Top US Beer Brand Stats (2010 Update)

By on July 6, 2011 @ 6 PM (3 Comments)

It’s time for our annual update of our Top US Beer Brands, originally posted for 2007. This information comes from the March 2011 issue of Beverage Industry magazine and is for U.S. sales for 2010. The data is based on sales across all beer categories in U.S. supermarket, drug, gas, convenience and mass merchandise outlets (excluding Wal-Mart, club and liquor stores). Here’s the 2010 analysis, along with a comparison to last year’s 2009 results:

Top Craft Beer Brands 2010:

  1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (unchanged from 2009)
  2. Sam Adams Seasonal (up from #3 in 2009)
  3. Sam Adams Boston Lager (down from #2 in 2009)
  4. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale (unchanged from 2009)
  5. Shiner Bock (unchanged from 2009)
  6. Sam Adams Variety Pack (up from #7 in 2009)
  7. Widmer Hefeweizen (down from #6 in 2009)
  8. Sierra Nevada Seasonal (up from #9 in 2009)
  9. Sam Adams Light (down from #8 in 2009)
  10. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA (not listed in 2009)

The BeerFathers Notes on Top Craft Beer Brands:

  • Craft beer, as a whole, continues a healthy growth pattern. Craft beer category sales were up 14.6% for the year, eclipsing last year’s 12% category growth. Compare that to beer as a whole, which had only a 0.6% increase over 2009. We’re getting there folks.
  • Widmer Hefeweizen and Sam Adams Light were the only two beers on the list that had a decrease in dollar sales from last year.
  • Number 10 on the list, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, had sales growth of 141.2% for the year. Wow. I think IPAs are hitting Americans right in their sweet bitter spot.
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, number one on the list, accounts for about 8% of the total craft beer market sales. Again, wow.
  • The lumping of seasonals together, though understandable, really clutters the list. It goes to show though that taken as a whole, the seasonals thing really works for both Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. You get the benefits of mass market scarcity to stimulate demand, which is kind of a cool thing. Some of our favorite sessionable beers are the seasonals.
  • It’s so good to see Shiner Bock holding strong at #5. I was in Austin, TX recently and had a bucket o’ Shiners and man they sure hit the spot.

Top Imported Beer Brands 2010:

  1. Corona Extra (unchanged from 2009)
  2. Heineken (unchanged from 2009)
  3. Modelo Especial (unchanged from 2009)
  4. Corona Light (up from #5 in 2009)
  5. Tecate (down from #4 in 2009)
  6. Labatt Blue (up from #7 in 2009)
  7. Labatt Blue Light (not listed in 2009)
  8. Dos Equis XX Lager Especial (unchanged from 2009)
  9. Stella Artois Lager (unchanged from 2009)
  10. Heineken Premium Light Lager (down from #6 in 2009)

TheBeerFathers Notes on Top Imported Beer Brands:

  • Newcastle fell off the list from last year at #10, and they were #7 in 2007. That explains their ramp up in advertising lately – their Newcastle commercials are actually quite great. It’s tough to see them drop off because they were by far the highest rated beer from on the list with an overall 47 out of 100. Hopefully they can make a strong comeback.
  • It’s still surprising to me that Guinness Draught is not on the list. They fell off last year after a #8 ranking in 2007. Shock!
  • Heineken. Still a case study in marketing.
  • Dos Equis continues to hold strong at #8, riding the strength of their still brilliant commercials featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World.
  • The highest rated beer on this list at is Stella Artois, with an 18 overall. It is a 92 by style though (Euro Trash Lager Pale Lager).

Top Beers by Brand 2010:

  1. Bud Light (unchanged from 2009) – 28.5% market share
  2. Budweiser (unchanged from 2009) – 11.4% market share
  3. Coors Light (unchanged from 2009) – 10.2% market share
  4. Miller Lite (unchanged from 2009) – 9.1% market share
  5. Natural Light (unchanged from 2009) – 6.0% market share
  6. Busch Light (up from #7 in 2009) – 4.0% market share
  7. Busch (up from #8 in 2009) – 3.6% market share
  8. Miller High Life (up from #10 in 2009) – 2.7% market share
  9. Keystone Light (not listed in 2009) – 2.6% market share
  10. Natural Ice (not listed in 2009) – 1.9% market share

The BeerFathers Notes on Top Beers by Brand:

  • Last year, Corona and Heineken were incorrectly listed as domestics, which messed with the integrity of the list. The mistake is corrected now, and I can’t say that the list has integrity at all. But that does explain the movement towards the bottom of the list.
  • Budweiser dipped right below 40% of the market, coming in at 39.9% this year. Still the most dominant beer brand in the world.
  • Anheuser-Busch now owns 55.4% of the US beer market. Up from 53.4% last year and 41.8% in 2007. Behemoth.
  • There’s only 3 separate companies that own the 10 beers on this list, two if you count MillerCoors together.
  • The highest rated beer on the list at Only one is not rated a 0 out of 100. Can you guess which one? We couldn’t either. It’s Miller High Life, with a 1 out of 100.
  • That is depressing. Seriously.

3 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. bhupendra says:

    i love imported beer because i m a bartender so i want totally knowledge about the beer

  2. I live in Tampa, and it is amazing how much difference water makes in brewing.
    Schlitz was great up north, and went down clean.
    But brewed here in Tampa, it tasted like soup made from an old roof!
    Thanks for a great article!

  3. […] New Belgium’s Ranger IPA and Samuel Adams Latitude 48. Overall, Torpedo saw a sales growth of 141 percent in […]

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