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Brewers Association releases Top 50 craft breweries in 2011

April 17, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer

Brewers Association logoThe Brewers Association, a trade group that represents the craft beer industry, has released its annual list of Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies in the United States, based on 2011 beer sales volume.

Craft beer companies are defined as “small, independent and traditional,” with annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels.

The top three remain Boston Beer Co., which produces Sam Adams, followed by Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.

Regionally, St. Louis’ Schlafly has moved into the top 40 at No. 39, while Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company has moved up from No. 27 to No. 24. In addition, Louisiana’s Abita dropped two spots to No. 17.

Here’s the list:

1. Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
3. New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
4. The Gambrinus Company San Antonio TX
5. Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
6. Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
7. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
8. Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
9. Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
10. Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
11. Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
12. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
13. Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
14. Alaskan Brewing & Bottling Co. Juneau AK
15. Long Trail Brewing Co. Burlington VT
16. Shipyard Brewing Co. Portland ME
17. Abita Brewing Co. Abita Springs LA
18. Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
19. New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
20. Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
21. Summit Brewing Co. St. Paul MN
22. Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
23. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
24. Sweetwater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
25. Rogue Ales Brewery Newport OR
26. Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
27. Victory Brewing Co. Downington PA
28. CraftWorks Breweries & Restaurants Chattanooga TN
29. Oskar Blues Brewery Longmont CO
30. Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
31. Stevens Point Brewery Co. Stevens Point WI
32. Ninkasi Brewing Co. Eugene OR
33. BJ’s Chicago Pizza & Brewery, Inc. Huntington Beach CA
34. Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY
35. Bear Republic Brewing Co. Cloverdale CA
36. Lost Coast Brewery Cafe Eureka CA
37. Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT
38. North Coast Brewing Co. Inc. Fort Bragg CA
39. Saint Louis Brewery, Inc./Schlafly Bottleworks St. Louis MO
40. Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
41. Breckenridge Brewery Denver CO
42. Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids MI
43. Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Houston TX
44. Karl Strauss Brewing Co. San Diego CA
45. Real Ale Brewing Co. Blanco TX
46. Mac and Jack’s Brewery Inc. Redmond WA
47. Smuttynose Brewing Co. Portsmouth NH
48. Utah Brewers Cooperative Salt Lake City UT
49. Left Hand Brewing Co. Longmont CO
t50. Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Boonville CA
t50. Four Peaks Brewing Co. Tempe AZ

Meanwhile, 36 of the top 50 overall brewing companies in the U.S. are small, craft breweries, according to the association.

“In the last 15 years, craft brewing has gone from one percent of the overall beer market to almost six percent in 2011,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “We attribute a large part of that growth to the many talented brewers who are providing beer lovers with more beer style and flavor choices than ever before.”

Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company to begin canning beer in 2012

July 26, 2011 By: mike Category: Beer in the news, Breweries, Craft beer, History of beer

Abita Beer cans

The first cans of beer sold in the United States hit shelves in 1935, with the introduction of Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger’s Finest Beer in convenient steel cans.

Canning technology has vastly improved over the years, but only recently has the craft beer industry really embraced cans. In 2010, the year that marked the 75th anniversary of beer in cans, about 80 U.S. craft breweries were canning at least one of their beers, according to CraftBeer.com. Of those breweries, about 20 started canning in 2010.

The year 2012 will mark the addition of Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company – the nation’s 15th largest craft brewer – to those ranks.

Abita announced Monday that it plans to begin canning three of its flagship beers: Amber, Jockamo I.P.A. and Purple Haze.

The canning technology is something that we’ve been researching and investigating for a long time. We feel confident that today’s cans are a quality solution that will preserve and protect the flavor of Abita,” Abita Brewing Company President David Blossman said. “For many years people associated craft beer with glass bottles only, but the perception and the technology of the aluminum beverage can has really changed.” [source]

Abita’s cans, according to a press release, will be coated with a special water-based lining that will insulate the beer from the can’s interior surface.

Abita will sell its cans in six- and 12-packs, which should hit shelves in early 2012. The canning operation will be based at Abita’s brewery in Abita Springs.

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Do you guys like drinking craft beer from cans? Leave a comment below.

Recap of Memphis’ Brew Movement for MS

March 14, 2011 By: mike Category: Craft beer, Events, Homebrew, Memphis

On Thursday night, the Chickasaw Oaks Village shopping center in East Memphis transformed into a beer garden with a purpose.

The second-annual Brew Movement for Multiple Sclerosis, spearheaded by Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs member Joe Barnes, drew a couple of hundred people and raised money for the Mid-South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

It was a great event, with lots of nice folks and lots of craft beer from Southwestern Distributing and homebrews from the Bluff City Brewers.

Those of us from FuzzyBrew volunteered for the cause and got the plum assignment of manning the Abita Beer table all night, serving up (and sampling) Abita’s  Jockamo IPA, Amber, Light, Andygator, SOS and Strawberry Harvest.

Check out some pics below:

Memphis' Brew Movement for MS sign

Brew Movement for MS - scene

Brew Movement for MS - Ghost River stickers

Brew Movement for MS - pour

Brew Movement for MS - Andygator

Brew Movement for MS - Abita Jockamo

Brew Movement for MS -auction

Brew Movement for MS - Beanies

Brew Movement for MS- ciders

Brew Movement for MS -serving

Brew Movement for MS - entertainment

Brew Movement for MS - FuzzyBrew Grant

Save Our Shore: Abita’s “SOS – A Charitable Pilsner”

March 09, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer

Abita SOS

Louisiana’s Abita Beer has established “SOS (Save Our Shore) – A Charitable Fund” to assist with environmental restoration after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The centerpiece of the fundraising effort is a new beer called “SOS – A Charitable Pilsner.”

This Abita Beer is a message in a bottle…a distress signal for the troubled waters of our Gulf Coast. For every bottle sold Abita will donate 75¢ to the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill. This unfiltered Weizen Pils is made with Pilsner and Wheat malts. It is hopped and dry hopped with Sterling and German Perle hops. It has a brilliant gold color, a sweet malt flavor, and a pleasant bitterness and aroma.

The SOS was one of the February featured beers for the Beer of the Month Club at Joe’s Wines & Liquor, and Grant was nice enough to share it with me on recent FuzzyBrew bottling night.

We poured it into some 5-0z. tasters (below) and really enjoyed it. Great beer for a great cause. Pick one up if you see it.

Abita SOS in tasters