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Craft breweries are steadily increasing in popularity as beer enthusiasts search for their favorite new brews at independently owned breweries and taprooms across the nation. In recent years, the craft beer market has been on the rise, pleasing customers with unique and bold flavors and refreshing drinking experiences.
Globally, craft breweries in the United States generate billions of dollars and hold approximately 24% of the country’s $94 billion market. Although sales decreased in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the craft brewery market remains strong at $22 billion.
Independently owned and often family-operated craft breweries make it all, from ales and lagers to stouts and porters. In 2020 alone, craft breweries produced more than 22.8 billion barrels of beer and dominated the country’s top 50 largest overall brewing companies.
Nationally, several major breweries were driving the craft brewery industry. To break it down, we’ve assembled a list of the ten largest craft breweries in the United States.
Ranking the World’s Largest Craft Breweries
This list of the world’s ten largest craft breweries is ranked by each facility’s total annual beer production volume, measured in barrels of beer.
This ranking is exclusive to craft breweries in the United States. Therefore, only breweries and beer businesses that met the craft brewery definition as outlined by the Brewers Association were considered. All craft breweries included in this ranking produce less than 6 million barrels of beer each year and are fully or partly independently owned.
The list below also includes important information on each facility’s number of employees. However, rankings are based solely on the brewery’s total volume of beer produced each year.
10 Largest Craft Breweries in the United States
Here are the top 10 largest craft breweries in the United States by total annual production volume:
D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Production Volume: 2.6 million barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 350
As the oldest craft beer brewery in the United States, it’s no surprise that D.G. Yuengling and Son ranks, Inc ranks as the largest craft brewery in the country. Founded in 1829, the rapidly growing beverage company has been family-owned and operated for nearly two centuries.
D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc produces its beer, including their popular Yuengling Traditional Lager, Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter, and Oktoberfest beers, in two breweries located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and Tampa, Florida.
D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc are on track to expand considerably in the next several years. The company entered into a joint operating agreement in September 202 with Molson Coors, one of the largest beer brewers by volume in the United States and worldwide.
This new agreement with Molson Coors will expand Yuengling’s distribution network to states located on the country’s West Coast, allowing the brewery to sell its beer to millions of more people. Previously, D.G. Yuengling and Sons distributed to 22 states in New England and along the East Coast.
Production Volume: 1.75 million barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 2,128
Founded by Jim Koch in 1984 using a generations-old family recipe, the Boston Beer Company is one of the best-known craft breweries in the world. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the beer brewing giant is most famous for their Samuel Adams beer, previously named the best beer in America.
Since its inception, Boston Beer Company has grown rapidly, becoming the second-largest craft brewery in the United States. Today, the beer business brews more than 60 styles of Samuel Adams beer at breweries in Boston, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.
Although Samuel Adams is one of America’s leading craft beers, sales account for about one percent of the United States beer market. Still, Boston Beer Company beverages are available in all fifty states and yield impressive sales. In 2020, the Boston Beer Company reported $1.74 billion in annual net revenue.
In addition to the Samuel Adams beer, the brewery is best known for its Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard hard cider, and Truly Spiked & Sparkling hard seltzer.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico, California
Production Volume: 1.25 million barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 1,100
The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, based in Chico, California, ranks as the nation’s third-largest craft brewery. Founded by homebrewer Ken Grossman in 1979, its decades-old recipe for its flagship Sierra Nevada Stout continues to be one of the brewery’s most popular drinks and a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts.
The brewery produces several beers year-round, including their Sierra Nevada Stout and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It offers a variety of specialty, seasonal, and limited edition beers throughout the year.
In its 42 year history, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has expanded several times, most recently in 2005, and now generates an impressive estimated $300 million in average annual sales each year.
In addition to brewing and bottling beers, the company operates the Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant, a restaurant, gift shop, and tasting room in Chico, California, and the Torpedo Room, a tasting room in Berkeley, California.
Duvel Moortgat/Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Paso Robles, California
Production Volume: 1.17 million barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 360
This European-style brewery operates as part of Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat, a Flemish family-owned beer brewing giant based in Breendonk, Belgium.
Duvel Moortgat was founded in 1871 but only began brewing in Paso Robles, California, more recently, in July 2015 when they partnered with the family-owned Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company was founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone and David Walker and quickly became a popular craft brewery in California. After partnering with Duvel Moortgat, the company collectively produces more than one million barrels of beer each year.
Today, the craft brewery is celebrated for its Belgium and European style beers and perhaps best known for their Duvel and Maredsous beers.
The Gambrinus Company. San Antonio, Texas
Production Volume: 605,000 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 124
Founded in Shiner, Texas, in 1909, The Gambrinus Company has been bottling brews for more than 100 years, making the company the oldest independent craft brewery in the state of Texas.
