Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

April 6, 2015

Beer Diary:

The 50 Biggest Breweries In America in 2014

Same top 10 (13, actually) as last year.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
It’s April folks and fools, and you know what that means: baseball starting up, late-season snow storms, and college semi-pro basketball teams’ unbeaten seasons coming to a glorious end. It also means it’s time again for the Brewers Association’s meaningless 50 largest breweries in America list. Not a lot here that stands out, since the top 10 (13, if you’re counting, which you aren’t) is exactly the same as last year. But take a read through the list and check out our pithy comments, among other sundry info. I’m not linking to the BA’s web site since they got all snotty and put the list out as an image instead of copy-and-past-friendly text. You know the typist doesn’t work for fucking free, jerkwads.

The number in parantheses is last year’s ranking.

Rank Brewing Company City, State
1(1) Anheuser-Busch, Inc (a)
Owners of Goose Island, Blue Point, Shocktop, 10 Barrel, Elysian, and the biggest assholes in the marketing world.
St. Louis, MO
2(2) Miller Coors (b)
Also known as Band of Brewers, Blue Moon Brewing Co., and Leinenkugel’s
Chicago , IL
3(3) Pabst Brewing CO (c)
Hipster juice.
Los Angeles, CA
4(4) D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc
One year older than they were last year.
Pottsville, PA
5(5) Boston Beer Co
Still relevant, if you ask us.
Boston, MA
6(6) North American Breweries
They own the Dundee, Genesee, Labatt, MacTarnahan, Magic Hat, and Pyramid brands.
Rochester, NY
7(7) Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
With their east coast expansion, will they vault into the top five?
Chico, CA
8(8) New Belgium Brewing Co
See number seven.
Fort Collins , CO
9(9) Craft Brew Alliance
They do the Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers beers.
Portland, OR
10(10) Gambrinus
They’re responsible for the BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands. See number 20.
Shiner, TX
11(11) Lagunitas Brewing Co
Chicago brewery is fully operational.
Petaluma, CA
12(12) Deschutes Brewery
Creeping ever further east.
Bend, OR
13(13) Bell’s Brewery, Inc
Oh, yeah, April also means Oberon!
Comstock, MI
14(17) Stone Brewing Co
Moving into the international market.
Escondido, CA
15(n/a) Sleeman Brewing Co
Do they even actually brew anything in America? Do they get on this list just because they have an office here? So if Heineken opened an office in, say, New York, they suddenly appear in the top five?
La Crosse, WI
16(15) Minhas Craft Brewery
Monroe, WI
17(16) Brooklyn Brewery
Seriously, why don’t they just buy Pabst and complete the hipster circle?
Brooklyn, NY
18(14) Duvel Moortgat USA
They bought Boulevard two years ago.
Kansas City &
Cooperstown, MO/NY
19(20) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Back distributing in the Midwest.
Milton, DE
20(18) Matt Brewing Co
Who the fuck is drinking all this shit?
Utica, NY
21(19) Harpoon Brewery
Completely unimpressed with everything they do.
Boston, MA
22(23) Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Another California brewery.
Paso Robles, CA
23(35) Founders Brewing Co
Jumped 10 places from last, and they’re finishing up another expansion right now. With their buy-in with Mahou San Miguel, they might jump even further in next year’s list.
Grand Rapids, MI
24(26) SweetWater Brewing Co
Maybe the only thing good to come out of Georgia.
Atlanta, GA
25(25) New Glarus Brewing Co
That is a shit ton of Spotted Cow.
New Glarus, WI
26(24) Alaskan Brewing Co
Drinking an Imperial Red Ale as I write this.
Juneau, AK
27(22) Abita Brewing Co
Turbo Dog might be the last brown ale I ever drank.
Abita Springs, LA
28(29) Anchor Brewing Co
See number four.
San Francisco, CA
29(27) Great Lakes Brewing Co
The beers are still solid from this venerable Cleveland institution.
Cleveland, OH
30(33) Oskar Blues Brewery
See number seven, except maybe top 20 instead of five.
Longmont, CO
31(21) Shipyard Brewing Co
They dropped 10 places from last year.
Portland, ME
32(45) Stevens Point Brewery Co
Biggest jump on the list from last year. Mainly from contract brewing, since there’s no fucking way people are sucking down that much Point Special.
Stevens Point, WI
33(28) August Schell Brewing Co
See number 20.
New Ulm, MN
34(32) Summit Brewing Co
See number 29, swap Saint Paul for Cleveland.
Saint Paul, MN
35(37) Victory Brewing Co
Beautiful beers from this beautiful brewery.
Downingtown, PA
36(31) Long Trail Brewing Co
Quick, name their flagship beer without using the internet.
Bridgewater Corners, VT
37(38) Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
See number 22.
San Diego, CA
38(36) Rogue Ales Brewery 8(8), Headquarters
My Rogue Nation citizenship has not been revoked. Yet.
Newport, OR
39(34) Full Sail Brewing Co
Been there. Drank that.
Hood River, OR
40(44) Odell Brewing Co
Another Colorado brewery.
Fort Collins, CO
41(40) Southern Tier Brewing Co
Have some self-respect and please don’t release Pumking until September.
Lakewood, NY
42(39) Ninkasi Brewing Co
These guys make some hop monsters.
Eugene, OR
43(30) World Brews/Winery Exchange
How in the fuck is this considered a brewery?!? All they do is wholesale shitty store brands.
Novato, CA
44(43) Flying Dog Brewery
Still scratching our heads over the move to Maryland.
Frederick, MD
45(47) Pittsburgh Brewing Co
Last year I predicted they’d be off the list, but instead they moved up by two. SEE NUMBER 20!
Pittsburgh, PA
46(n/a) Uinta Brewing Co
Never seen this anywhere.
Salt Lake City, UT
47(46) Bear Republic Brewing Co
See number 22.
Cloverdale, CA
48(50) Left Hand Brewing Company
I don’t think I’ve seen anything other than their Milk Stout. Do they brew anything else?
Longmont, CO
49(n/a) 21st Amendment Brewery Cafe
Newcomer, but isn’t most of their stuff contract brewed?
San Francisco, CA
50(n/a) Allagash Brewing Co
Surprised they weren’t on the list before. See their stuff everywhere.
Portland, ME

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...