The Brewers Association published its annual list of the 50 largest craft breweries in the United States, and as always, it’s interesting to see new breweries sneak into the mix. These figures of course reflect the deeply damaging and difficult period that almost all breweries have experienced during the pandemic-scarred year of 2020, which particularly decimated the business of breweries that relied heavily on draft beer sales in bars. , restaurants and in person. taprooms. Breweries that have been able to focus heavily on packaged beers sold on-premises or in grocery/packaging stores have fared better, but it’s safe to say that the pandemic year has posed a significant challenge for brewing companies, large and small.
The top of the list is of course anchored by the old stalwarts – Yuengling, since the definition of “craft brewer” was changed to make room for them, followed by Boston Beer Co. (not counting Truly, Twisted Tea, etc. .), Sierra Nevada and Duvel Moortgat, through the latter’s ownership of Boulevard Brewing Co. and Firestone Walker.
Digging deeper, there are some interesting stories here, such as the continued rise of Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist, which has now taken 25th place despite only being founded in 2013. The name “Kings & Convicts” in Hole #30, another reminder that the former industry titan Ballast Point had been acquired in the weirdest way.
Of all the “small” guys no longer to be called small, meanwhile, you should note Athens, GA’s popular Creature Comforts now ranks 48th, reflecting their massive expansion in brewing capacity. Truly, they’ve been another incredible success story in the Georgia beer market, having been founded as recently as 2014.
It will be interesting to see if the list is significantly shaken up in 2021, as the fallout from the pandemic continues and more breweries try to fill the void created by our new ways of drinking.
In the meantime, you can check out the full list of America’s 50 largest craft breweries. here.