11 Craft Beer Companies That Went From Little To Big Time

Written by Eric Goldschein for businessinsider.com

Since the 1990s, the craft brewing movement has been slowly taking over the beer-making industry.

Yes, big beer makers are still king, and control more than 93 percent of overall beer sales in the country. But of the 1,600 breweries in the United States today, 90 percent of them are craft brewers.

Craft brewers are, by definition, small, independent and traditional. Their commitment to innovation and community seems to resonate with beer drinkers across the country, who are increasingly flocking to craft beers and even the breweries themselves.

But craft beer is still a billion dollar industry. The Brewers’ Association has a list of the Top 50 Craft Breweries in the country in 2010, based on beer sales volume.

How did they do it?

11. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE

11. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Milton, DE

Image: Flickr

This company began as the smallest  commercial brewery in America, looking to bring original beer and food to  the resort community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in June of 1995. The brewpub  quickly became popular for its quirky flavors and wood-burning grill. A thirty-fold  expansion of Dogfish Head was needed within a year.

By  1997, the brewery had separated from the restaurant to focus on brewing  beer, and in 1999 the company was producing five year–round bottled brands in  about a dozen states. Today, they operate out of a 100,000 square foot factory  in Milton, producing beer — and even spirits — for  25 states.

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