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April 1, 2015

Shipyard, Allagash make top U.S. breweries list

Shipyard Brewing Co. and Allagash Brewing Co. of Portland have been named two of the country's top breweries, appearing alongside industry giants like Anheuser-Busch Inc.

The national Brewers Association on Tuesday released its top 50 list of craft brewing companies and top 50 list of overall brewing companies, the latter of which includes Miller Coors and other large brewing companies that don't fit the definition of being a craft brewery. Both lists are based on each company's 2014 beer sales volume.

Shipyard Brewing and Allagash Brewing were ranked No. 25 and No. 42, respectively, on the top 50 craft breweries list. That's a few ranks down from Shipyard's No. 14 ranking for the 2013 list and a few notches up from Allagash's No. 47 ranking. D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. in Pottsville, Pa.; Boston Beer Co. in Boston; and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Calif., made the top three spots.

What's more significant for Maine: Shipyard Brewing and Allagash Brewing were ranked No. 31 and No. 50, respectively, on the top 50 overall breweries list. While that's a few notches down from Shipyard Brewing's No. 21 ranking for 2013, it's an improvement for Allagash Brewing, which didn't appear on the previous year's list. Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Mo.; Miller Coors in Chicago; and Pabst Brewing Co. in Los Angeles, Calif. made the top three spots.

The top 50 lists were published a few weeks after the Brewers Association said national craft beer volume increased 18% last year, while the overall beer market only increased 0.5%. That allowed craft beer to claim a 11% share of the overall beer market.

According to the Brewers Association, craft breweries are defined by three major requirements: They must produce 6 million barrels of beer or less annually, have less than 25% of their company "owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer" and have a majority of their total beverage alcohol volume derived "from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation."

Read more

Nine Maine restaurants, brewers and chefs among James Beard semifinalists

Business is brewing: Craft beer's national growth is reflected in Maine

Study: Maine beer industry to see major growth

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