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Top 50 Breweries For 2023

The Brewers Association yesterday announced the top 50 breweries and craft breweries in the U.S. based on sales, by volume, for 2023, which is listed below here. I should also mention that this represents “craft breweries” according to the BA’s membership definition, and not necessarily how most of us would define them, as there’s no universally agreed upon way to differentiate the two. For a number of years now, they’ve also released a list of the top 50 breweries, which includes all breweries. In the past I’ve posted the two lists separately, but last year decided going forward to present them together since the two are increasingly intermingled.

I confess I used to look more forward to this list every year as it represented greater and wider acceptance of craft in the marketplace, but it doesn’t seem to hold the same thrill for me anymore, perhaps I’m getting jaded. Part of my malaise I think comes from the fact that consolidation has become such a part of the current landscape that it’s in a sense how things were before the rise of craft beer. There’s nothing inherently wrong this, it’s a natural part in the evolution of any industry. But as an old-timer in this nascent craft industry, it was the independent spirit of the early brewery pioneers that built the foundation of today’s beer scene. And seeing it contract into mini-conglomerates and empires, however natural, is not very pleasant to watch. Of the top ten, six of them are groups of two or more breweries, and number one is Yuengling, which is an old guard brewery that’s small and independent in name only, not in spirit (that’s not a knock on Yuengling, at least it’s not meant to be). It’s understandable, but no less disheartening, and will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future. Anyway, here is this year’s craft brewery list:

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

1D. G. Yuengling and Son IncPottsvillePA
2Boston Beer CoBoston, MiltonMA, DE
3Sierra Nevada Brewing CoChicoCA
4Duvel Moortgat USAPaso Robles, Kansas City, CooperstownCA, MO, NY
5GambrinusShiner, BerkeleyTX, CA
6Tilray Beer BrandsAtlanta, Montauk, San Diego, Bend, Seattle, Portland, Breckenridge, PatchogueGA, NY, CA, OR, WA, OR, CO, NY
7Artisanal Brewing VenturesDowningtown, Lakewood, BrooklynPA, NY, NY
8Brooklyn BreweryBrooklynNY
9Monster BrewingLongmont, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Comstock, DallasCO, FL, UT, MI, TX
10Athletic Brewing CompanyMilfordCT
11New Glarus Brewing CoNew GlarusWI
12Deschutes BreweryBendOR
13Matt Brewing CoUticaNY
14Gordon Biersch Brewing CoSan JoseCA
15Allagash Brewing CompanyPortlandME
16Georgetown Brewing CoSeattleWA
17Great Lakes Brewing CompanyClevelandOH
18Harpoon BreweryBostonMA
19Stevens Point BreweryStevens PointWI
20Three Floyds BrewingMunsterIN
21Pittsburgh Brewing CoPittsburghPA
22Rhinegeist BreweryCincinnatiOH
23Narragansett Brewing CoPawtucketRI
24August Schell Brewing CompanyNew UlmMN
25Odell Brewing CoFort CollinsCO
26Craft ‘Ohana (Maui/Modern Times)Kihei, San DiegoHI, CA
27Troegs Brewing CoHersheyPA
28Fiddlehead BrewingShelburneVT
29Minhas Craft BreweryMonroeWI
30Kings & Convicts BrewingSan DiegoCA
31Alaskan Brewing Co.JuneauAK
32Kona Brewing HawaiiKailua-KonaHI
33Abita Brewing CoCovingtonLA
34Creature Comforts Brewing Co.AthensGA
35Great Frontier HoldingsEugene, PortlandOR, OR
36BrewDog Brewing CoCanal WinchesterOH
37Summit Brewing CoSt. PaulMN
38Jack’s Abby Brewing, LLCFraminghamMA
39Revolution BrewingChicagoIL
40Montucky Cold SnacksBozemanMT
41Saint Arnold Brewing CoHoustonTX
42Lost Coast BreweryEurekaCA
43Surly Brewing CompanyMinneapolisMN
44Rogue Ales BreweryNewportOR
45United States Beverage LLCSalt Lake City, ElmsfordUT, NY
46Shipyard Brewing CoPortlandME
47Pizza PortCarlsbadCA
48Coronado Brewing CoCoronadoCA
49Drake’s Brewing CoSan LeandroCA
50IndieBrewAtlanta, NashvilleGA, TN

The data was also accompanied by the following press release:

Boulder, Colo.  The Brewers Association (BA)—the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers—today released annual production figures for the U.S. craft brewing industry.

