Brewers Association Releases 2021 Annual Craft Brewing Industry Production Report

During the second year of the pandemic, craft beer sales have seen an improvement over the previous year, but the future still has plenty of questions. Sales of craft beer grew 8% in 2021, but that was after the segment experienced a sharp 10% decline during the first year of COVID.

Earlier today, Bart Watson, Chief Economist of the Brewers Association, led a press conference to discuss the recently released 2021 Annual Craft Brewing Industry Production Report via Crowdcast. Prior to this press conference, the Brewers Association (BA) announced its preliminary annual production figures for the U.S. craft brewing industry.

The BAs report stated that In 2021, small and independent brewers collectively produced 24.8 million barrels of beer and realized 8% growth that increased craft’s overall beer market share by volume to 13.1%, up from 12.2% the previous year. The overall beer market grew 1% by volume in 2021. Retail dollar value was estimated at $26.9 billion, representing 26.8% market share and 21% growth over 2020. This growth is stronger than volume primarily due to the channel shift back to on-premise sales at bars and taprooms that offers a higher average retail value. The report also stated that craft brewers provided more than 172,643 direct jobs, a 25% increase from 2020.

“Craft brewer sales rebounded in 2021, lifted by the return of draught and at-the-brewery traffic,” said Watson. “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.”

The number of operating craft breweries continued to climb in 2021, reaching an all-time high of 9,118, including 1,886 microbreweries, 3,307 brewpubs, 3,702 taproom breweries, and 223 regional craft breweries. The total operating brewery count was 9,247, up from 9,025 in 2020. Throughout the year openings outpaced closings as there were 646 new brewery openings and 178 closings. Openings decreased for a second consecutive year, with the continued decline reflecting a more mature market. Ongoing pandemic challenges and rising interest rates were additional factors. The closing rate also declined in 2021, likely helped by a combination of better sales numbers and additional government relief through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was available to some brewpub and taproom brewers.

“While the boom in breweries of a few years before has certainly slowed, the continued growth in small breweries shows the solid foundation of demand for their businesses and beers,” added Watson. “2022 is going to be a make-or-break year!”

In the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies, four Pacific Northwest breweries made the list – Deschutes Brewery arrived in at #11, Georgetown Brewing at #25, Rogue Ales at #33, and Ninkasi Brewing at #40. The same breweries also made the Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies list. Deschutes Brewery comes in at #20 and Georgetown Brewing at #34, Rogue Ales at #42, and Ninkasi Brewing rounded out the list at #50.

Take a look below at the Top 50 breweries, both craft and all encompassing breweries. One thing that does jump out is the first time entry of Athletic Brewing Co. to the list of the Top 50 Craft Breweries. The non-alcoholic beer producer entered the list at an impressive ranking of #27. This shows why craft brewers such as Deschutes Brewery have entered the N/A category. We are likely to see other breweries enter it as well.

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies

  1. D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc – Pottsville PA
  2. Boston Beer Co – Boston MA + Milton MA
  3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – Chico CA
  4. Duvel Moortgat USA – Paso Robles CA + Kansas City MO + Cooperstown NY
  5. Gambrinus – Berkeley CA + Shiner TX
  6. Bell’s Brewery, Inc – Comstock MI
  7. CANarchy – Longmont CO + Tampa FL + Salt Lake City UT + Comstock MI + Dallas TX
  8. Artisanal Brewing Ventures – Downingtown PA + Lakewood NY + Brooklyn NY
  9. Stone Brewing – Escondido CA
  10. SweetWater Brewing Co – Atlanta GA
  11. Deschutes Brewery – Bend OR
  12. New Glarus Brewing Co – New Glarus WI
  13. Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn NY
  14. Matt Brewing Co – Utica NY
  15. Gordon Biersch Brewing Co – San Jose CA
  16. Abita Brewing Co – Covington LA
  17. Minhas Craft Brewery – Monroe WI
  18. Stevens Point Brewery – Stevens Point WI
  19. Great Lakes Brewing Company – Cleveland OH
  20. Odell Brewing Co – Fort Collins CO
  21. Harpoon Brewery – Boston MA
  22. Summit Brewing Co – Saint Paul MN
  23. Allagash Brewing Company – Portland ME
  24. Troegs Brewing Co – Hershey PA
  25. Georgetown Brewing Co – Seattle WA
  26. Three Floyds Brewing – Munster IN
  27. Athletic Brewing Company – Stratford CT
  28. Rhinegeist Brewery – Cincinnati OH
  29. Kona Brewing Co – Kailua HI + Kona HI
  30. August Schell Brewing Company – New Ulm MN
  31. Alaskan Brewing CoJ – uneau AK
  32. Narragansett Brewing Co – Pawtucket RI
  33. Rogue Ales Brewery – Newport OR
  34. Kings & Convicts Brewing/Ballast Point – San Diego CA
  35. Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick MD
  36. Long Trail Brewing Co – Bridgewater Corners VT
  37. Lost Coast Brewery – Eureka CA
  38. Revolution Brewing – Chicago IL
  39. Surly Brewing Company – Minneapolis MN
  40. Ninkasi Brewing Co – Eugene OR
  41. Creature Comforts Brewing Co – Athens GA
  42. 21st Amendment Brewery – Bay Area CA
  43. Maui Brewing Co – Kihei HI
  44. Saint Arnold Brewing Co – Houston TX
  45. Scofflaw Brewing Co – Atlanta GA
  46. Shipyard Brewing Co – Portland ME
  47. Left Hand Brewing Company – Longmont CO
  48. Modern Times Drinks – San Diego CA
  49. Fiddlehead Brewing – Shelburne VT
  50. North Coast Brewing Co Inc – Fort Bragg CA

Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies

  1. Anheuser-Busch Inc (a) – St. Louis MO
  2. MolsonCoors (b) – Chicago IL
  3. Constellation (c) – Chicago IL
  4. Heineken USA (d) – White Plains NY
  5. Pabst Brewing Co (e) – Los Angeles CA
  6. Diageo (f) – Norwalk CT
  7. D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc – Pottsville PA
  8. FIFCO USA (g) – Rochester NY
  9. Boston Beer Co (h) – Boston MA + Milton MA
  10. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – ChicoCA
  11. New Belgium Brewing Co / Kirin (i) – Fort Collins CO + San Francisco CA
  12. Duvel Moortgat USA (j) – Paso Robles CA + Kansas City MO + Cooperstown NY
  13. Founders Brewing / Mahou San Miguel (k) – Grand Rapids MI + Boulder CO
  14. Gambrinus (l) – Berkeley CA + Shiner TX
  15. Bell’s Brewery, Inc (m) – Comstock MI
  16. CANarchy (n) – Longmont CO + Tampa FL + Salt Lake City UT + Comstock MI + Dallas TX
  17. Artisanal Brewing Ventures (o) – Downingtown PA + Lakewood NY + Brooklyn NY
  18. Stone Brewing – Escondido CA
  19. SweetWater Brewing Co (p) – Atlanta GA
  20. Deschutes Brewery – Bend OR
  21. New Glarus Brewing Co – New Glarus WI
  22. Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn NY
  23. Matt Brewing Co (q) – Utica NY
  24. Gordon Biersch Brewing Co – San Jose CA
  25. Abita Brewing Co – Covington LA
  26. Minhas Craft Brewery (s) – Monroe WI
  27. Stevens Point Brewery (r) – Stevens Point WI
  28. Great Lakes Brewing Company – Cleveland OH
  29. Odell Brewing Co – Fort Collins CO
  30. Harpoon Brewery – Boston MA
  31. Summit Brewing Co – Saint Paul MN
  32. Allagash Brewing Company – Portland ME
  33. Troegs Brewing Co – Hershey PA
  34. Georgetown Brewing Co – Seattle WA
  35. Three Floyds Brewing – Munster IN
  36. Athletic Brewing Company – Stratford CT
  37. Rhinegeist Brewery – Cincinnati OH
  38. Kona Brewing Co – Kailua HI + Kona HI
  39. August Schell Brewing Company (t) – New Ulm MN
  40. Alaskan Brewing Co – Juneau AK
  41. Narragansett Brewing Co – Pawtucket RI
  42. Rogue Ales Brewery – Newport OR
  43. Kings & Convicts Brewing/Ballast Point – San Diego CA
  44. Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick MD
  45. Long Trail Brewing Co – Bridgewater Corners VT
  46. Lost Coast Brewery – Eureka CA
  47. Anchor Brewing Co / Sapporo USA (u) – Tarrytown NY + San Francisco CA
  48. Revolution Brewing – Chicago IL
  49. Surly Brewing Company – Minneapolis MN
  50. Ninkasi Brewing Co – Eugene OR

* 2021 Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewing Companies Notes

 

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