5 Colorado craft brewers rank among the nation’s 50 best-selling breweries

Colorado’s reign as an independent beer powerhouse continued in 2017, with five local craft breweries holding spots on a list of the year’s top 50 U.S. craft brewers as ranked by sales volume.

Compiled by the Brewers Association, a Boulder-based nonprofit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers, the list counted New Belgium Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery parent CANarchy, Odell Brewing Co. Left Hand Brewing Co. and Avery Brewing Co. in the top 50. All five companies made the association’s 2016 list.

New Belgium, based in Fort Collins, was craft beer’s fourth biggest seller in 2017, maintaining its place from 2016. CANarchy, based in Longmont and formerly known as Oskar Blues Holding Company, improved one spot to No. 9. Odell, also from Fort Collins, jumped up to No. 22 from No. 27.  Left Hand Brewing, of Longmont, held fast at No. 44 and Boulder-based Avery Brewing dropped two spots to No. 50.

The top three in 2017 sales were the same as in 2016: D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. of Pottsville, Pa., Boston Beer Co. of Boston and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, Calif.

The Brewers Association also tabulated the top 50 overall U.S brewers in 2017, and all but 10 were craft companies. New Belgium ranked No. 11; CANarchy, No. 19; and Odell, No. 32. New Belgium was No. 8 overall in 2016, while Oskar Blues was No. 18 and Odell was 36th. 

The 2017 sales crown belonged to Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Golden-based MillerCoors was No. 2.

“In an increasingly competitive and mature marketplace, these brewing companies continue to lead and pave the path for small and independent craft brewers,” Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson said in a news release.

There is one top 50 craft brewery in Colorado for every 1.12 million people. For a map of all the craft breweries that made the 2017 list visit bit.ly/2Gr3k1U.

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