The Brewers Association (BA) yesterday published its annual ranking of the top 50 craft brewers depending on sales volume.
The top nine remain unchanged from last year’s rankings, but Artisanal Brewing Ventures – the parent company of Southern Tier, Victory and Sixpoint – overtook Deschutes Brewery for tenth place, propelling the Bend-based brewer into the Oregon, in eleventh place.
“We haven’t seen too many huge changes this year, and I think that makes sense in a more mature industry where dynamic growth is more difficult,” BA chief economist Bart Watson wrote in an email to Brewbound.
The BA defines craft breweries as those that brew less than 6 million barrels per year and are not more than 25% owned by a liquor company that is not itself a craft brewer.
The top 10 craft breweries by sales volume in 2019, listed in order, were:
- CEO Yuengling & Son Inc., Pottsville, Pennsylvania
- Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams, Coney Island Brewery, Concrete Beach Brewery, Angel City Brewery), Boston, Massachusetts
- Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, CA
- New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colorado
- Duvel Moortgat (Firestone Walker Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Ommegang Brewery), Paso Robles, CA; Kansas City, Missouri; Coopertown, New York
- Gambrinus (Spoetzl Brewery, Trumer, Bridgeport), San Antonio, Texas; Berkeley, California; Portland, OR
- Bell Brewery, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- CANarchy (Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Wasatch, Squatters, Perrin, Three Weavers, Deep Ellum) Longmont, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Comstock, Michigan; Inglewood, California; Dallas, TX
- Stone Brewing, Escondido, CA
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures (Victory, Southern Tier, Sixpoint), Downington, Pennsylvania; Lakewood, New York; Brooklyn, New York).
2019 included two major craft acquisitions that could change the 2020 rankings: the May 2019 merger of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and the Boston Beer Company, and the November 2019 acquisition of New Belgium Brewing by Lion Little World Beverages. , owned by Kirin. The extra volume from Dogfish Head, which ranked No. 13 this year, wouldn’t have been enough to propel Boston Beer ahead of Yuengling, Watson said. In the 2020 ranking, New Belgium will no longer be taken into account in the production figures, as the company has lost its status as a small independent craft brewer as defined by the national professional association.
In December, Constellation Brands sold Ballast Point to Kings & Convicts, a Chicagoland-based craft brewery. The sale of Ballast Point in November 2015 to Constellation removed the brand from the BA ranking, as it no longer met the business group’s definition of small and independent. However, Ballast Point, which ranked No. 11 on the BA list in 2015, will count again and independent craft in 2020.
These changes, along with the current widespread on-site closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have the potential to revamp next year’s roster, especially for high-pressure breweries, like California-based Karl Strauss, which ranked No. 39 in 2019. .
“An extended shutdown would definitely alter that list,” Watson said. “While most of the breweries on this list have a decent chain presence, some are a lot heavier than others.”
In a Press releaseWatson noted that “2020 will be a markedly different year than 2019 for the craft brewing market” and added that the industry leaders on the list “are well positioned to help the craft category weather the current uncertainty of the market and bounce back with the flavor, variety, and innovation that beer lovers expect from small brewers.
The biggest movers in 2019 were Munster, Indiana-based Three Floyds Brewing, which jumped eight places to No. 31; Seattle, Wash.-based Georgetown Brewing, which also climbed eight places to 33rd; Lost Coast Brewing, based in Eureka, Calif., which climbed six places to No. 41; Gordon Biersch Brewing, based in San Jose, Calif. (a separate entity from the craft brewery chain owned by Craftworks Holdings), which jumped five places to No. 32; Fort Collins, Colo.-based Odell Brewing, which jumped four places to No. 29.
The only newcomer to the list in 2019 was Stratford, Connecticut-based Two Roads Brewing, which landed at No. 47. the company was ranked No. 42.
Two New England breweries saw the biggest ranking drops from 2019: Portland, Maine-based Shipyard Brewing, which fell 13 places to No. 42, and Long Trail Brewing, based in Portland, Maine. Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, which fell six places to No. 37. Fort North Coast Brewing, based in Bragg, Calif., slipped four spots to No. 50.