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Top 10 Craft Players, 2016: The Year Everything Changed

The craft segment grew and gained share again in 2016, but at slower pace than past few years. Read on for an excerpt of extensive report on total craft and top craft brewer trends from Craft Brew News, published last Friday, including rankings, total shipments and trends for the top 10 craft players.


The Year Everything Changed: Craft +7% in 2016 as Most Top Players Slow, About Half Decline

Craft sure ain’t what it was just a year ago. Over course of 2016, most top craft brewers slowed. Up to half of 36 brewers over 100K bbls declined. Craft shipments grew another 6.9%, 1.55 mil bbls to 23.9 mil bbls last yr, we estimate. That’s a little less than half craft’s trend in 2015, over a mil bbls smaller volume growth. Many brewers didn’t meet their goals and many expect difficulties to continue, perhaps get tuffer in 2017. This is a huge change from the go-go years of 2010-2015.

Yet craft remains a bright spot in total US beer industry, if not as bright as it used to be. Total domestic taxpaid shipments declined by about 0.8% in 2016, Beer Institute reported yesterday. Strong import growth will likely lift total US volume into positive territory barely, up less than 1% for a 3d year in a row, less than 0.5% for 2d yr in a row. So craft gained solid share of the US beer biz again. Just less: craft up 0.7 share of total US beer volume to 11, our early estimates suggest.

Small brewers shipping less than 100K bbls last yr, over 5,000 of ’em by Brewers Assn count, collectively grew by almost 14%, we estimate. That’s much slower than 25% growth for this group in 2015. But pretty great compared to 2% growth put up by Top 36 (over 100K bbls) combined..


Top 10 Craft Players by Volume, 2016

(based on self-reported shipments totals and beer marketer’s INSIGHTS estimates)

1. Boston Beer (Samuel Adams) - 2,300,000 bbls*, -8%

2. Sierra Nevada - 1,137,000 bbls, -7%

3. New Belgium - 958,000 bbls, +5%

4. Lagunitas - 918,000 bbls, +16%

5. Craft Brew Alliance (Kona, Redhook, Widmer Bros, etc) - 760,000 bbls*, -4%

6. Goose Island - 605,000 bbls*, +25%

7. Spoetzl (Shiner) - 550,000 bbls, -9%

8. Bell’s - 422,000 bbls, +14%

9. Ballast Point - 375,000 bbls*, +35%

10. Deschutes - 372,000 bbls, +8%


*BMI estimate

Subscribe to Craft Brew News to see the complete article and full stats for these brewers and 26 more craft players that shipped over 100,000 bbls in 2016.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue #: 9
Read 1013 times Last modified on 02/03/2017