Three Wisconsin-based beer companies remained in the Brewers Association’s annual listing of the country’s top 50 breweries and there was some movement in their positions.
Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe slipped to 21st from 14th in 2016 production, while New Glarus Brewing Co. was ranked 25th, up two spots from its 2015 position after producing more than 200,000 barrels of beer that is only sold in Wisconsin. Stevens Point Brewing Co. maintained its ranking at the 32nd spot.
The numbers, based on sales volume, show that Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and MillerCoors in Chicago ranked first and second respectively, followed by Los Angeles-based Pabst Brewing Co.; D.G. Yuengling and Son in Pottsville, Pennsylvania; and Boston Beer Co. in Boston.
Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, a trade and advocacy group for small, independent brewers, said a breakdown of sales volume by brewery would likely be released next month.
Craft beer production continues to grow in the state as 10 more breweries came on line in 2016, bringing the total to 136, said Mark Garthwaite, executive director of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. He estimates there could be nearly 50 more breweries in the construction or planning stages.
You have free articles remaining.
“I would say that’s healthy growth and is consistent with what we would see nationwide,” Garthwaite said.
In the craft beer category, which removes breweries that exceed thresholds for size and independence from large brewers, Minhas slipped to 12th from ninth, New Glarus jumped up four spots to 16th while Stevens Point moved up two positions to 23. Yuengling led the category, followed by Boston Beer; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California; New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado; and Gambrinus in San Antonio.
New Glarus continued its climb in the rankings after producing more than 219,000 barrels of beer in 2016, a 12 percent increase over 2015 when it produced 193,210 barrels, according to data from the state Department of Revenue.
The growth in production especially stands out when looking at monthly numbers. In June 2016, the company produced 22,848 barrels of beer compared to 16,430 barrels in June 2015. In September 2016, New Glarus — maker of Spotted Cow and Moon Man beers, among others — produced 26,534 barrels compared to 18,126 barrels in September 2015.
“They deserve every bit of accolade they get,” Garthwaite said of New Glarus. “It’s still very impressive that they’ve been able to maintain that growth just in Wisconsin alone. That’s atypical.”