The family-owned craft beer producer is perhaps best known for their Shiner Beers, including their flagship Bavarian Style beer, the Shiner Bock, which is brewed at their Spoetzl Brewery in Texas. In addition, the company also markets, sells, and produces brews in Berkeley, California, from their Trumer Brewery.
The Gambrinus Company was initially founded by German and Czech immigrants with the intention of brewing traditional European beers. Between 1994 and 2004, the company’s beer production nearly tripled, enabling THe Gambrinus Company to become one of the largest craft breweries in the United States.
Now, as a certified craft brewery, The Gambrinus Company bottles a flavorful line of beers in their breweries and works with a network of retail and wholesale stores to sell their products nationwide.
CANarchy. Longmont, Colorado
Production Volume: 490,000 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 900
Ranking as the sixth-largest craft brewery in the United States is CANarchy, an independent craft beer company founded in 2015 in Longmont, Colorado. In less than ten years, CANarchy offers its products at 18 pubs and taprooms and operates eight manufacturing locations, where they produce a line of eight distinct beer brands.
CANarchy operates as a collective of like-minded brewers, including Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beers, Wasatch Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing Company, and Revitalyte, and provides beer across the country and in 21 countries and US territories.
The craft brewery collective prides itself on being infinitely local and nationally accessible. It is best known for its core beers, including Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, One-y IPA, and Can-O-Bliss Series.
Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Kalamazoo, Michigan
Production Volume: 466,700 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 600
Bell’s Brewery began as a homebrewing store in 1983 and started producing beer two years later in 1985, making it the oldest craft brewery in Michigan. Since its inception, the brewery has grown considerably, ranking as the seventh-largest craft brewery in the United States.
The company operates out of both Comstock and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and owns Upper Hand Brewery, which operates out of Escanaba, Michigan.
Not only is Bell’s Brewery the oldest independently owned brewery in the state, but it’s also the largest in Michigan and one of the largest in the United States. The brewery has grown massively in its 36-year history and now produces nearly 500,000 barrels of beer each year, compared to 135 in its first year of operations.
The Michigan-based beer business is best known for brewing up a flavorful assortment of ales, stouts, and lagers, including a collection of IPAs, fruity flights, and specialty drinks.
Stone Brewing. Escondido, California
Production Volume: 325,645 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 1,100
Stone Brewing ranks as the eighth-largest craft brewery in the United States based on its annual production volume.
Founded in 1996 in San Marcos, California, Stone Brewing is also the largest craft brewery in Southern California. Now headquartered in Escondido, California, Stone Brewing beers are among the most popular beverages in San Diego County.
Stone Brewing is best known for its line of west-coast brews, which feature a high hop content and above-average alcohol percentage. The brewery is perhaps best known for its Arrogant Bastard Ale brand, produced at various locations across the United States.
In its 25 year history, Stone Brewing has grown to operate brewing facilities in California and Virginia and many taprooms and restaurants across the country. Stone Brewing beers are available in all 50 states, as well as 40 countries worldwide.
The brewery’s impressive distribution network has yielded high profits and impressive revenue streams. Today, Stone Brewing reports average annual sales of more than $137 million, making it one of the most profitable independent craft breweries in the United States.
Artisanal Brewing Ventures. Charlotte, North Carolina
Production Volume: 300,000 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 128
Artisanal Brewing Ventures, or ABV, is the ninth-largest craft brewery in the United States. The southeast beer brewery is the parent company of several popular craft breweries across the United States.
Operating as a beer brewing partnership platform or umbrella company, the company owns Victory Brewing in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, New York, and Sixpoint Brewing in Brooklyn, New York.
Founded in 2014, Artisanal Brewing Ventures is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they operate a 28,000 square-foot brewery and taproom. In just seven years, Artisanal Brewing Ventures has yielded impressive sales. The company is estimated to generate approximately $34.6 million in average annual revenue.
Deschutes Brewery. Bend, Oregon
Production Volume: 250,000 barrels of beer
Number Of Employees: 490
Rounding out the list of the top 10 largest craft breweries in the United States is Deschutes Brewery, headquartered in Bend, Oregon.
Gary Fish established the Deschutes Brewery & Public House in 1988 to bring people together and serve as a community gathering place. In its first year of operations, the brewery sold 310 barrels of beer — a small fraction of the approximately 250,00 annual beer barrels they produce today.
Deschutes Brewery operates a brewery and tasting room on the banks of the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon, a pub in Portland, Oregon, and a tasting room in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition, the brewery sells its brews in more than 30 states across the country.
In its 33 year history, Deschutes Brewery has become best known for its Black Butte Porter, one of the best-selling craft porters in the United States, and Mirror Pond Ale, an award-winning beer.
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