Hops top-selling brewpub chain

Brew Brothers in Nevada remains No. 1 producing brewpub

June 27, 2000 - The Hops, Bar & Brewery chain passed Rock Bottom Restaurants to become the largest-selling brewpub group in the United States, according to figures compiled by the Institute for Brewing Studies.


Hops, which now operates more than 70 pubs, estimated selling 37,500 barrels of beer in 1999, compared to 33,500 by Rock Bottom.

Brew Brothers in Reno, Nev., remained the highest-selling single-site brewpub in the U.S. with sales of 5,240 barrels.

According to IBS figures, as of June 12, the total number of brewpubs operating in the U.S. reached 1,021. The brewpub industry reached this mark despite a decrease in the number of new openings, from 149 in 1998 to 122 in 1999. The number of closings decreased as well, from 79 in 1998 to 68 in 1999.

"Basically, these slowed closing and opening rates indicate the stabilization of the market as more veterans remain in the industry, fewer unsuccessful participants are forced to drop out, and fewer newcomers attempt to enter the industry," said David Edgar, director of the Institute for Brewing Studies, "That notwithstanding, the strong growth opportunities in craft brewing are now clearly located in brewpubs."

1999 U.S. Top Ten Individual Brewpubs
(Measured by total volume of beer sold.)

Company1999 Sales     % change
1. Brew Brothers/Eldorado Hotel and Casino (NV)    5,240 -14
2. Wynkoop Brewing Co. (CO) 4,047 +2
3. Monte Carlo Pub and Brewery (NV) 3,500 +9
4. Big Buck Brewery, Auburn Hills (MI) 2,753 -16
5. Marin Brewing Co. (CA) 2,710 +9
6. Boston Beer Works (MA) 2,683 +2
7. Rock Bottom Brewery-Denver (CO) 2,644 -6
8. Bluegrass Brewing Co. (KY) 2,500 +6
9. Eel River Brewing Co. (CA) 2,500 N/A
10. Elysian Brewing Co. (WA) 2,350 +9

1999 U.S. Top 5 Brewpub Groups
(Measured by total volume of beer sold; does not include production-only breweries.)

Company   Sales    % change  Stores   Change
1. Hops Restaurant, Bar, Brewery 37,741    +33 64 +16
2. Rock Bottom Restaurants (a) 33,589 +13 26 +2
3. McMenamin's Breweries 20,808 -1 22 +2
4. RAM Int'l/Bighorn/Humperdinks (b)   13,840 +13 17 0
5. Gordon Biersch 13,572 +37 12 +2

* Excluding non-brewing restaurants

(a) Including Walnut Brewery and 'Chop House and Brewery' (Cleveland, Denver and District) operations
(b) Including C.B. & Potts/Bighorn Brewing Co., Humperdinks/Big Horn Brewing Co. and C.I. Shenanigans
(c) Includes Rock Bottom Breweries of Charlotte and Atlanta, A1A Alehouse, Ragtime Tavern and Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery

Compiled by the Institute for Brewing Studies.

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