These Are the Biggest Craft Breweries in the U.S.

It's no secret that the US has been in the midst of a significant craft beer boom. It's put big beer on the defensive, buying craft breweries, homebrew supply shops, beer rating apps, and "hoarding" hops. And, for some reason, they're partaking...

most popular beer

It's no secret that the US has been in the midst of a significant craft beer boom. It's put big beer on the defensive, buying craft breweries, homebrew supply shops, beer rating apps, and "hoarding" hops. (And, for some reason, they're partaking in petty infighting between big beer brands on topics most drinkers don't give a damn about.) 

Unless you follow craft beer zealously, it's hard to get a picture of what brands are the biggest nationally because distribution is wonky. If you're in Milwaukee, New Glarus seems like the biggest craft beer in the country. But it's only distributed in Wisconsin. Fortunately, the Brewers Association (BA), a not-for-profit trade group for craft breweries, provides an annual list of the top 50 craft breweries based on sales volume.

"Although the market has grown more competitive, particularly for regional craft breweries with the widest distribution, these 50 small and independent brewing companies continue to lead the craft brewing market in sales through strong brands, quality, and innovation," said chief economist for the BA Bart Watson said in a statement accompanying the report.

most popular breweries
Courtesy of the Brewers Association

The state with the most breweries on the list is California with 21. Though, four of those have locations in multiple states. It's followed by Oregon with five breweries (one in multiple states) and then Colorado and New York with four each (two each in multiple states). Those are, loosely, the four that have sat at the top of the list for a long while now despite the ups and downs of the industry, brewery closings, some being bought by big beer (Breckenridge Brewery), having status changes (Avery) or all but closing a la Green Flash. 

The breweries are outlined on the map from the BA, and also listed below in the order of beer volume sold. 

50. Left Hand Brewing; Longmont, Colorado
49. Bear Republic Brewing; Cloverdale, California
48. Saint Arnold Brewing; Houston, Texas
47. Lost Coast Brewery; Eureka, California
46. North Coast Brewing; Fort Bragg, California
45. Modern Times Beer; San Diego, California
44. Full Sail Brewing; Hood River, Oregon
43. Wachusett Brewing; Westminster, Massachusetts
42. Uinta Brewing; Salt Lake City, Utah
41. Georgetown Brewing; Seattle, Washington
40. Karl Strauss Brewing; San Diego, California
39. Three Floyds Brewing; Munster, Indiana
38. Revolution Brewing; Chicago, Illinois
37. Gordon Biersch Brewing; San Jose, California
36. Rogue Ales; Newport, Oregon
35. Ninkasi Brewing; Eugene, Oregon
34. Surly Brewing; Minneapolis, Minnesota
33. Flying Dog Brewery; Frederick, Maryland
32. Narragansett Brewing; Providence, Rhode Island
31. Long Trail Brewing; Bridgewater Corners, Vermont
30. Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine
29. Shipyard Brewing; Portland, Maine
28. Rhinegeist Brewery, Cincinnati, Ohio
27. Troëgs Brewing; Hershey, Pennsylvania
26. 21st Amendment Brewery; Bay Area, California
25. August Schell Brewing; New Ulm, Minnesota
24. Summit Brewing; St. Paul, Minnesota
23. Odell Brewing; Fort Collins, Colorado
22. Stevens Point; Stevens Point, Wisconsin
21. Abita Brewing; Abita Springs, Louisiana
20. Great Lakes Brewing; Cleveland, Ohio
19. Alaska Brewing; Juneau, Alaska
18. Harpoon Brewery; Boston, Massachusetts
17. Matt Brewing; Utica, New York
16. New Glarus Brewing; New Glarus, Wisconsin
15. Minhas Craft Brewery; Monroe, Wisconsin
14. SweetWater Brewing; Atlanta, Georgia
13. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Milton, Delaware
12. Brooklyn Brewery; Brooklyn, New York
11. Artisanal Brewing Ventures; Downingtown, Pennsylvania/Lakewood, New York/Brooklyn, New York
10. Deschutes Brewery; Bend, Oregon
9. Stone Brewing; Escondido, California
8. CANarchy; Longmont, Colorado/Tampa, Florida/Salt Lake City, Utah/Comstock Park, Michigan/Inglewood, California/Dallas, Texas
7. Bell's Brewery; Comstock, Michigan
6. Gambrinus; San Antonio, Texas/Berkeley, California/Portland, Oregon
5. Duvel Moortgat; Paso Robles, California/Kansas City, Missouri/Cooperstown, New York
4. New Belgium Brewing; Fort Collins, Colorado/San Francisco, California
3. Sierra Nevada Brewing; Chico, California
2. Boston Beer; Boston, Massachusetts
1. D. G. Yuengling & Son; Pottsville, Pennsylvania

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Writer on the news team at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.