The Brewers Association released their annual list of the largest production breweries in the United States on April 16. The list is looked forward to by many larger breweries to see if they’ve made the list, jumped up in rank or moved lower as other breweries take their place. Here are some of the highlights of the list.  You can also see largest production breweries outside the craft sphere here

Top Five Stays The Same

The top five on the 2022 list is the same on the 2023 list. Yuengling Brewing out of Pottsville, PA and makers of Yuengling Lager were again at the top of the list followed by Boston Beer Company (makers of Samuel Adams and Dogfish Head), Sierra Nevada Brewing with locations in Chico, CA and Mills River, NC, Belgian Brewery Duvel-Moortgat owns a few breweries in American including California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co and Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, MO. Rounding out the list is Gambrinus Brands, owners of the Texas-based brewery Shiner.

Athletic Brewing Makes Moves

The non-alcoholic juggernaut moved up to number 10 on the list from number 13. The brewery, based in Milford, Connecticut is minority owned by Keurig- Dr. Pepper and has been swiftly moving its way up the list since the brand showed up in the late 2010’s.

“It’s crazy to think,” said founder Bill Shufelt, “Hopefully we can continue to help the category grow and bring more people into beer.”

A New Entry for Bozeman, Montana

Montucky Cold Snacks, a heritage lifestyle lager brand that makes a single beer in its Montucky Cold Snacks American Lager, made its debut at number 40 on the list. The beer has become the darling of lagers and is well loved by beer geeks and casual drinkers alike.

An Energy Drink Company Shows Up For the First Time and Tilray Continues To Buy 

Cannabis company Tilray was in the ninth spot last year because of their breweries Sweetwater Brewing and Montauk Brewing but in 2023 they bought a bunch of breweries like Shock Top, Widmer Brothers, Blue Point, and 10 Barrel from ABInbev. The expanded collection of breweries helped propel Tilray to the sixth spot on the list. CANarchy was also sold to the energy drink company Monster and was ninth on the spot. 

Jumps and Slides of Note

So who made big strides in growth while who slid down in the list? 

Some standouts included Allagash Brewing Company who fell five spots from 15 to 20, while Massachusetts lager brewery Jack’s Abby jumped from 47 to 38 on the list. Summit Brewing dropped from 26 to 37 on the list while Pittsburgh Brewing Company, makers of Iron City Lager, jumped ten spots from 31 to 21. Wisconsin based Minhas had the largest drop going from 15th to 26th. Fiddlehead had a big leap from 36th to 28th based on their strong Fiddlehead IPA sales. 

By the Numbers

“Collectively, small and independent brewers produced 23.4 million barrels of beer in 2023, a decline of 1.0% from 2022, though craft’s overall beer market share by volume grew to 13.3%, up from 13.1% in 2022 as craft’s declines were smaller than overall beer volume losses,” said said Bart Watson, vice president of strategy and chief economist of the Brewers Association in a press release so the numbers are pretty flat. It’ll be interesting to see what the future brings for craft beer as the people who now occupy this list are a really diverse group from cannabis and energy drink companies to the rise of the non-alcoholic drink space and beyond.