These Are the 50 Biggest Craft Breweries in America

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Courtesy of Oskar Blues/Eddie Clark/

If craft breweries are small-town record shops like Empire Records, macrobrewers are often viewed as Music Town, a big, bad corporate music emporium. But nowadays, many craft breweries are big businesses in their own right. Every year, the Brewer’s Association releases a list of the top 50 craft breweries in America ranked by volume of beer sales. It’s a unique window into the beer Americans are drinking.

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And based on the top 50, we’re drinking plenty of Yuengling. The top three breweries in the USA are unchanged from 2015: Yuengling, the Pennsylvania- and Florida-based brewery again takes the top spot, with Sam Adams parent company Boston Beer Co. coming in second, and Sierra Nevada landing in third. Other breweries of note in the top 10 are the West Coast IPA–loving folks at Stone, the Midwest beer heroes at Bell’s, and Gambrinus, which provides Texas with all the Shiner beer they could ever want.

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It’s also important to note the breweries not on this year’s list because they were acquired by macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors. That’s why uber-popular beermakers like Lagunitas, Ballast Point, Breckenridge Brewery, and Four Peaks, all of which made the list last year, were excluded from this year’s rundown. But the good news about breweries exiting the top 50 is that it allows some craft breweries experiencing a ton of growth to enter the list, and others to move up in the ranking. Here are some movers and shakers you should be on the lookout for next time you’re in the liquor store:

#10 Oskar Blues Holding Co.

The Longmont, Colorado–based brewery that cranks out cans of the fantastic Dale’s Pale Ale and the gigantic Ten FIDY stout made its entry into the top 10 for the first time. But while you might be familiar with those beers, you might not know that its holding company also includes Perrin, Wasatch, Squatters, and Cigar City, which joined in 2016. With OB’s help, this could mean Cigar City might widen its distribution of hard-to-find beers like Jai Alai IPA or Hunahpu’s imperial stout, which is good news for all craft beer drinkers.

#49 Real Ale

Never heard of Real Ale? That’s not surprising if you live outside of Texas, as it’s only distributed in the state. Sorry, people in the other 49 states and Washington, D.C. Other than Wisconsin’s phenomenal fruit beer makers at New Glarus, Real Ale is one of only two breweries in the top 50 to distribute to a single state. Next time you’re in the Lone Star state, you should consider picking up its super-quaffable Fireman’s #4 blonde ale, the bestselling brew from the 49th biggest brewery in America.

#42 Surly

The pride of the Twin Cities, Surly went from not being included in the top 50 last year to rocketing into 42nd place. The brewery opened a new brewing facility, beer hall, and restaurant at the end of 2014, and that extra brewing capacity allowed it to finally ramp up production enough to be one of the largest beer producers in the country. IPA lovers lose their minds over Surly’s flagship Furious, along with its other hop-filled beers like Todd The Axe Man, OverRated, and Abrasive. 

Here is the full list:

1 D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc

2 Boston Beer Co

3 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

4 New Belgium Brewing Co

5 Gambrinus

6 Duvel Moortgat

7 Bell’s Brewery, Inc

8 Deschutes Brewery

9 Stone Brewing Co

10 Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co

11 Brooklyn Brewery

12 Minhas Craft Brewery

13 Artisanal Brewing Ventures

14 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

15 SweetWater Brewing Co

16 New Glarus Brewing Co

17 Matt Brewing Co

18 Harpoon Brewery

19 Alaskan Brewing

20 Abita Brewing Co

21 Great Lakes Brewing Co

22 Anchor Brewing Co

23 Stevens Point Brewery

24 August Schell Brewing Co

24 Long Trail Brewing Co

26 Summit Brewing Co

27 Odell Brewing Co

28 Shipyard Brewing Co

29 Full Sail Brewing Co

30 Rogue Ales

31 21st Amendment Brewery

32 Flying Dog Brewery

33 Ninkasi Brewing Co

34 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co

35 Allagash Brewing Co

36 Narragansett Brewing Co

37 Green Flash Brewing Co

38 Tröegs Brewing Co

39 Uinta Brewing Co

40 Bear Republic Brewing Co

41 Karl Strauss Brewing Co

42 Surly Brewing Co

43 Sixpoint Brewery

44 Left Hand Brewing Co

45 Lost Coast Brewery

46 Revolution Brewing

47 North Coast Brewing Co

48 Avery Brewing Co

49 Real Ale Brewing Co

50 BJ’s Brewery

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