The Brewers Association released its annual list of the Top 50 U.S. craft brewing companies Tuesday. The Top 50 list is compiled based on beer sales by volume in 2018.
“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,” says Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association.
The Brewers Association (BA), publishers of CraftBeer.com, is the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers. All the breweries on the Top 50 list fit the BA’s definition of a craft brewer:
- Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
- Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
- Brewer – Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.