There are four distinct craft beer industry market segments: brewpubs, microbreweries, regional craft breweries and contract brewing companies.
A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year with 75 percent or more of its beer sold off-site. Microbreweries sell to the public by one or more of the following methods: the traditional three-tier system (brewer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer); the two-tier system (brewer acting as wholesaler to retailer to consumer); and, directly to the consumer through carry-outs and/or on-site tap-room or restaurant sales.
View list of U.S. Microbreweries
A restaurant-brewery that sells 25 percent or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar. The beer is often dispensed directly from the brewery’s storage tanks. Where allowed by law, brewpubs often sell beer “to go” and /or distribute to off site accounts. Note: BA re-categorizes a company as a microbrewery if its off-site (distributed) beer sales exceed 75 percent.
View list of U.S. Brewpubs
A business that hires another brewery to produce its beer. It can also be a brewery that hires another brewery to produce additional beer. The contract brewing company handles marketing, sales and distribution of its beer, while generally leaving the brewing and packaging to its producer-brewery (which, confusingly, is also sometimes referred to as a contract brewery).
An independent regional brewery with a majority of volume in “traditional” or “innovative” beer(s).
A brewery with an annual beer production of between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels.
View list of U.S. Regional Breweries
A brewery with an annual beer production over 6,000,000 barrels.
View list of U.S. Large Breweries