The Results Are In: More Americans Are Drinking Better Beer— More Americans Are Drinking Stone!
WHO: Brewers Association
WHAT: Top 50 Craft Breweries in America—Stone Brewing Co. Rises to #20!
WHY: Craft Brewing Industry Continues Strong Growth in 2007
Escondido, San Diego County, CA— Let’s clarify the ranking in the above heading. Stone Brewing Co., according to the Brewers Association (BA), which tabulates annual growth and production data in the American brewing industry, has ranked 20th among craft brewers in the U.S. in terms of sales by volume.
The BA ranking notwithstanding (and false modesty certainly never being among our core values) we at Stone still prefer to think of ourselves as #1—in terms of the quality and character of our beer, of course. Still, #20 in sales is hardly small beer, given that Stone’s humble beginnings barely over a decade ago make us the youngest brewer among the top 25 on the list.
How do we account for such a meteoric rise? Here’s what Stone CEO Greg Koch has to say: “We don’t focus on how much we grow. We only focus on how we go about our business and how we go about brewing our beer. And if we steward those very, very carefully—and you could argue that it borders on zealotry on our part—then the growth will naturally occur. And it has.” To cynics who would suggest that such lofty principles often take a back seat to the lure of increasing profit margins, Koch declares, “We’ll only make the kinds of beers we think are great and we’re only going to make them in the way we think is great.
We never want to have a glass of beer in front of us and wax poetically about how good it used to be, before we got big.”Small, independent and traditional brewers—the BA’s definition of a craft brewing company—are enjoying record sales, evidenced by the tremendous growth and visibility of small, local breweries throughout the country.
In 2007 alone, according to the BA, the craft brewing sector grew by a robust 12% in volume and 16% in dollars—all this at a time when non-craft beer sales have barely grown by a single percentage point. While the craft brewing sector still comprises just shy of 4% of the beer market by volume, its rapid expansion reflects a dramatic shift in people’s beer drinking preferences. “The majority of breweries in the U.S. are independent craft brewers who continue to push the envelope in flavor and diversity and who continue to set the pace for the beer category,” states Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. “In 2007, 1,406 of the 1,449 breweries were small, independent and traditional brewers.”
And to that we say, “Good for them!” Indeed, good for us. Good for everyone.
Founded in 1996, Stone Brewing Co. is located in Escondido, CA and is one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. Additionally, Stone Brewing is one of the highest rated breweries in the world according to both RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. For more info go to