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Six of the Largest Craft Breweries Call Colorado Home

Lindsey Gee

Colorado continues to be the Napa Valley of craft beer, at least according to a new survey released by the Boulder-based trade group Brewers Association.

Colorado is home to six of the 50 largest craft breweries in the country. The list ranks the state 2nd in total volume of craft beer sales, behind California. According to Brewers Association spokesperson Julia Herz, a brewery can only be considered craft if it produces under 6 million barrels of beer a year. That’s small in relation to the 101 billion dollar overall beer market. But, things are changing. 

“There’s a movement in our country culturally -a shift going on- to get back to the basics and localize.  The localization of beer is not unique to beer. We’re talking about a localization of much of what we consume on the food level. Look at the slow food movement. And so the same thing is happening in beer across the county and in Colorado.”

New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins leads the list of state brewers making the top 50 cut, ranking 3rd. Craftworks Brewing, Oskar Blues, Odell, Breckenridge and Left Hand Brewing Company also made the list. But overall, 83% of the beer enjoyed today still comes from large global brewing companies like Anheuser-Busch or Miller-Coors. 

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