North Coast breweries move up in craft beer rankings

North Coast breweries mostly moved up on a national trade association's annual list of the largest 50 U.S. beer makers.

According to figures released Wednesday by Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association, Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma moved to No. 17 among craft breweries, based on 2010 volume sales from No. 23 for 2009 sales; North Coast Brewing Co. Inc. of Fort Bragg, to No. 40 from No. 45; and Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Cloverdale and Healdsburg, to No. 43 from No. 50.

Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe of Eureka moved down to No. 38 from No. 36.

Among the top 50 U.S. breweries, Lagunitas ranked No. 26 for 2010, up from No. 36 in 2009. The brewery is undertaking a $9.5 million expansion this year to keep up with demand.

Novato-based Winery Exchange's World Brews subsidiary joined the 2010 list at No. 37.

Mendocino Brewing Co. of Ukiah slipped to No. 39 from No. 37. Lost Coast Brewery did not return to the list in 2010 after ranking No. 48 in 2009.

The association defines craft breweries as those that make less than 6 million barrels (each holding 31 gallons) a year, are less than 25 percent owned by a company outside craft brewing and have malt or flavor-enhanced brews as at least half of sales volume.

Craft brew share of all U.S. beer sales last year was 4.9 percent by volume and 7.6 percent by revenue, according to the trade group. The more than 1,700 craft brewers nationwide sold an estimated 9.95 million barrels in 2010, valued at $7.6 billion, up from 8.93 million barrels for $7 billion in 2009.


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