If you’re in the United States, or if you’re planning to travel to the land of the free, don’t hesitate to visit some of the best craft beer breweries, and grab some of the best craft beer in the world. The Brewers Association (BA), the non-profit association representing small, independent craft brewers, analyzes the data annually to find popular craft beers in the USA with the most impressive sales numbers. It brings together more than 7,200 craft beer manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, etc. Its mission is to promote craft beer and protect these small independent companies in the US.
Brewers Association requirements
The Brewers Association is not just focused on the sales volume. There are other premises to rank the best craft beer brands in the US. There is a set of criteria that a brewery must meet to be included in the rankings. The American craft brewery must be small, independent, and traditional.
- Small – Production must not exceed 6 million barrels of beer annually.
- Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is controlled or owned by a member who is not a craft brewer.
- Traditional: A brewery that has the majority of its total volume of alcoholic beverages in beers whose flavor is derived from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMB) are not considered beers.
It’s not surprising that such requirements have been put in place: it’s increasingly standard for large industrial companies to buy small successful breweries to expand their market share, and serve the craft beer consumer. Here we present our list of the best craft beer brands and breweries in the US.
The 10 Best Craft Brands and Breweries
The classification of these listings is based on sales volume and not on quality. Craft beer is acquiring an increasing market share since more and more consumers are moving away from the standardized flavor industrial beer offer. Below are the top beer styles in the US.
Top 10 Popular US Craft Beers
- American Ale
- American Brown Ale
- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
- American Pale Ale
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Kentucky Breakfast Stout
- The Alchemist Heady Topper
- Bell’s Hopslam
- Weld Werks Jucy Bits
Top 10 Craft Beer Breweries
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Michigan
- Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa and Windsor, California
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware
- TreeHouse Brewing Co., Charlton, Massachusetts
- The Alchemist, Stowe, Vermont
- Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
- Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California
Although it’s a small market segment compared to the beer industry, craft beer popularity is gaining relevance. Large industrial companies have started following its growth to succeed in crafting beer styles and closely tracking sales of craft beer brands.
Today, more and more consumers want to enjoy a beer that does not have the standardized flavor that industrial beers offer. These small independent or micro-breweries with limited production have made their craft beer brands increasingly popular, and are responsible for the growth and increased demand for beers by consumers.
Of course, this trend is not just seen in the United States, but also in other countries of the world, such as the United Kingdom, which has the most breweries per capital in the world.