The Brewers Association has just published its annual list of top craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on 2012 beer sales volume.
Many would say that it’s a list full of good news, and while I agree I’m not at all surprised by it and I can’t imagine anyone else is either. 39 of the top 50 overall brewing companies are small and independent craft breweries – which is pretty amazing, yet 39 of the top 50 still only make up slightly more than six percent of the total U.S. beer market.
Slow and steady growth is good but maybe I was hoping for a bit more of an upset.
Then again, maybe I’ve just been watching too much college basketball.
Anheuser-Busch Inc. still holds the number one spot on the overall list, MillerCoors is sitting in the second place, and Pabst Brewing Co. and D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. come in right behind them, with our friends at the Boston Beer Company rounding out the top five.
What is really exciting is that there are brewery names I’ve never seen before, and that means I’ve got some tasting to do.
Have you ever heard of Summit Brewing Co. in St. Paul, Minnesota? I haven’t, but they’re number 23 on the craft brewing company list and I’m going to make it a top priority to get my hands on some of their stuff. Cold Spring Brewing, another brewery in Minnesota, comes in at number 28. I’ve never been to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but I’m starting to think I might want to look into planning a trip.
I urge you to take a look for yourself, browse the list, and get out there and try something new.
Oh, and in an effort to save you some googling, know that the Gambrinus Co. is the company behind Shiner, Bridgeport, and a couple of other select brands.
Go craft and happy researching!