West Michigan Brewery is Among Top Ten Highest Producing Craft Breweries in U.S.
It's no secret that Michigan puts out some great craft beer. Well, one West Michigan brewery had a very productive 2021, ranking among the top 10 breweries in the U.S. with the greatest beer sales volume.
Each year, the Brewers Association, the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, releases annual production figures for the U.S. craft brewing industry.
Overall, the Brewers Association found that in 2021, small and independent brewers collectively produced 24.8 million barrels of beer and realized 8% growth, increasing craft’s overall beer market share by volume to 13.1%, up from 12.2% the previous year.
While that's promising, Bart Watson, the Brewers Associations' Chief Economist says that many breweries are still recovering from the pandemic:
Craft brewer sales rebounded in 2021, lifted by the return of draught and at-the-brewery traffic. However, the mixed performance across business models and geographies as well as production levels that still lag 2019 suggest that many breweries remain in recovery mode. Add in continuing supply chain and pricing challenges, and 2022 will be a critical year for many brewers.
So which local craft brewery had sales putting them in the top ten?
Bell's Brewery in Comstock, coming at No. 6. It's the only Michigan craft brewery in the Top 50 for beer production.
- D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc, Pottsville, PA
- Boston Beer Co, Boston, MA / Milton, DE
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, CA
- Duvel Moortgat, Paso Robles, CA/ Kansas City, MO / Cooperstown, NY
- Gambrinus, Shiner, TX / Berkeley, CA
- Bell's Brewery, Inc, Comstock, MI
- CANarchy, Longmont, CO / Tampa, FL / Salt Lake City, UT/ Comstock, MI / Dallas, TX
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures, Downingtown, PA, Lakewood, NY / Brooklyn, NY
- Stone Brewing Co, Escondido, CA
- SweetWater Brewing Co, Atlanta, GA
The Brewers Association also ranks the top 50 "Overall Brewing Companies" in the U.S. each year. What's the difference? According to Brewbound,
The BA defines craft brewers as those producing fewer than 6 million barrels annually and not more than 25% owned by a beverage alcohol company that is not itself a craft brewery.
And so, that list is where you'll find Grand Rapids' Founders' Brewing Co. (as Mahou San Miguel owns more than a quarter of the company), coming in at No. 13.
It's also where you'll find Bell's on the 2022 report, as in fall of 2021, the brewery was sold to Lion Little World Beverages, an Australian company that is also the parent company of New Belgium Brewing.
Top 13 Overall Brewing Companies:
- Anheuser-Busch Inc, St. Louis MO
- MolsonCoors, Chicago IL
- Constellation, Chicago IL
- Heineken USA, White Plains NY
- Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles CA
- Diageo, Norwalk CT
- D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc., Pottsville PA
- FIFCO USA, Rochester NY
- Boston Beer Co., Boston, Milton MA, DE
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico CA
- New Belgium Brewing Co / Kirin, Fort Collins, San Francisco CO, CA
- Duvel Moortgat USA, Paso Robles, Kansas City, Cooperstown CA, MO, NY
- Founders Brewing / Mahou San Miguel, Grand Rapids, Boulder MI, CO