Each year, the Brewers Association, a trade group representing American craft brewing companies, releases lists of the top 50 craft breweries and overall breweries in the country, based on beer sales volume. The lists for calendar year 2018 were released today. Three San Diego County operations made it onto the craft brewing company list, with two of them making the overall brewing company list.
Escondido-based Stone Brewing came in at number nine, dropping a spot from the 2017 list while retaining its status as the largest craft brewery in San Diego County. Karl Strauss Brewing rose in the rankings from number 41 in 2017 to number 40. Meanwhile, San Diego’s fastest-growing operation, Modern Times Beer, debuted on the craft brewery list at number 45.
Stone and Karl Strauss made it onto the overall brewery list at numbers 18 and 50, respectively. While Miramar-based Ballast Point Brewing is technically the largest brewing operation in the county, it was purchased by Constellation Brands in 2015. As such, its volume was rolled into its parent company’s total. Constellation Brands is the third-largest on the overall brewing company list, behind only Anheuser-Busch Inc. and MillerCoors.
Falling off the list from last year was Mira Mesa-based Green Flash Brewing, which was at number 43 in 2017, but sold to private investment last year after closing its East Coast brewery in Virginia Beach and significantly consolidating distribution.
The top five from the craft brewing company list are as follows: D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. (Pottsville, PA), Boston Beer Co. (Boston, MA), Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA), New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) and Duvel Moortgat, which owns and operates Boulevard Brewing, Brewery Ommegang and Firestone Walker Brewing. Both of the lists can be viewed online.