Colorado Unseats California As No. 1 Beer Producing State

The Beer Institute has released its 2007 Brewers Almanac with all sorts of statistics, but the one that’s getting all the attention is that California has been unseated as the number one beer state in terms of production, a position its held for several years. Colorado takes the top spot this year, besting California by just over 500,000 barrels, or roughly the equivalent of a brewery two-thirds the size of Sierra Nevada Brewing.

To Colorado, I raise my glass and toast their success. There are some fine breweries there and they deserve their moment in the sun. But just wait until next year. Let’s go breweries of California, get brewing. You’re not going to take this lying down, are you? Some kidding aside, it’s great news for everybody. A little healthy competition never hurt anybody. And with contests like this, everybody wins.

From the press release:

In 2006, the state of Colorado officially became the largest beer producing state in the country, according to newly released data from the Beer Institute. The Colorado brewing industry produced over 23.3 million barrels or 724.5 million gallons of beer. This makes the state tops in production.

“Colorado is tremendously important to the beer industry and produces a number of high quality brews enjoyed by adults around the country,” said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. “With a strong beer culture and a rich brewing history, it’s no surprise the state has become number one.”

“As a state widely recognized around the country for our natural beauty, rich history, and extensive cultural attractions, we’re pleased to now also be known as the beer brewing capitol of the United States,” added Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. “Colorado breweries are also increasingly using and producing renewable energy, which is good for the industry, good for the environment, and good for developing more home-grown sources of energy.”

Colorado is also home to other major industry trade groups such as the Brewers Association, based in Boulder, representing America’s small brewers since 1942. The state also plays host to the annual “Great American Beer Festival” in Denver.

“In addition to housing many long established large brewers, Colorado is also leading the way among small, independent craft brewers,” said Charlie Papazian, founder and president of the Brewers Association. “We invite beer lovers from every state to visit us and sample firsthand some of the many fine varieties of craft beer produced here.”


Here the Top 10 beer producing states:

  1. Colorado
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Ohio
  5. Virginia
  6. Missouri (est.)
  7. Georgia (est.)
  8. Florida
  9. Wisconsin
  10. New York

Surprisingly, Oregon and Washington ranked 15th and 16th, respectively. After I take a look at the full almanac, I’ll see what other interesting facts emerge. Until then, I’m drinking a Great Divide Titan IPA tonight. Or perhaps an Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale or even a Dale’s Pale Ale. Damn, I just have too many friends in Colorado making great beer. Congratulations one and all!


  1. says

    J: Please also consider a Coors or Bud Light. That’s what seems to be driving the stats for Colorado’s beer production although it wasn’t mentioned in the press release.


  2. Don Scheidt says

    Tom beat me to it. There are no longer any old-school big-volume brewers operating in Oregon and Washington; the last were Blitz-Weinhard, Rainier, and Miller (formerly Olympia), and they are all long gone. The two states are great for variety and well-regarded craft brewers, but the biggest brewers in Washington are Redhook and Pyramid. No giant Coors plant, no Bud or Miller plant, no top ten place for production volume.

  3. George says

    Where is PA on this list – Boston Beer produced and bottled in Lehigh Valley, Pa (not Boston): Yeungling, largest US owned producer in Pottsville, Lion Brewery, Wilkes Barre, bottles for different companies, along with its our Stegmaier brands: Victory; Weyerback; Yards; Pittsburg, Erie, Philadelphia breweries,; Appalachian; Troeg’s; Stoud”s, Lancaster: Straub’s, and lest we forget Intercourse Brewery; plus all the little brewpubs, etc.. My guess is PA is number one in production by far when you consider physical locations of the bottling.

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