NEPA Scene Staff

Yuengling is No. 1 craft brewing company in the country and 4th overall brewery in nationwide sales

Yuengling is No. 1 craft brewing company in the country and 4th overall brewery in nationwide sales
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From a press release:

As it continues to expand its availability in new states like Indiana, the local lager proves that it’s just as popular across the country as it is here in Pennsylvania.

This week, the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers, released its annual lists of the Top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the United States, based on beer sales volume. Of the Top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were craft brewers.

D.G. Yuengling & Son in Pottsville was named No. 1, once again beating out Boston Beer Company, the producer of Samuel Adams, as they have since 2014.

Established in 1829, Yuengling is also the oldest operating brewing company in the country and is still family-owned. It reached No. 4 in the list of top-selling brewing companies overall, just behind Anheuser-Busch in Saint Louis, MillerCoors in Chicago, and Pabst Brewing Company in Los Angeles.

“With such a broad range of brewers in today’s beer landscape, the leading small and independent producers have helped build the craft brewing industry to what it is today,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association.

“Embracing their experience and ability to thrive and overcome challenges, the top producing craft brewers will continue to inspire, innovate, and influence the future of beer.”

Two other Keystone State breweries made the Top 50 – Artisanal Brewing Ventures (formed last year when Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown and Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, New York merged) climbed to 13, up from 26 when it was just Victory in 2015, and Troegs Brewing Company in Hershey came in at 38, up from 45 last year.

The Brewers Association’s figures are based on companies that met the definition of a craft brewer for all or part of 2016. An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. “Small” means an annual production of six million barrels of beer or less (approximately three percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. “Independent” means less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. “Traditional” refers to a brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers.

According to a year-end review from the Brewers Association, there are now 5,005 breweries in the U.S. compared to 10,000 wineries. (Just last year, it was 4,144 breweries, a historic high.) 99 percent are small and independent craft brewers.

By mid-2016, small and independent breweries grew by eight percent, reflecting dynamism and a bright spot for the domestic beer market. Craft beer export volume increased by 16.3 percent, totaling 446,151 barrels and worth $116 million. More than 100 small and independent craft brewers export their beer internationally, spreading the culture and community of craft beer and a growing recognition and respect for American brewers.

Top 10 U.S. craft brewing companies:
(based on 2016 beer sales volume)

1. D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. – Pottsville, PA
2. Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, CA
4. New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins, CO
5. Gambrinus – San Antonio, TX
6. Duvel Moortgat – Paso Robles, CA/Kansas City, MO/Cooperstown, NY
7. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – Comstock, MI
8. Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR
9. Stone Brewing Co. – Escondido, CA
10. Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co. – Longmont, CO

Top 10 U.S. overall brewing companies:
(based on 2016 beer sales volume)

1. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. – Saint Louis, MO
2. MillerCoors – Chicago, IL
3. Pabst Brewing Co. – Los Angeles, CA
4. D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. – Pottsville, PA
5. North American Breweries – Rochester, NY
6. Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
7. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, CA
8. New Belgium Brewing Co. – Fort Collins, CO
9. Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Petaluma, CA
10. Craft Brew Alliance – Portland, OR