The non-profit Brewer’s Association has has released its annual list of the top 50 craft breweries in the United States and, in the process, provided a handy definition for the term in order to separate true craft breweries from those associated with international conglomerates. Check out the infographic below (click to enlarge).
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: 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. Independent: 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. Traditional: 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.
The organization put Boston Beer Co. and Yuengling at the top of this year’s list, while Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Gambrinus followed close behind.