Top 16 Colorado Breweries See Continued Growth

Colorado's top breweries continue to see record levels of growth for another year, with 16 of the larger breweries enjoying a boom in sales. The top ranked Colorado brewer in terms of size, New Belgium, clocked in with a whopping 259,261 more barrels than the other top 15 breweries combined. New Belgium Brewery is also ranked as the fourth largest craft brewery in the United States and has plans to open a 100,000 square foot distribution center in North Carolina next year where it will produce a whopping 500,000 barrels per year.

In total, all 16 breweries produced over 1.6 million barrels of beer in 2014, with the number continuing to rise in 2015.

Learn more about each individual top 16 brewery here

The Business of Staying Small Pt. 2: How Limiting Production Has Led to Success for Two Craft Breweries

The Business of Staying Small Pt. 2: How Limiting Production Has Led to Success for Two Craft Breweries

By Justin Dolezal, Foodable Contributor

There's been a lot of discussion as of late about the expansion of craft breweries, particularly those acquired by large macro-beer companies such as AB InBev, the owner of Budweiser, and Heineken International. These mergers and acquisitions are often framed as the next step in a small brewery's evolution and expansion, and in recent years beloved craft breweries such as Chicago's Goose Island, Northern California's Lagunitas, and Seattle's Elysian have all taken advantage of the resources and cache that major brewing operations can provide. In purely capitalistic terms, the moves make sense: a company like AB InBev, flush with cash, distribution access, and marketing resources can help a small brewery grow incredibly quickly.

Still, these acquisitions seem to fly in the face of the ethos of craft beer. Craft beer initially rose to prominence as an exciting, flavorful David rising up against what was a market dominated by bland, flavorless Goliaths, who cared more about advertising and profit margins than producing great products. The fact that companies like AB InBev have begun to snap up craft breweries just as craft beer has begun to cut significantly into macro-beer's market share smacks of opportunism, and has led to a sense of betrayal among craft beer fans who had previously supported breweries who have since sold out to larger corporations.

Thankfully, there remains a class of breweries who have stayed defiantly small, choosing to shun the chance at mass product distribution and the capitol that comes with it in favor of the control that comes with independence. Producing world-class beer takes great attention to detail, time, and patience, luxuries that can be difficult to come by when boards of trustees and multi-million dollar investors are involved. Staying small also allows breweries to drive demand for their products through a consumer base that is incredibly enthusiastic about rare, highly lauded products. The following is a list of craft breweries that have built a huge consumer demand, while remaining defiantly small.

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The Proliferation of Breweries in America

The Proliferation of Breweries in America

By Fred Crudder, Industry Brew Expert

Every year around this time there is a gathering of the American craft beer community called the Craft Brewers' Conference. This is no beer fest, although plenty of beer will undoubtedly be consumed. This is exactly what it says it is: a conference. The people attending just happen to make the best beers brewed in America, so naturally they are going to hoist a few. But during the day, it is all business. Industry stats, growth, threats, innovations, trends, best practices, etc. Like I said, it’s a conference. And it always starts with a “state of the industry” address, where we inevitably hear about the number of breweries thought to be in operation in the country at the time. But wait…thought to be? You mean they don’t know…?

Moving Target

The reason the Brewer’s Association cannot pin down the actual number of breweries in America is simple: so many are opening, or are in different stages of development, that by the time they calculate an accurate number, it has already changed. Add into the mix a closure or two, a re-categorization here and there, and you get the picture. Things are just happening too rapidly in the craft brewing world right now to say precisely how many breweries we have. The question of whether or not we should be celebrating this proliferation is a little more complex and the answers will most likely differ depending on a few keys issues.


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The Explosive Growth of Craft Beer in America

The Explosive Growth of Craft Beer in America

Part One of a Three-Part Series on the State of the Craft Beer Industry in America

By Bill Sysak, Foodable Industry Expert

This year is a milestone in the craft beer industry. As any beer historian will tell you, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the craft beer revolution beginning.

How it All Started

The transformation first started brewing in 1965, when Fritz Maytag, who was a recent graduate of Stanford University and the great-grandson of Maytag Corp. founder, Frederick Louis Maytag I, was sitting in his favorite bar at North Beach San Francisco while enjoying his favorite beer.

A beauty called Anchor Steam.

Its producer, Anchor Brewing Company, was one of the last regional breweries left in America that made a beer other than an American adjunct lager. (You know American adjunct lagers, those beers with mountains on the can that turn blue when it gets cold or the ones with big shaggy horses kicking footballs in commercials during the Super Bowl. But anyway, let’s get back to Fritz.)

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Seattle’s Food Trucks and Taprooms Form Symbiotic Relationship

Stoup Brewing and Fez Food Truck  | Twitter

Stoup Brewing and Fez Food Truck | Twitter

As the Seattle food truck scene continues to grow, a heightened tension between the trucks and local restaurants has grown as well.  With the recent street-food legislation that further restricts food trucks from parking on public streets and from operating within 50 feet of an existing food business, many local trucks began looking for new areas of expansion, but found options to be sparse. 

Simultaneously, Seattle’s burgeoning craft breweries were also facing problems of their own in their attempts to attract the downtown crowd to their taprooms often located far outside the city center.  With no nearby food options available, those who did make the trek often left early to find other dining options and those who stayed became quickly inebriated. 

Looking for some easily accessible food options to help sop up their beer, these taprooms began inviting many of Seattle’s food trucks to operate within their private lots where they are immune from the city’s parking restrictions.  Furthermore, as many of these taprooms are far removed from the industrial areas of Seattle, there are few restaurants to compete with, resulting in a boost of sales for the trucks. 

This equally beneficial relationship has enabled Seattle’s food trucks and taprooms to continue operating independently while simultaneously working together to the benefit of the consumer.

Learn more about the symbiotic relationship between Seattle’s breweries and food trucks here