Boston Beer Company has been bumped to number two, as Yuengling has claimed the number one spot of craft brewing companies in the United States.
The Brewers Association — a nonprofit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers — released their annual list of top 50 companies based on beer sales volume for 2014. Boston Beer Co., which produces Samuel Adams, has been on top for at least eight straight years, until now.
CNN Money attributed the shift of rankings to a change in what is now considered a “craft brewery.” The association now includes brewers who employ “adjunct grains,” such as corn — an ingredient that Yuengling uses.
According to USA Today, the Boston company shipped out “20 percent more barrels than in 2013” but Yuengling still surpassed their competitor’s sales. The Brewers Association did not release production volumes.
Yuengling’s popularity has recently crept into Massachusetts after two decades, and is now sold in 6,000 bars, restaurants and stores across the state. Founded in 1829, the Pennsylvania-based company is the oldest in the nation.
The heat has definitely felt by local brewers since the arrival of Yuengling in Boston. The Boston Globe reports that local businesses, such as Somerville Brewing Company, have taken a hit from the Pennsylvania beer’s arrival in the Bay State.
Craft beer is certainly a booming sector in general, as sales have been on an uphill trajectory. Although it only accounts for 19 percent of the beer sold in America, it sold $19.6 billion in beer in 2014 — a 14 percent increase from 2013.
Sam Adams may be a go-to name here in Boston, but it just wasn’t enough to remain number one this year.
[h/t CBS Pittsburgh]