Friday is International Beer Day and if you’re looking for a way to celebrate, checking out your local craft brewer may be a good choice.
According to the Brewers Association, a brewery is considered craft if it is a “small and independent brewer.” That means the brewery produces 6 million barrels of beer or less per year and less than 25% of the brewery is owned by a non-craft brewer industry member.
Craft brewers must also make beer and have a TTB Brewer’s Notice, according to the association.
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At the end of 2020, there were 8,764 craft breweries in the U.S., the association says on its website. That includes 1,854 microbreweries, 3,219 brewpubs, 3,471 taproom breweries, and 220 regional craft breweries.
The association also reported that 346 craft breweries closed, while 716 breweries opened in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic hit craft breweries pretty hard in 2020, but Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson told FOX News there has been some improvement this year.
“Craft brewers have seen sales improve versus a very challenging 2020, but our midyear survey suggests that they are still below 2019 sales levels in the first half of the year,” Watson told FOX via email.
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Watson also said it’s important for people to support their local craft breweries so that they can recover after 2020.
“Like many small businesses, when COVID-19 hit, breweries were forced to change their entire business models overnight,” Watson said. “Supporting local craft breweries helps fuel local small businesses in the community, and the hundreds of thousands of local jobs they support directly and indirectly, and they need our help now more than ever. Not to mention it’s one of the tastiest ways to support jobs in your community.”
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In March, the Brewers Association released its annual report on the top-selling craft breweries in the U.S. for 2020, using sales volume for the year.
To see the top-ranked breweries here’s the Brewers Association’s most updated list.
Top 10 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies
1. D. G. Yuengling and Son
Location: Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Yuengling, which was originally founded in 1829 as the Eagle Brewery, claims to be “America’s Oldest Brewery.” The brewery will also be opening a “restaurant and entertainment destination” in Tampa, Florida, late next year, according to the website. Yuengling also ranked in seventh place on the Brewers Association’s list of overall brewing companies for 2020.
2. Boston Beer Co.
Locations: Boston and Milton, Delaware
Boston Beer Co. owns several brands including Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head, Dogfish Head Miami, Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, Coney Island Brewing Company, Angel City Brewery and Havana Lager, according to the company website.
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3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Locations: Chico, California; Mills River, North Carolina
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which was founded in the 1970s, has two breweries, one on the West Coast, in Chico, California, and one on the East Coast, in Mills River, North Carolina. The brewing company also has a “Torpedo Room” in Berkeley, California, according to the website.
4. Duvel Moortgat
Locations: Paso Robles, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Cooperstown, New York
Founded and headquartered in Belgium in 1871, Duvel Moortgat has its U.S. base in Cooperstown, New York, according to the website.
Locations: Berkeley, California; Shiner, Texas
According to the Gambrinus website, the Texas-based craft brewer’s brands include Shiner Beers and Trumer Pils.
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Locations: Longmont, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Salt Lake City; Comstock, Michigan; Inglewood, California; Dallas
The CANarchy craft brewery collective has several locations across the country and numerous brands including Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Craft Brewery, Perrin Brewing Co., Deep Ellum Brewing Co. and Three Weavers Brewing Company.
7. Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Location: Comstock, Michigan
According to the company website, Bell’s Brewery is based in Comstock, Michigan, but it also has a location in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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8. Artisanal Brewing Ventures
Locations: Downington, Pennsylvania; Lakewood, New York; Brooklyn, New York
According to the website, Artisanal Brewing Ventures owns five brands: Southern Tier Brewing Co., Victory Brewing Company, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Sixpoint Brewery and Southern Tier Distilling Co.
9. Stone Brewing
Locations: Escondido, California; Richmond, Virginia
According to the brewery’s website, Stone Brewing beers are available in all 50 states and 40 different countries. Stone Brewing was also among the first breweries to create a West Coast IPA, the company says.
10. Deschutes Brewery
Locations: Bend, Oregon
According to the company website, Deschutes Brewery beers are available in 32 states. Aside from its Bend, Oregon, brewery, Deschutes also has a pub in downtown Portland and a tasting room in Roanoke, Virginia.