The Brewers Association has released its annual report of the top 50 brewing companies of 2020. As is customary, the report is split into two lists: the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies and the Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies. Both lists are calculated using the total volume of beer sales.
According to Bart Watson, chief economist of the Brewers Association, Covid-19 entirely changed where consumers purchased their beer last year. “Breweries who had established packaging and distribution capacity were best positioned to take advantage of the boom in off-premise sales and weather market uncertainty,” Watson said.
In spite of this disadvantage, many small and independent breweries stood their ground during the pandemic, and craft producers made up 40 of the top 50 brewing companies in 2020.
For the sixth year in a row, D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. came in first place on the craft breweries list, followed by Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Duvel Moorgart, and Gambrinus. Ninkasi, which placed 48 on last year’s list, was bumped up to 33 in 2020, and the list also welcomes new players like Montauk Brewing Co.
New Belgium Brewing Co., which placed fourth on the craft list last year, now features at number 11 on the “Overall Brewing Companies” list, following its 2019 sale to Kirin subsidiary Lion Little World Beverages.
On that list, the top five overall remain unsurprisingly unchanged from years prior: Anheuser-Busch, MolsonCoors, Constellation, Heineken, and Pabst. Craft breweries begin at number 7 with Yueling.