The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—has released its annual lists of the top 50 producing craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were small and independent craft brewing companies.1
The recent decline of some of the world’s top brewers, like AB InBev and Moslon Coors, has been met with growth in the craft beer industry, allowing more small and independent brewing companies to move into top market positions. That means for consecutive years craft brewers have made up more than half of the big 20 in brewing.
“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 BA chief economist Bart Watson.
A comprehensive State of the Industry report will be delivered during the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference, held from April 8-11 in Denver, Colorado. The association’s full 2018 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2019.
1 Figure based on companies that met the craft brewer definition for all or part of 2018. An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,800-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®,Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, SAVORTM: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew ConTM, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers PublicationsTM is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S.