Finding success in the world of craft beer is difficult. There are more than 6,000 breweries in the U.S., all fighting for a share of the more than $23 billion people spend on craft beer every year. It’s quite an accomplishment when a brewery finds a way to rise above the noise and become a household name. On March 14, The Brewers Association, the lobbying body for craft beer, released its list of the most successful breweries in the country, and they range from national icons to regional favorites.
The list is limited to breweries that fall under the Brewers Association’s definition of craft, which requires a brewery to produce fewer than six million barrels and be at least 75 percent independently owned. That disqualifies brands like Goose Island, Wicked Weed and Ballast Point, all of which sold controlling assets to big beer companies like AB-InBev and Constellation Brands, which makes Corona. The Brewers Association took the total beer sales volume of craft breweries and ordered them from largest to smallest to find the most successful.