Craft Beer Definition and Industry

New Belgium is the fourth largest craft brewery as defined by the Brewers Association. An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.

Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.  

Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.

Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.


New Belgium currently sells beer in 38 states, the District of Columbia and British Columbia. In 2014, New Belgium Brewing produced 945,000 barrels of beer.

All of New Belgium’s beer is brewed in Fort Collins, Colorado, although we are building a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina that will be open by early 2016.

Rankings of craft brewers

New Belgium Brewing is the fourth-largest brewer of craft beer in the nation and the eighth-largest brewery in the United States.