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The 10 Best-Selling Craft Beer Brands of 2024

This may sound like a backhanded compliment, but while craft beer sales continue to slow, the situation isn’t nearly as grim as it was this time last year. According to Chicago-based media company Circana, for the 52 weeks leading up to Jan. 28, 2024, U.S. craft beer sales totalled $4.7 billion — a year-over-year decrease of 0.8 percent, with case sales down 4 percent. The previous year, sales were down 4.7 percent and case sales dropped by an alarming 8.6 percent.

Circana compiled the sales data into a list revealing the top 10 best-selling craft beer brands going into 2024. Among the coveted list-makers are several breweries from Colorado, California, and Michigan, showing that despite the prolonged hazy IPA craze of New England, the western pockets of the U.S. are leading the charge in beer sales.

Breweries have pivoted some of their efforts into canned cocktails and RTDs to great avail, though IPAs remain the top-performing style across beer styles with a 46 percent volume share within the craft beer segment. The main driver for growth in the segment has been flavor-forward, adjunct beers as seen in the boom of such beers as New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger Juice Force Imperial IPA.

“Demand for sweeter, fruity, bolder flavor profiles across all of alcohol has influenced craft innovation and the brands that are driving segment growth,” according to Circana client insight consultants Ryan Toenies and Cara Piotrowski. Though purists might be rolling their eyes, it seems that peach rings, gummy bears, and tropical fruit extracts might hold the keys to success in the upcoming calendar year.

Before we dive into the list, it’s worth noting that Circana’s list differs slightly from the one reported by the Brewers Association. This, in many ways, comes down to the somewhat nebulous universal definition of what a “craft brewery” truly is. While the Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as “a small and independent brewer,” both lists include companies that don’t really fit that criteria, like Samuel Adams and Tilray Beer Brands.

Here are the 10 best-selling craft beer brands of this past year, according to Circana.

10. Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Brewing Company, named after co-founders Adam Firestone and David Walker, is well known for its myriad barrel-aged beers and has brought home multiple awards from the Brewers Association’s World Beer Cup over the years. Like many fellow list-makers, the majority of the brand is owned by another larger company — in this case Duvel Moortgat Brewery. Unfortunately, Firestone Walker saw quite the dip in sales over the past year, as dollar sales were down by 7.9 percent and case sales dropped by 10.5 percent.

9. Elysian

Championed by beer lovers far and wide for its killer IPAs — namely Space Dust — Seattle’s own Elysian Brewing Company has been a force in the American brewing landscape since 1995. Like Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, Elysian was purchased by AB InBev during the beverage conglomerate’s infamous craft brewery buying spree of the early 2010s. Regardless, the brand continues to impress with its stalwarts and season offerings, like 2022’s Dank Dust IPA.

8. Founders

As we enter the Michigan portion of the list, we find Grand Rapids’ Founders Brewing Company, arguably best known for its KBS stout series and uber-crushable All Day IPA. As of 2019, 90 percent of the brewery has been owned by Spanish brewing company Mahou San Miguel, so the Brewers Association no longer categorizes Founders as a craft brewery. Nonetheless, it’s holding it down at No. 8 on Circana’s list.

7. Bell’s

Part two of the Michigan section belongs to Kalamazoo’s Bell’s Brewery. Like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bell’s Centennial hop-driven Two Hearted IPA has been a beer enthusiast’s darling since it hit the market in 1997. Since then, the brewery has expanded its offerings without relying on kitschy adjuncts like some of its competitors. In 2023, the brand experienced an over-9-percent jump in both overall dollar and case sales, thanks in no small part to the launch of its Hearted IPA Variety Pack in December 2022.

6. Shiner

Texas’s own Shiner has been produced at the Spoetzl Brewery since 1909, and in 1989, the brand was bought by San Antonio’s Gambrinus Company when business was in a lull. Shiner is now sitting pretty with over $127 million in sales in the past calendar year. Its flagship dark lager Shiner Bock remains beloved and available nationwide.

5. Lagunitas

Until 2015, when Heineken bought a 50 percent share of the brand, Lagunitas was a tried-and-true independent brewery. The brand, founded in Petaluma, Calif., in 1993, took a pretty heavy dip in sales this past year, but it still continues to expand its offerings, which include a lineup of seasonal beers, myriad West Coast IPAs, and a hop water.

4. Samuel Adams

Boston Beer Company owns a slew of brands like Dogfish Head and Twisted Tea, but the corporation arguably wouldn’t exist without Samuel Adams. Founded in Cambridge, Mass., by Jim Koch, what started with a humble micro brewery in his home and a recipe for an amber lager has grown to be one of the top performers in the beer space. Nearly $210 million dollars in sales is nothing to scoff at.

3. Sierra Nevada

Chico, Calif.’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was founded in 1979 — when American craft beer was still in its infancy — by Paul Camusi and Ken Grossman, the latter of whom still owns it to this day. Their flagship pale ale was the beer that put Cascade hops on the map and remains a popular “desert island beer” for even the nerdiest of beer enthusiasts. Although case sales for the brand were down this past year, overall dollar sales were up, so Sierra Nevada is in a solid spot.

2. Blue Moon

Blue Moon has been under the MillerCoors umbrella since its inception in 1995, begging the question: Is the brand craft, or just crafty? It all depends on whom you ask, but regardless, the coriander-and-orange-peel-infused Belgian witbier has continued to be a crowd-pleaser, and a staple on draft lines nationwide.

1. New Belgium

2023 was a banner year for Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing. Due in no small part to the continued expansion of the brand’s Voodoo Ranger line of IPAs, the brand experienced a 22.6 percent sales increase over the past year, leading the list by over $200 million in sales.

*Image retrieved from Prostock-studio via

The article The 10 Best-Selling Craft Beer Brands of 2024 appeared first on VinePair.

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