NEPA Scene Staff

Yuengling is still No. 1 craft brewing company in U.S. and 6th overall brewery in nationwide sales

Yuengling is still No. 1 craft brewing company in U.S. and 6th overall brewery in nationwide sales
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From a press release:

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

D.G. Yuengling & Son in Pottsville was named No. 1 in the Top 50 craft brewing companies, once again beating the Boston Beer Company, the producer of Samuel Adams, as Yuengling has since 2014.

“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,” said Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association.

This report comes as Yuengling continues to commemorate its 190th anniversary this year by offering fans special new packaging, promotions, brewery exclusive beers, and celebratory events like a free summer concert in Pottsville on Saturday, July 13.

Established in 1829, Yuengling is the oldest operating brewing company in the country and has been continuously run by the Yuengling family for six generations. For a few years, 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, but since 2017, it has been at No. 6, placing after Anheuser-Busch; MillerCoors; Constellation in Chicago; Heineken in White Plains, New York; and Pabst.

Two other Keystone State breweries made the Top 50 – Artisanal Brewing Ventures (formed when Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown and Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, New York merged) came in at No. 11, and Troegs Brewing Company in Hershey made it to 27, both climbing up the list steadily year after year.

The Brewers Association’s figures are based on companies that met the definition of a craft brewer for all or part of 2018. An American craft brewer is small and independent. “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.

According to a year-end review from the Brewers Association, the number of breweries in the United States hit another all-time high in 2018, eclipsing 7,000 at the end of October (a 20 percent increase from 2017). Although the final numbers are still being compiled, there will potentially be 1,000 openings in 2018.

As craft’s market share has grown, so has its economic impact, which totals more than $76 billion. The craft brewing community is responsible for 500,000 jobs (a nine percent increase from 2017), with more than 135,000 of those directly at breweries and brewpubs. 85 percent of 21+ adults live within 10 miles of a brewery now, and it’s estimated that one million homebrewers in the U.S. brewed 1.4 million barrels of beer last year, equal to 1 percent of U.S beer production.

Top 10 U.S. craft brewing companies:
(based on 2018 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. Duvel Moortgat – Paso Robles, CA/Kansas City, MO/Cooperstown, NY
6. Gambrinus – San Antonio, TX
7. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. – Comstock, MI
8. CANarchy – Longmont, CO/Tampa, FL/Salt Lake City, UT/Comstock, MI/Inglewood, CA/Dallas, TX
9. Stone Brewing Co. – Escondido, CA
10. Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR

Top 10 U.S. overall brewing companies:
(based on 2018 beer sales volume)

1. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. – Saint Louis, MO
2. MillerCoors – Chicago, IL
3. Constellation – Chicago, IL
4. Heineken – White Plains, NY
5. Pabst Brewing Co. – Los Angeles, CA
6. D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. – Pottsville, PA
7. Diageo – Norwalk, CT
8. FIFCO USA – Rochester, NY
9. Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
10. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, CA