Food & Drink

The 50 Most Successful Craft Breweries in America

Finding success in the world of craft beer is difficult. There are more than 6,000 breweries in the U.S., all fighting for a share of the more than $23 billion people spend on craft beer every year. It’s quite an accomplishment when a brewery finds a way to rise above the noise and become a household name. On March 14, The Brewers Association, the lobbying body for craft beer, released its list of the most successful breweries in the country, and they range from national icons to regional favorites.

The list is limited to breweries that fall under the Brewers Association’s definition of craft, which requires a brewery to produce fewer than six million barrels and be at least 75 percent independently owned. That disqualifies brands like Goose Island, Wicked Weed and Ballast Point, all of which sold controlling assets to big beer companies like AB-InBev and Constellation Brands, which makes Corona. The Brewers Association took the total beer sales volume of craft breweries and ordered them from largest to smallest to find the most successful.

“In an increasingly competitive and mature marketplace, these brewing companies continue to lead and pave the path for small and independent craft brewers,” Bart Watson, the chief economist for the Brewers Association, said in a statement.

Coming in the top spot is D. G. Yuengling & Son, the Pennsylvania brewery that makes Yuengling. Second is Boston Beer Co., which owns Samuel Adams, Coney Island Brewing Company, Concrete Beach Brewing Company and others. In third is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California, which played an early role in the craft beer renaissance. The Brewers Association also created a list of the top 50 overall brewing companies, lead by Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Constellation. The most successful craft brewery, Yuengling, comes in sixth on that list.

The full list of most successful craft breweries and the list for most successful breweries overall can be found on the Brewers Association website.