Two Wisconsin breweries were recently moved up on national lists of top breweries.
Both the New Glarus Brewing Company and Stevens Point Brewery moved up on the list of Top 50 Craft Brewing Beers and Top 50 Top Brewing Beers.
The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as a small, independent and traditional brewery with an annual production of less than 6 million barrels.
In terms of largest beer sales by volume, New Glarus was listed as the 21st top craft brewing company in America, gaining one spot since last year’s rankings. Stevens Point also went up, moving from number 50 to number 44. Minhas Craft Brewery, out of Monroe, Wis., moved up from the 14th position last year to 11th this year.
“We’re ecstatic to have made the list,” said Julie Birrenkott, a spokesperson for Stevens Point Brewery. “As one of only three Wisconsin breweries on this list, it’s an honor to even be considered. The quality, ingredients and overall care and development of our product have every right to be recognized by the association. This is only the beginning of our expansion.”
Boston Beer Company, brewers of Sam Adams beer, and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company out of California took first and second place, respectively, followed by the makers of Fat Tire, New Beligum Brewing Company, in third.
The top companies? Sam Adams out of Boston, Sierra Nevada out of Chico, Calif., and New Belgium, out of Fort Collins, Colo.
Stevens Point Brewery currently distributes to 25 states, recently adding Texas and North Carolina, though the distribution is focused mainly in the Midwest and the East. The brewery employs a total of 23 people, with 15 unionized workers, Birrenkott said.
The Stevens Point Brewery is currently in the process of expanding its annual production by 25 percent to 100,000 barrels. The expansion of the brewery, including the addition of more warehouse space and new fermenting tanks, is scheduled to finish by May 1.
The lists were compiled from more than 1,700 breweries around the nation, according to the Brewers Association. The number of breweries within the U.S. is the highest since the 1800s, and Wisconsin alone houses more than 60, said Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza.