March 31, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic may have closed bars and restaurants – and halted in-person attendance at sporting events – but that didn't stop Americans from drinking beer.
The Brewer's Association unveiled its rankings for the Top 50 Brewing Companies in the country on Tuesday, and Pennsylvania breweries were well represented. The Keystone state secured three spots within the top 20, including D.G. Yuengling and Son, the 192-year-old brewery in Pottsville, which held its spot as the No. 1 craft brewery by volume of beer sold.
At No. 2 is Boston Brewing Co. the maker of Sam Adams beer and, since its merger in 2019, the beers by Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery. Sierra Nevada out of Chico, California, followed in the No. 3 spots.
Artisanal Brewing Ventures, which includes Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown, Chester County, jumped from No. 10 last year to No. 8 this year. Hershey's Troegs Brewing Co. secured No. 20 on the list as well, moving up seven spots from last year.
The pandemic changed where Americans bought their alcohol after bars and restaurants shuttered across the country, according to the Brewer's Association.
"Breweries who had established packaging and distribution capacity were best positioned to take advantage of the boom in off-premise sales and weather market uncertainty," said Bart Watson, the Brewers Associations chief economist. "These businesses also saw variation in performance based on geography and business model, with different parts of the country seeing very different beer trends, and draught-heavy breweries suffering."
Among the other states that had three brewers included in the list were Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Oregon. Washington had two breweries on the list, while Wisconsin had four and California had nine. There were no New Jersey-based breweries on the list.
Just published, the Top 50 Brewing Companies by Sales Volume for 2020 includes 40 small and independent craft brewing companies—see which breweries made the list. https://t.co/7vPAZOsRiI— Brewers Association (@BrewersAssoc) March 30, 2021
Yuengling is planning to expand into the west, starting with Texas, later this year. The beers sold there will be brewed locally at the Molson Coors brewery in Fort Worth.