Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

April 7, 2014

Beer Diary:

The 50 Biggest Breweries In America, 2013 Edition

Not a lot of surprises on the latest list from the Brewers Association.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
The Brewers Association has once again released their list of top breweries in America based on 2013 beer sales volume. Although the list sports a couple of newcomers and some shuffling in the mid ranks, the top 10 remained the same, just like last year. And so, just like last year, I’m supplying some witty comments for each entry, because somebody has to keep these things interesting, right?

Go ahead and check out the BA’s actual list of breweries, as well as a separate list broken out by what they consider craft breweries.

Rank Brewing Company City, State
1 (1) Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Owners of Goose Island, Blue Point, and Shocktop.
St. Louis, Missouri
2 (2) MillerCoors (b)
Also known as Band of Brewers and Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Chicago, Illinois
3 (3) Pabst Brewing Co. (c)
The hipster swill might be moving back to the city it made famous?
Los Angeles, California
4 (4) D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc.
America’s oldest brewery holding strong.
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
5 (5) Boston Beer Co.
Haven’t had a chance to try their Rebel IPA I’ve seen advertised all over the fucking place.
Boston, Massachusetts
6 (6) North American Breweries
They own the Dundee, Genesee, Labatt, MacTarnahan, Magic Hat, and Pyramid brands.
Rochester, New York
7 (7) Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Their new eastern brewing operations keeps them up on the list.
Chico, California 0
8 (8) New Belgium Brewing Co.
See number seven.
Fort Collins, Colorado
9 (9) Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (f)
They do the Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers beers.
Portland. Oregon
10 (10) Gambrinus (g)
They’re responsible for the BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands.
San Antonio, Texas
11 (13) Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Their massive new Chicago brewery’s tap room to open in a couple of months.
Petaluma, California
12 (12) Deschutes Brewery
Still want to try their Fresh Squeezed IPA, which everyone says is fantastic.
Bend, Oregon
13 (14) Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Now in cans.
Galesburg, Michigan
14 (n/a) Duvel Moortgat USA
Jumps into the top 15 in one fell swoop by buying Boulevard Brewing.
Kansas City, Missouri and
Cooperstown, New York
15 (11) Minhas Craft Brewery (i)
Rule: If you need to put “craft” in your name, you’re not a craft brewery.
Monroe, Wisconsin
16 (18) Brooklyn Brewery
Considering Brooklyn is the center of the hipster universe, maybe they should buy Pabst.
Brooklyn, New York
17 (17) Stone Brewing Co.
Next candidate for east coast expansion?
Escondido, California
18 (15) Matt Brewing Co.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve every had anything by these guys.
Utica NY
19 (16) Harpoon Brewery
Looking forward to checking out their brew hall.
Boston, Massachusetts
20 (20) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
The exception that proves the rule set in number 15.
Milton, Delaware
21 (23) Shipyard Brewing Co.
See number 18.
Portland, Maine
22 (21) Abita Brewing Co.
Their Amber is a drinkable, ubiquitous fallback when you’re out and about on Bourbon Street and the joint you’re in can’t make a decent Sazerac.
Abita Springs, Louisiana
23 (29) Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Withholding judgment on them until I’ve had more of their stuff.
Paso Robles, California
24 (24) Alaskan Brewing Co.
Starting to creep over the Mississippi.
Juneau, Alaska
25 (26) New Glarus Brewing Co.
Only available in Wisconsin and still one of the biggest breweries in America.
New Glarus, Wisconsin
26 (33) SweetWater Brewing Co.
The south is just starting to awaken to the craft beer scene, hence this brewery’s big jump.
Atlanta, Georgia
27 (28) Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Their new double IPAs are getting a good response.
Cleveland, Ohio
28 (25) August Schell Brewing Co.
Did you know there’s more than one kind of Grainbelt?
New Ulm, Minnesota
29 (30) Anchor Brewing Co.
The grandad of craft brewers still growing.
San Francisco, California
30 (22) World Brews/Winery Exchange
Not a brewery! Why the fuck is this even listed?
Novato, California
31 (27) Long Trail Brewing Co.
See number 18.
Bridgewater Corners, Vermont
32 (32) Summit Brewing Co.
Cranking out some great shit lately.
St. Paul, Minnesota
33 (36) Oskar Blues Brewery
See number 7.
Longmont, Colorado
34 (33) Full Sail Brewing Co.
Their taproom is kind of a tourist trap, but you can’t beat the view.
Hood River, Oregon
35 (41) Founders Brewing Co.
Debuted on the list last year, big jump this year. Next year, the world?
Grand Rapids, Michigan
36 (31) Rogue Ales
Drop a surprising five spot, since I seem to see them all over the place lately.
Newport, Oregon
37 (35) Victory Brewing Co.
Dropped two places, but expect a jump next year.
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
38 (n/a) Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Not all that impressed with their stuff, considering how popular they seem to be.
San Diego, California
39 (42) Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Aggressive growth from the makers of some aggressive beers.
Eugene, Oregon
40 (48) Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Big jump from the makers of Pumking.
Lakewood, New York
41 (38) Mendocino Brewing Co.
Expect them to keep falling.
Ukiah, California
42 (39) Cold Spring Brewing Co./Third Street Brewhouse
The former Gluek, which was the former G. Gottlieb & Sons.
Cold Spring, Minnesota
43 (40) Flying Dog Brewery
Whose label art is freakier, theres or Three Floyds?
Frederick, Maryland
44 (44) Odell Brewing Co.
See number 18.
Fort Collins, Colorado
45 (46) Stevens Point Brewery Co.
Poster child for contract brewing as a business model, because nobody can be sucking down that much Point Special.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
46 (45) Bear Republic Brewing Co.
See number 38.
Cloverdale, California
47 (37) Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
Steepest drop of all the top 50. Don’t expect to see it next year.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
48 (49) Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
See number 38.
Eureka, California
49 (n/a) Narragansett Brewing Co.
See number 18.
Providence, Rhode Island
50 (n/a) Left Hand Brewing Co.
Surprised it took them this long to crack the top 50.
Longmont, Colorado

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...