but the map in the link above does give one food for thought. I was surprised that Matt Brewery, of Utica, NY, comes in as the 6th largest craft brewery in the U.S. Number 1 is Boston Beer of course, the makers of Sam Adams, and I have to figure it swamps the contenders on the rest of the list. Late night Googling did not yield the numbers I wanted, but it looks like it sells at least twice as much beer as number 2 on the list, Sierra Nevada. Great timing on getting into the craft beer game, and good marketing, making up for a lot of mediocre beer (before anyone shoots me, I think they have managed to produce varieties over the years that are very good, but beer that is much better than their flagship ale and lager has become common).
I don't think I would have guessed anything even resembling the actual list after the first two. Number 3 is New Belgium Brewery, a name unknown to me, which turns out to be the creator of Fat Tire. I like the beer, and I know it's popular, but 3rd largest? No idea.
Spoetzl Brewery is number 4. I probably would have had to look this one up, too, except the map helpfully shows that it's located in Shiner, Texas. They appear to sell less than half the quantity of beer that Sierra Nevada does.
Pyramid Breweries in Seattle is number 5. They have a chain of brewpubs, and I've never tasted, seen or heard of them before. The brewpub chains seem to be well-represented on this list. In addition to Pyramid, I recognized Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch (which appears twice).
After F.X. Matt's brewery, I figure we're getting into much smaller operations, so the surprise to me is how low some of the brews I like appear on the list. Magic Hat is 12, Brooklyn Brewery is 19, Rogue is 21, Dogfish Head is 25.
The geographic distribution isn't quite what I would have expected, either. California's spot at the top is predictable, but Washington has only 2 breweries that make the cut? Oregon has 5, so the northwest overall has a decent showing, but Colorado has 6 in the top 50! Somehow an operation in Salt Lake City was also able to make a success of itself, despite the stony native soil.
No offense to Michigan, but just 1? I thought they liked beer up there.
A map like this makes me wish I travelled more. I think I'll try to make a wallet-sized version, just in case.