Omnivore - Georgia’s top 10 craft breweries by production
How do the Peach State’s breweries stack up?
Each year, the Brewers Assocation (“the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers”) releases its top 50 list of the biggest U.S. craft breweries by sales volume. And each year, I wonder to myself, “Self, I wonder what Georgia’s top 10 would look like?” After chatting with various other beer industry folks, I realized I wasn’t the only one, and that it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to assemble such a list.
With the exception of Georgia’s two biggest, SweetWater Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Company, none of the state’s breweries publish their production numbers publicly, perhaps because they’re all pretty small, relatively speaking. This isn’t an insult — it’s just the truth. And for that matter, big certainly doesn’t always mean good.
But for a little perspective, Georgia’s second biggest brewery, Terrapin, made 46,207 BBLs (barrels, which are 31 gallons each) of beer last year, but didn’t crack the national top 50. Georgia’s third biggest, Red Brick Brewing Company, made 10,000 BBLs. It’s also worth remembering that while the country has a top 50, Georgia doesn’t even have 50 breweries period. Not yet, that is. Anyway, for the other eight of Georgia’s top 10, I emailed breweries and asked for their numbers.
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Before we get into the Georgia list, here’s the BA’s national top 50 of 2014, which was published Tuesday morning. The top 10 remains largely unchanged, except for the additions of Yuengling and Minhas, thanks to the BA’s newly updated definition of “craft.” Georgia’s only top 50 entry, SweetWater, continues its upward trend from 19 to 18. (Last year, it jumped 5 spots, up from 24.) This year’s biggest movers include Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. (up to 17 from last year’s 26), California’s 21st Amendment Brewery (up to 41 from last year’s 50), and Pennsylvania’s Troegs Brewing Co. (making its debut on the list at 44).
With further ado, then, Georgia’s top 10 craft breweries by volume (BBLs in parentheses):
1. SweetWater Brewing Company (192,500)
2. Terrapin Beer Company (46,207)
3. Red Brick Brewing Company (10,000)
4. Red Hare Brewing (8,000)
5. (t.) Jekyll Brewing (7,500)
5. (t.) Monday Night Brewing (7,500)
7. Three Taverns Brewery (2,500)
8. Southbound Brewing Company (2,300)
9. Creature Comforts Brewing Co.* (2,100)
10. JailHouse Brewing Company (2,000)
- Only open for eight months of 2014