Earlier this week, the Brewers Association released its list of Top 50 Breweries by Sales Volume for both Craft Breweries and otherwise. You’ll probably be a little surprised by some of the breweries that show up in the NON-Craft Brewer list. The BA definition of a Craft Brewer: “An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional.”
Well.. okay.. that’s a discussion for another time.
Today! We get a pretty chart.
I was interested to see what had changed over the past year, and the answer is: Not a lot. This is good news to me. It suggests a fairly stable market, especially in the face of a global economic crisis. There’s a belief, or at least repeated line in the media, that beer is recession proof and while I’m not necessarily convinced that that’s true, this would suggest that if there was a drop in barrels sold over the past year, at least consumers stopped buying beer everywhere at the same time. Not having total number of barrels available makes that kind of hard to tell right off the bat.
There are two lines highlighted up there that I think merit a little bit of attention.
The first is Kona Brewing Company, which was the single largest climber in the rankings. Again, since actual number of barrels is omitted from this information we don’t know just how much of an increase that is or if places 10 – 30 are within 1,000 barrels of each other or what. Given that I recently started seeing their Pipeline Porter on a regular basis here on the East Coast, my guess would be that they’re benefiting from a really good distribution agreement.
The second highlight is the only new entrant on the list, the St. Louis Brewing Company or what most of us know as Schlafly Beer. So kudos there.
It’d been even more interesting to see the changes over the past few years, especially in terms of geographic distribution, but I can’t seem to find these figures back past 2007. If anybody’s got info saved up to play with, let me know.