By Mary Whitfill, editor-in-chief
Jamaica Plain’s Germania Street no longer houses the nation’s top craft brewery. Sam Adams, brewed by the Boston Beer Co., has long held the first place position on the Brewers Association‘s list of US craft breweries, but Pennsylvania-made Yuengling has knocked it off its pedestal.
Last year, the association altered the criteria for what brews are able to qualify as a “traditional” beer. Now, beverages made with adjuncts such as corn, rice and syrups can be used to enhance flavor and still be labeled traditional while, originally, brewers had to use traditional or innovative brewing techniques with the majority of beers produced with all malt.
This change in definition qualified D.G. Yuengling and Son, which uses corn, allows the oldest brewery in the world to be considered on the annual list for the first time. The list is based on sales volume and while the association did not release number, both breweries fit under the criteria of “small” brewery as one that produces up to 6 million barrels a year.
Among overall US brewers, Anheuser-Busch, Miller-Coors and Pabst held the top three spots followed by Yuengling and Boston Beer.
In 2014, craft brewers sold an estimated $19.6 billion in beer, according to the association – representing 19% of the U.S. beer market.
Several breweries, including Gordon Biersch Brewing Co., dropped off the list.
The top 20 U.S. craft breweries:
1) D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc. (Pottsville, Pa.)
2) Boston Beer Co. (Boston)
3) Sierra Nevada Brewing Co (Chico, Calif.)
4) New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, Colo.)
5) Gambrinus (Shiner, Texas)
6) Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, Calif.)
7) Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Galesburg, Mich.)
8) Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Ore.)
9) Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, Calif.)
10) Minhas Craft Brewery (Monroe, Wis.)
11) Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
12) Duvel Moortgat USA (Kansas City, Mo. & Cooperstown, N.Y.)
13) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Del.)
14) Matt Brewing Co. (Utica, N.Y.)
15) Harpoon Brewery (Boston)
16) Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, Calif.)
17) Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
18) SweetWater Brewing Co (Atlanta)
19) New Glarus Brewing Co. (New Glarus, Wis.)
20) Alaskan Brewing Co. (Juneau, Alaska)
Photo courtesy MapHobbit, Creative Commons.