Revolution Brewing debuted on the list of the nation's largest craft brewers in 2015 at 50th place, grew to 46th place in 2016 and is now ranked 40th. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/TNS
Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/TNS

Revolution, Three Floyds among nation’s 50 largest craft brewers

Revolution Brewing’s stature in the craft beer revolution just keeps on growing.

The 8-year-old Chicago brewery was the nation’s 40th-largest craft brewer in 2017, according to rankings released Wednesday by the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based trade organization.

In 2016, Revolution was the nation’s 46th-largest craft brewery. It debuted in the Brewers Association’s rankings in 2015 at number 50.

Revolution’s chief financial officer, Doug Veliky, said the brewery made 82,500 barrels of beer in 2017 — up from nearly 73,000 barrels the previous year — and aims to surpass 90,000 barrels of production in 2018.

Three Floyds Brewing, of nearby Munster, Ind., entered the rankings for the first time at number 45 and is poised to shoot far higher in the coming years with a looming expansion

The Brewers Association rankings only include breweries deemed to meet its definition of “craft” — “small, independent and traditional.”

Chicago breweries such as Goose Island (owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev) and Lagunitas (owned by Heineken) — both of which would have been in the top 10 — are therefore not included.

The nation’s 10 largest craft breweries remained unchanged from 2016, though the order fluctuated:

1. D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. (Last year: 1)

2. Boston Beer Co. (2)

3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (3)

4. New Belgium Brewing Co. (4)

5. Duvel Moortgat (6; includes Firestone Walker, Boulevard Brewing and Brewery Ommegang)

6. Gambrinus (5)

7. Bell’s Brewery (7)

8. Stone Brewing Co. (9)

9. CANarchy (10; includes Oskar Blues, Cigar City and Perrin Brewing)

10. Deschutes Brewery (8)

The nation’s five largest brewers, according to the Brewers Association, are noncraft: Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Constellation, Heineken and Pabst. For the first time, Revolution cracked the list of the nation’s 50 largest breweries — craft or not — landing at number 50.

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