Brewing 'Tigers'

Brewers Assocation list honors 10 craft breweries combining size and growth

May 19, 2005 - The Brewers Association has rolled out a "Tiger List" for 2005: the top 10 craft brewers ranked by a combination of size and 2004 growth percentage.


Widmer Brothers Brewing in Oregon heads the list, followed by Pyramid Breweries (Washington), New Belgium Brewing (Colorado), Boulevard Brewing (Missouri), Deschutes Brewery (Oregon), Kalamazoo Brewing (Michigan), Magic Hat Brewing (Vermont), Harpoon Brewery (Massachusetts), Rogue Ales (Oregon) and Kona Brewery (Hawaii).

"Displaying aggressive growth, the entire craft beer industry shows the traits of a tiger right now," said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association. "Nationwide, we have strong craft beer brands that show impressive growth performance."

Each year the Brewers Association collects volume sales information from the country's 1400 craft brewers to assess and track the progress of the craft beer segment. In 2004, the overall segment grew by 7.2% and the Tiger List shows why.

"We put together the Tiger List by assessing both brewery size and 2004 growth percentage," said Ray Daniels, director of craft beer marketing at the Brewers Association. "These ten have the best combined rank on those two criteria."

The term "tiger" was commonly used to describe the rapidly growing economies of seven Asian countries during the 1990s. "Given the relative size of these brewers in the overall beer industry and their aggressive growth, we felt the analogy was a good one," Daniels said.

The 10 breweries on the list averaged 115,000 barrels (1.5 million cases) in sales during 2004. The average growth rate for these 10 was 28% with total volume growth of 21% in aggregate. Size was based on reported 2004 sales barrelage and growth was based on the percent change in sales barrelage from 2003 to 2004.

"Few industries today can boast a list of established players with this sort of growth record," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. "And while this list includes just ten brewing companies, the trend extends to all portions of the craft beer business."