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The 20 largest breweries, 50 years later

The Brewers Association has released its lists of the nation’s largest brewing companies and the largest companies it classifies as craft breweries. Those are 50 deep, and you can find them many places, including the BA website. There they also list what brands are made by each company, like that Craft Brew Alliance includes includes Kona, Omission, Red Hook, and Widmer Brothers brands.

Two breweries listed were in the top 10 both in 2015 and 50 years ago, but one of them — Pabst — brews none of its own beers today. You might say things have changed. And you might think about what the list will look like in 50 more years.

 20151965
1Anheuser-BuschAnheuser-Busch
2Miller CoorsSchlitz
3PabstPabst
4D.G. Yuengling & SonFalstaff
5Boston BeerCarling
6North American BreweriesSchaefer
7Sierra NevadaBallantine
8New BelgiumRheingold
9Craft Brew AlliancePfeiffer
10GambrinusHamm's
11LagunitasMiller
12Bell'sCoors
13DeschutesOlympia
14StoneSchmidt
15SleemanStroh
16MinhausNational
17BrooklynPearl
18Duvel MoortgatLucky Lager
19Dogfish headGenesee
20MattJackson

Before you ask, Yuengling was No. 72 in 1965 and Anchor Brewing was No. 121.

4 Responses to The 20 largest breweries, 50 years later

  1. Gary Gillman March 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    You have to look of course at amounts shipped so the number of crafts ganging up in the current list on the surviving big breweries can be deceiving, but still, the changes are manifest and clearly in one direction. Pabst only appears to hold its own since it did so through a complex process of acquisition which Falstaff initiated IIRC, many of the names down the pre-craft list are produced by Pabst today.

    I think AB InBev will end by merging with Miller Coors or Pabst: sooner or later this seems inevitable.

    Gary

  2. Alan March 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    What’s the story on Sleeman of WI? Does that on Sapporo plant alone produce enough beer for that ranking?

  3. Alan March 31, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Minhaus is another odd animal. A Canadisn firm with production in Wisconsin for the Canadian market: http://minhasbrewery.com/our-history

    • Stan Hieronymus March 31, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

      Re: Sleeman in LaCrosse. That’s a former Heileman brewery with a lot of capacity, but still a little surprised. Minhaus is the ex Huber brewery in Monroe, one of the oldest in the country. Huber was 87th in size in 1965, BTW.

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