The Brewer’s Association is a top-secret society composed of beer ninjas, homebrewing warlocks and malt-driven shapeshifters.  Their nerve center/elite training grounds are rumored to be located in an underground bunker some 20 stories below the idyllic streets of Boulder, Colorado. 

For those of us in the beer community, their word is gold.  And, once again, the association has spoken.  With mega-computers and high-speed microprocessors running 24 hours a day, they are uniquely tapped into the craft beer cerebral cortex of the US and capable of compiling valuable data at break-neck speed. 

"Ah, gee! Oskar Blues made the list!"

Just last week, they released their much-anticipated list of the “2009 Top 50 Craft Breweries” which I received like Charlie and his golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory.  I printed the list, folded it up with the lightest of touches (so as not to disturb its prized contents) and carried it to my secret place where I could unfold it and digest it without interruption. 

“Craft breweries” are classified by those having production levels of less than 2 million barrels a year.  So, with no further adieu, the Top 50 Craft Breweries of 2009: 

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies
(Based on 2009 beer sales volume)

  • 1  Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
  • 2  Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
  • 3  New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
  • 4  Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
  • 5  Pyramid Breweries Inc. Seattle WA
  • 6  Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
  • 7  Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
  • 8  Magic Hat Brewing Co. Burlington VT
  • 9  Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
  • 10  Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
  • 11  Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
  • 12  Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
  • 13  Kona Brewing Co. Kailua-Kona HI
  • 14  Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
  • 15  Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
  • 16  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
  • 17  The Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
  • 18  Abita Brewing Co. Abita Springs LA
  • 19  Summit Brewing Co. Saint Paul MN
  • 20  Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
  • 21  Shipyard Brewery Portland ME
  • 22  New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
  • 23  Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
  • 24  Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. Newport OR
  • 25  Long Trail Brewing Co. Bridgewater Corners VT
  • 26  The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
  • 27  Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
  • 28  SweetWater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
  • 29  Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
  • 30  Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA
  • 31  Flying Dog Brewing Co. Frederick MD
  • 32  BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery Huntington Beach CA
  • 33  Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
  • 34  Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO
  • 35  BridgePort Brewing Co. Portland OR
  • 36  Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Eureka CA
  • 37  Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT
  • 38  Stevens Point Brewing Co. Stevens Point WI
  • 39  Mac and Jack’s Brewery Redmond WA
  • 40  Karl Strauss Brewing Co. San Diego CA
  • 41  The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. St. Louis MO
  • 42  Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY
  • 43  Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants Chattanooga TN
  • 44  Oskar Blues Brewery Longmont CO
  • 45  North Coast Brewing Co. Fort Bragg CA
  • 46  Breckenridge Brewery Denver CO
  • 47  Utah Brewers Cooperative Salt Lake City UT
  • 48  Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Houston TX
  • 49  Boulder Beer Co. Boulder CO
  • 50  Bear Republic Brewing Co. Cloverdale CA

This year, there were three breweries that were welcomed to this esteemed group:  Oskar Blues Brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing Co and Bear Republic Brewing Co. 

All hail the Brewer’s Association!  All hail craft breweries! 

Now get out and support them.  Tell em Charlie sent  you… 

"You simply must check out my craft beer waterfall"


One Response to “The Oracle Speaks: the Top 50 Craft Breweries”

  1. […] The Oracle Speaks: The Top 50 Craft Breweries — This prized list of breweries features the best of the best. Beer connoisseurs, take note (or print it off for yourself). Grapes and Grains […]

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