperativeSalt Lake CityUT
49Left Hand Brewing Co.LongmontCO
t.50Anderson Valley Brewing Co.BoonvilleCA
t.50Four Peaks Brewing Co.TempeAZ


Top 50 Brewing Companies
(Based on 2011 beer sales volume)

RankBrewing CompanyCityState
1Anheuser-Busch Inc. (a)St. LouisMO
2MillerCoors (b)ChicagoIL
3Pabst Brewing Co. (c)WoodbridgeIL
4D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc.PottsvillePA
5Boston Beer Co.BostonMA
6North American Breweries (d)RochesterNY
7Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.ChicoCA
8New Belgium Brewing Co.Fort CollinsCO
9Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc. (e)PortlandOR
10The Gambrinus Company (f)San AntonioTX
11Deschutes BreweryBendOR
12Matt Brewing Co. (g)UticaNY
13Bell's Brewery, Inc.GalesburgMI
14Minhas Craft Brewery (h)MonroeWI
15Harpoon BreweryBostonMA
16Lagunitas Brewing Co.PetalumaCA
17Boulevard Brewing Co.Kansas CityMO
18Stone Brewing Co.EscondidoCA
19Dogfish Head Craft BreweryMiltonDE
20Brooklyn BreweryBrooklynNY
21Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Co.JuneauAK
22Long Trail Brewing Co.BurlingtonVT
23August Schell Brewing Co. (i)New UlmMN
24Shipyard Brewing Co.PortlandME
25Abita Brewing Co.Abita SpringsLA
26World Brews/Winery Exchange (j)NovatoCA
27Great Lakes Brewing Co.ClevelandOH
28New Glarus Brewing Co.New GlarusWI
29Full Sail Brewing Co.Hood RiverOR
30Pittsburgh Brewing Co.PittsburghPA
31Summit Brewing Co.St. PaulMN
32Anchor Brewing Co.San FranciscoCA
33Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Paso RoblesCA
34Cold Spring Brewing Co. (k)Cold SpringMN
35Sweetwater Brewing Co.AtlantaGA
36Rogue Ales BreweryNewportOR
37Mendocino Brewing Co. (l)UkiahCA
38Flying Dog BreweryFrederickMD
39Victory Brewing Co.DowningtownPA
40CraftWorks Breweries & Restaurants (m)Chatt./Louis.TN/CO
41Oskar Blues Brewery & Tasty Weasel Tap RoomLongmontCO
42Odell Brewing Co.Fort CollinsCO
43Stevens Point Brewery Co. (n)Stevens PointWI
44Ninkasi Brewing Co.EugeneOR
45BJ's Chicago Pizza & BreweryHuntington BeachCA
46Blue Point Brewing Co.PatchogueNY
47Bear Republic Brewing Co.CloverdaleCA
48Goose Island Brewing Co. (o)ChicagoIL
49Lost Coast Brewery and CafeEurekaCA
50Narragansett Brewing Co.ProvidenceRI

*Top 50 U.S. Overall Brewing Companies notes: (a) includes Bass, Beck's, Busch, Goose Island, Landshark, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and Wild Blue brands. Does not include partially owned Coastal, Kona, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (b) includes A.C. Golden, Batch 19, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Herman Joseph, Keystone, Killian's and Leinenkugel's brands; (c) includes Schlitz and 28 other brand families; (d) includes Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Magic Hat and Pyramid brands; (e) includes Kona, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (f) includes BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands; (g) includes Flying Bison brands; (h) includes Mountain Crest and 10 other brand families; (i) includes Grain Belt brand; (j) private label brands; (k) includes Gluek and 17 other brand families; (l) includes Butte Creek, Kingfisher and Olde Saratoga brands; (m) includes A1A, Big River, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Rock Bottom Restaurants, Ragtime and Seven Bridges brewpubs; (n) includes James Page and Whole Hog brands; (o) sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2011.

The Association's full 2011 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available May 22, 2012.

For additional statistics, see the craft brewing statistics, and 2011 craft brewer sales numbers.

¹The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewer's 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.

²Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for the Top 50 rankings.

Abby Berman (on behalf of the Brewers Association)


The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today's craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA's American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Instagram RSS
2252 NE 65th St., , Seattle, WA 98115 / PH. 206.795.5510 / SITEMAP
2252 NE 65th St.,
Seattle, WA 98115
PH. 206.795.5510