The Brewers Association recently released their annual “Top 50 Craft Breweries” list for 2016. This list is based on beer sales volume. I was a bit surprised by the top 5. In the top spot is Yuengling. I don’t think the typical beer person (we know who we are) would really consider Yuengling as a craft brewery. Don’t get me wrong, I tend to drink a lot of Yuengling, especially during lawn mowing season, which here in Florida is 12 months long. And it is my typical order when the other tap offerings are the usual suspects from the mega beer corporations. But craft ? Hmm.
Numbers 2, 3, and 4 on the list are Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and New Belgium Brewing Company. Those three breweries make sense being on the list as they have a lot of production capacity as well as a wide distribution.
Number 5 is a bit of a shock. Gambrinus. Uh, Gam-who-us? I had to look that one up. Gambrinus is based in San Antonio Texas and they own several craft breweries. The most notable one is the Spoetzl Brewery in Texas, which makes the Shiner line of beer. The most well known is Shiner Bock. They also own the Bridgeport Brewing company in Oregon, as well as the Trumer Brauerei in California. In the past the company was also responsible for importing, and marketing Corona beer to the U.S.. They basically created the entire Mexican beer in the clear bottle craze, much to the delight of lime farmers everywhere.
As for Florida breweries on the top 50 list, Zippo. No, there isn’t a brewery called Zippo. Zippo as in Zero.
You can view the entire list at the Brewers Association site: https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/brewers-association-releases-top-50-breweries-of-2016/