Thoughts from Top 50 Brewers of 2008
The Brewers Association released their Top 50 United Sates Brewers list for Craft Brewing and just plain old brewing. This list is based on Beer Sales Volume (Based on 2008 sales), and nothing else. A link referencing this data is at the end of the article.
Here are some comments from the brewers about their view on the list, and related thoughts to their progress in the brewing industry.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico, CA
#2 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #6 on the Overall List
“Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is excited to see the latest list of the top 50 Brewing companies in the US, as published last week by the Brewers Association. We’re especially thrilled to see that the American craft brewing community continues to grow. We’re encouraged to see one-time start up operations blossom into highly respected, innovative regional breweries.
In 1980, when Sierra Nevada was just starting out-making beer in a hand-built brewhouse, pieced together from used stainless steel and used dairy equipment- we never dreamed we would ever be the second largest craft brewery, much less the sixth largest brewery in the United States. We owe all of our success as a brewery to the loyal fans who have supported us all these years. We started out making the beer we liked to drink, and hoping others would agree with us. The fact that Sierra Nevada continues to grow in popularity and distribution is a testament to the fact that beer drinkers want beers with flavor and style.
In the 80’s the beer landscape was dominated by light lager beers, all very similar in character; there were very few options or variety in beer styles. Today, the top 50 breweries on the Brewers Association list-particularly the craft breweries-are making beer in every recognized style-and some that have yet to be defined.
This is a great era for beer drinking in America and we hope this trend will be with us for a long time to come.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years.”
Stone Brewing Co. Escondido, CA
#18 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #28 on the Overall List
Paraphrased From Greg Koch, CEO – “The list is simply a size calculation, and doesn’t bring an emotional reaction. We don’t aspire to be on the list, we are not trying to dominate a market.” “Anyone with the “you sold out” voice is blabber. We focus on what we do. There are breweries on that list and breweries that aren’t on that list that are fantastic.”
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles, CA
#28 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #39 on the Overall List
“There are some very respectable breweries ahead of us below us and not even present on the list. We are elated to be included and so appreciative of those who love and support what we do. The majority of our distribution is limited to California and to some extent Oregon. We feel that this shows the passion of our local fans.”
Dogfish Head Brewing Co – Milton, DE
#22 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #30 on the Overall List
From Sam Calagione: “We are proud to be among the top 50 brewers in America. We are growing equally fast in 2010. While we are proud of our growth we are more proud of that fact that we are brewing the same kinds of big, bold, exotic beers that we began with in 1995, when were the smallest commercial brewery in America.” ~ Sam
SweetWater Brewing – Atlanta, GA
#29 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #40 on the Overall List
“Everyone seems to be growing, but it is nice to be in such good company. The list is accurate, but doesn’t always show to whole story. Lots of different business models and roads to follow. We have chosen to stay close to home and try to dig deep in the markets we can visit within a day’s drive. Need to make sure our beer is always fresh
when folks are drinking it.
We are in position to grow as quickly or slowly as we wish – that the beauty part. As long as the beer is fresh and we get to go fishing when we want and keep the dogs feed, then the rest takes care of itself.”
Kona Brewing Co. – Kailua-Kona,HI
#14 on the Top 50 Craft Brewers List, #23 on the Overall List
“We are very excited that the Kona Brewery continued to see incredible growth in 2008. As we look to 2009, we expect Longboard Lager, our flagship beer, to continue to drive sales and lead the way as we expand into new markets in the North Eastern US.”