Earlier this month, we learned that our beloved Yuengling is America's 19th most popular beer overall, beating breweries like Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada. But, as it turns out, it's is much more popular than all that.
In fact, Yuengling is the No. 1-selling craft beer in the United States.
The Brewers Association today released its list of the top 50 craft breweries in America for 2014 (based on beer sales by volume), with D.G. Yuengling & Sons Inc. placed atop the list. Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Gambrinus rounded out the top five.
As Philly Beer Scene notes, Yuengling's newfound placement on the list is most probably attributable to the brand now being considered craft beer rather than just regular ol' suds like it has been in the past. That change is a result of the Brewers Association last year changing the requirements for what exactly a craft beer is. Via HuffPo:
To use the term "craft beer" in marketing, brewers traditionally had to be three things: small, independent and traditional. The BA also required that brewers use only barley malt for their flagship beer, rather than rice or corn.
The BA lifted the barley malt requirement, and now will also allow breweries that make up to 6 million barrels a year to consider themselves "small." (It was capped at 2 million barrels until 2010.) As a result, bigger brewers including Yuengling, August Schell and Narragansett will all soon be considered "craft."
According to Vinepair, Yuengling pulled in roughly $250 million last year, which no doubt helped the company claim this year's top spot. Which, given that the brew is distributed in only 17 states and Washington, D.C., is only more impressive.
Other area breweries that made the top 50 cut include Delaware's Dogfish Head, Troegs out in Hershey, and Downingtown's own Victory Brewing.