Every year the Brewers Association releases two lists of the top 50 breweries in the nation. One is the list of craft brewers and the other for all brewing companies. These show the growth of different breweries within the craft brewing industry itself and their place in the beer industry as a whole.
“In 2007, 35 of the top 50 brewing companies were small and independent craft brewers. In 2008 there were 37,” states Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. “Craft brewers continue to have success and generate excitement behind the flavorful beer movement, but not without recent challenges including price increases for raw materials and supplies, as well as access to market issues.”
This year saw the rise of two breweries in the overall category and an new addition to the craft category.
Changes from last year’s list include breweries moving up or down in the rankings based on volume sales. There was one new entrant into the Top 50 Craft list, The Saint Louis Brewery, and two craft brewers have claimed spots in the Top 50 Overall list—Big Sky Brewing Co. and Mac & Jack’s Brewery. Consolidation of MillerCoors, last year’s number 2 and 3 brewers, opened up a slot, and the merger of Widmer Brothers and Redhook into the company now named Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc. opened up another slot filled by emerging small and independent craft brewers.
See the entire list here.