Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma ranked as the ninth largest American brewery in terms of volume last year as it continued to ramp up production of its hoppy flagship beer throughout the country.
Lagunitas moved up one spot from the 2015 list compiled by the Brewer’s Association, a trade group that represents craft brewers. It is likely to grow even more this year as it brings Azusa, its third brewery, into the fold, complementing its local plant and one in Chicago. Last year, Lagunitas produced 910,000 barrels, according to spokeswoman Karen Hamilton.
Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors were ranked at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, though both are losing market share as younger drinkers flock to craft beer. In return, both companies have been rapidly buying smaller craft brewers.
Other California breweries that ranked high on the list included Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico at No. 7, Ballast Point Brewing Co. in San Diego at No. 13 and Anchor Brewing Co. of San Francisco at No. 31.
The Brewer’s Association also puts out a top 50 craft brewers list as well, but limits that category to those who produce less than 6 million barrels annually and whose ownership is less than 25 percent from large corporate brewers. That definition excludes Lagunitas, which is 50 percent owned by Heineken International.
Three local companies made the top 50 craft breweries list. Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Cloverdale came in at No. 40, Lost Coast Brewing Co. in Eureka ranked No. 45 and North Coast Brewing Co. of Fort Bragg came was No. 47.
You can reach Staff Writer Bill Swindell at 707-521-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @BillSwindell.