Coming straight from my homies at the Brewers Association, ya heard?
I just got back from L.A. and finally caught up with everything including my article due for Jezebel Magazine’s Bartender’s Page, a car review, and two interviews (Tony Gaskins and the McBride Sisters). Missed y’all!
Anyway, my first update is this list of the Top 50 U.S. Breweries of 2015 based on annual sales volume sent by my homies at the Brewers Association. It's hooked up in graphic form up top and also below by list. What’s gangster about this is the number of independent breweries who made it—43! So what qualifies as a “craft brewery” these days? According the BA posse, peep it:
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
- Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
- 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.
- 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 (FMBs) are not considered beers.
Bart Watson, the Brewers Association chief economist, even dropped some science:
“The top U.S. brewers continue to drive demand, growth, innovation and exponential interest in beers from small and independent brewers. With a historic record number of breweries in U.S., the top brewers continue to open new markets and expose beer drinkers to a variety of fuller-flavored styles and offerings.”
Here's the list again:
All in all, support craft beer whenever possible and maintain the innovation they are doing with ales and lagers. Hell, we can even include sodas, spirits and ciders in this as well now.
Oh, and I can’t wait to see my Brewers Association folks and all participants of the Craft Brewers Conference in Philly the first week of May. Dopeness! Who is rolling?