The Brewers Association just released annual production figures for the U.S. craft brewing industry, which included the list of the top 50 craft beer producers in 2022 (by production volume). It takes some time to compile the numbers and sort out the list each year, so it’s usually a few months into this year that we find out about last year. (See last year’s list here.)
Before we get to this year’s list, let’s consider a few points.
- Four of the Pacific Northwest’s breweries made the top 50: Deschutes Brewery, Georgetown Brewing, Rogue Brewery, and Ninkasi Brewing. Deschutes held steady at number 11. Georgetown Brewing jumped from number 25 in 2021 to number 21 in 2022. (Go, Bohdi!) Rogue Brewery sits at number 33, moving up from number 41 last year. Ninkasi moved from number 40 in 2021 to number 43 in 2022.
- In 2022, small and independent brewers collectively produced 24.3 million barrels of beer, on par with 2021’s numbers.
- A very slightly bigger piece of the overall beer pie. Craft’s overall beer market share by volume grew to 13.2%, up from 13.1% the previous year.
- Shrinking volume, growing dollars. The overall beer market shrank 3% by volume in 2022 but grew by dollar sales. Sales growth was stronger than volume due to pricing, share shift to smaller brewers—who are more likely to sell onsite and via distributed draught—as well as the continued channel shift back to on-premise, which has a higher average retail value.
- A 9% increase in jobs. Craft brewers provided 189,413 direct jobs, a 9% increase from 2021, driven both by growth in the number of breweries and a continued shift to hospitality-focused business models. In other words, more breweries are hiring more people to work their taprooms as the business model shifts and taproom sales become an increasingly important part of the craft beer biz.
- In 2022, 549 new breweries opened, while 319 breweries closed. The number of operating craft breweries continued to climb in 2022, reaching an all-time high of 9,552. The rate of brewery opening continues to outpace the rate of brewery closings, though the gap is shrinking and we are getting closer to equilibrium.
- Are you wondering what kind of brewery is eligible for the list? The BA defines a craft brewer as small and independent. The term “small” is a subjective term, defined by the BA as less than 6 million barrels per year. An “independent” brewer is defined as “Less than 25 percent owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.” In other words, breweries like New Belgium, Elysian, Hop Valley, Lagunitas, and Goose Island are not considered craft brewers because they are no longer independent but are owned by beverage alcohol companies that are not themselves craft brewers. Kind of confusing.
- NOTES. There are some names on the list that don’t look like brewery names. Generally speaking, they’re parent companies of multiple breweries, as I explain below the list. Also, there’s a note about Kona Brewing.
And now let’s get to the actual list of the top 50 craft brewers of 2022, by production volume.
The Top 50 Craft Brewers in 2022
- 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
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures*, Downingtown, PA / Lakewood, NY / Brooklyn, NY
- Stone Brewing Co, Escondido, CA
- CANarchy*, Longmont, CO / Tampa, FL / Salt Lake City, UT/ Comstock, MI / Dallas, TX
- Tilray Beer Brands*, Atlanta, GA / Montauk, NY / San Diego, CA
- Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY
- Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR
- New Glarus Brewing Co, New Glarus, WI
- Athletic Brewing Co, Milford, CT
- Matt Brewing Co, Utica, NY
- Minhas Craft Brewery, Monroe, WI
- Harpoon Brewery, Boston, MA
- Gordon Biersch Brewing Co, San Jose, CA
- Great Lakes Brewing Co, Cleveland, OH
- Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI
- Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME
- Georgetown Brewing Co, Seattle, WA
- Odell Brewing Co, Fort Collins, CO
- Rhinegeist Brewery, Cincinnati, OH
- Three Floyds Brewing Co, Munster, IN
- Troëgs Brewing Co, Hershey, PA
- Summit Brewing Co, St. Paul, MN
- Narragansett Brewing Co, Providence, RI
- Craft Ohana*, Kihei, HI / San Diego, CA
- August Schell Brewing Co, New Ulm, MN
- Kings & Convicts Brewing, San Diego, CA
- Pittsburgh Brewing Co, Pittsburgh, PA
- Alaskan Brewing Co, Juneau, AK
- Kona Brewing Co, Kailua-Kona, HI
- Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD
- Abita Brewing Co, Covington, LA
- Fiddlehead Brewing, Shelburne, VT
- Creature Comforts Brewing Co, Athens, GA
- BrewDog Brewing Company, Canal Winchester, OH
- Revolution Brewing, Chicago, IL
- Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka, CA
- Rogue Ales Brewery, Newport, OR
- Surly Brewing Co, Minneapolis, MN
- Ninkasi Brewing Co, Eugene, OR
- Saint Arnold Brewing Co, Houston, TX
- IndieBrew*, Atlanta, GA / Nashville, TN
- Shipyard Brewing Co, Portland, ME
- Jack’s Abby Brewing, Framingham, MA
- North Coast Brewing Co Inc, Fort Bragg, CA
- Pizza Port Brewing Company, Carlsbad, CA
- Made by the Water*, New Orleans, LA / Apalachicola, FL / Asheville, NC / Charleston, SC
- Duvel Moortgat is the owner of Firestone Walker Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, and Brewery Ommegang.
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures owns Sixpoint Brewery, Victory Brewing, and Souther Tier Brewing.
- CANarchy is a collection of breweries that includes Cigar City Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery, Wasatch Brewery, and others.
- Tilray Brands is an international cannabis company that now owns SweetWater Brewing Company, Alpine Beer, Green Flash Brewing, and Montauk Brewing Company.
- Craft Ohana is a company formed by the recent union of Maui Brewing and Modern Times Beer.
- IndieBrew owns Scofflaw Brewing, Bearded Iris Brewing, and Neon Cowboy (seltzer).
- Kona, on the mainland, is part of Craft Brew Alliance, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and therefore does not qualify as a craft brewer. It’s kind of tricky. Kona Brewing in Hawaii still operates independently and is still considered a craft brewery. Read all about it here.
- Made by Water is Wiregrass Equity Partners’ collection of, mostly, legacy breweries in the Southeast. The portfolio includes the likes of Fauborg Brewing (Lousiana), Catawaba Brewing (N. Carolina), Oyster City Brewing (Florida), and Palmetto Brewing (S. Carolina).