If you enjoyed a beer last year, chances are it was from one of the thousands of craft breweries in the U.S.
Last year alone, small, independent brewers produced over 24 million barrels of beer in 2022, according to new data from the Brewers Association, the trade association that represents such brewers.
Those independent brewers include microbreweries, brewpubs, taproom breweries, and regional craft breweries. Some did, of course, produce more than others.
As part of its annual report, the Brewers Association again released a list of the top 50 craft breweries and overall brewing companies in the U.S. based on beer sales volume. One in four were craft brewing companies, according to the association.
The Brewers Association defines a craft brewery as:
- Small, with an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less
- Independent, meaning less than 25% of the brewery is owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member that isn’t a craft brewer
- Having a Brewer’s Notice from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Many of 2021’s top craft breweries maintained their high production levels in 2022, including Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. The company, the oldest operating in the U.S., is well-known for its Yuengling Lager and even offers a Hershey’s Chocolate Porter in the fall.
Boston Beer Co. recorded the second-highest production numbers last year, according to the Brewers Association. If you’re a beer drinker, you’ve likely heard of their brands Samuel Adams and Dogfish Head. The company is also responsible for Truly Hard Seltzer and Angry Orchard Hard Cider.
Even one of Kansas City’s most popular breweries made the list. Duvel Moortgat USA, which came in fourth, purchased Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company back in 2013.
Breweries with locations across 30 states are included in the top 50 brew producers of 2022. California had the largest presence with 11 craft breweries on the list, followed by New York with six. Thirteen states had at least two breweries land among the top 50, including Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
Here are the 10 top-producing craft breweries of 2022:
- D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. (Pottsville, Pennsylvania)
- Boston Beer Co. (Boston and Milton, Delaware)
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, California)
- Duvel Moortgat USA (Paso Robles, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Cooperstown, New York)
- Gambrinus Company (Shiner, Texas and Berkeley, California)
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures (Dowingtown, Pennsylvania and Lakewood and Brooklyn, New York)
- Stone Brewing (Escondido, California)
- CANarchy (Longmont, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Salt Lake City; Comstock, Michigan; and Dallas)
- Tilray Beer Brands (Atlanta; Montauk, New York; and San Diego)
- Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, New York)
You can see the full list of craft brewers here.
While larger brewers like Anheuser-Busch, MolsonCoors, Heineken, and Pabst reported the highest sales in 2022, two of the top craft brewers – D.G. Yuengling and Son and Boston Beer Co. — ranked among the top 10 overall.
D.G. Yuengling and Son, ranked 7th overall, edging out FIFCO USA, the parent company of Labatt Blue, Genesee Brewing Company, Seagram’s Escapes, and other brands.