The number of operating craft breweries continued to climb in 2023, reaching an all-time high of 9,683, including 2,071 microbreweries, 3,467 brewpubs, 3,900 taproom breweries, and 245 regional craft breweries. The total U.S. operating brewery count was 9,812, up from 9,730 in 2022. Throughout the year, there were 495 new brewery openings and 418 closings. Openings decreased for a second consecutive year, with the trend reflecting a more mature market. The closing rate increased in 2023 but continued to remain relatively low, at approximately 4%.

Driven by the growing number of breweries and a continued shift to hospitality-focused business models, craft brewers directly employed 191,421 people in 2023, a 1.1% increase from 2022.

“2023 was another competitive and challenging year for small and independent brewers,” said Bart Watson, vice president of strategy and chief economist of the Brewers Association. “Nevertheless, even as growth has downshifted, small brewers have proved quite resilient, as seen in the increase in number of breweries, relatively low closing rates, and gains in onsite sales and jobs.”

Collectively, small and independent brewers produced 23.4 million barrels of beer in 2023, a decline of 1.0% from 20223, though craft’s overall beer market share by volume grew to 13.3%, up from 13.1% in 2022 as craft’s declines were smaller than overall beer volume losses.

The overall beer market shrank 5.1% by volume in 2023. Retail dollar value was estimated at $28.6 billion, representing a 24.5% market share and 3% growth over a comparable value in 2022. Sales growth was stronger than volume primarily due to pricing but also due to slightly stronger onsite sales growth versus distribution.

“As always, the beverage alcohol market and consumer demand continue to evolve,” added Watson. ”Many brewers are accordingly updating their operations to match those changes, focusing on their business models, go-to-market strategies, and brand strategies to help their businesses match those shifts.”

And here’s the second list, which is the Top 50 Brewing Companies Overall, which means all companies, not just the ones eligible for membership in the Brewers Association, which excludes from membership breweries that are too large or with large ownership structures, among other specific qualifications.

In this list, the top ten are either a group of brewery businesses or quite larger and/or old enough to predate the 1980s. Number 11, Sierra Nevada, is the first actual craft brewery on the list. But overall the list is so filled with complicated business arrangements that there are 26 footnotes for 50 entries.

Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies 

1Anheuser-Busch IncSt. LouisMO
4Heineken USAWhite PlainsNY
5Pabst Brewing CoLos AngelesCA
7D. G. Yuengling and Son IncPottsvillePA
9Kirin-LionFort Collins, ComstockCO, MI
10Boston Beer CoBoston, MiltonMA, DE
11Sierra Nevada Brewing CoChicoCA
12Sapporo-Stone BrewingEscondidoCA
13Duvel Moortgat USAPaso Robles, Kansas City, CooperstownCA, MO, NY
14GambrinusShiner, BerkeleyTX, CA
15Mahou San MiguelGrand Rapids, BoulderMI, CO
16Tilray Beer BrandsAtlanta, Montauk, San Diego, Bend, Seattle, Portland, Breckenridge, PatchogueGA, NY, CA, OR, WA, OR, CO, NY
17Artisanal Brewing VenturesDowningtown, Lakewood, BrooklynPA, NY, NY
18Brooklyn BreweryBrooklynNY
19Monster BrewingLongmont, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Comstock, DallasCO, FL, UT, MI, TX
20Athletic Brewing CompanyMilfordCT
21New Glarus Brewing CoNew GlarusWI
22Deschutes BreweryBendOR
23Matt Brewing CoUticaNY
24Gordon Biersch Brewing CoSan JoseCA
25Allagash Brewing CompanyPortlandME
26Georgetown Brewing CoSeattleWA
27Great Lakes Brewing CompanyClevelandOH
28Harpoon BreweryBostonMA
29Stevens Point BreweryStevens PointWI
30Three Floyds BrewingMunsterIN
31Pittsburgh Brewing CoPittsburghPA
32Rhinegeist BreweryCincinnatiOH
33Narragansett Brewing CoPawtucketRI
34August Schell Brewing CompanyNew UlmMN
35Odell Brewing CoFort CollinsCO
36Craft ‘Ohana (Maui/Modern Times)Kihei, San DiegoHI, CA
37Troegs Brewing CoHersheyPA
38Fiddlehead BrewingShelburneVT
39Minhas Craft BreweryMonroeWI
40Kings & Convicts BrewingSan DiegoCA
41Alaskan Brewing Co.JuneauAK
42Kona Brewing HawaiiKailua-KonaHI
43Abita Brewing CoCovingtonLA
44Creature Comforts Brewing Co.AthensGA
45Great Frontier HoldingsEugene, PortlandOR, OR
46BrewDog Brewing CoCanal WinchesterOH
47Summit Brewing CoSt. PaulMN
48Jack’s Abby Brewing, LLCFraminghamMA
49Revolution BrewingChicagoIL
50Montucky Cold SnacksBozemanMT
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