Top 5 Selling Types of Craft Beer in the US

UPDATE: This is a list of the top 5 selling craft beer styles in the U.S.

The Symphony IRI Group released some stats that encapsulate the consumption of beer styles from 1 January – 31 October 2010. These stats are based on the purchase (scanned sales only) of said beer types from retail outlets (Grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores) througout the US. I also provide names of what I personally think are excellent examples of each type. Please go, check out the beers if you can. So, in descending order, the top 5 beer styles (and their attendant market share) purchased in the US are:
5. Amber Lager (8.5%) Red by Rahr & Sons or Old Scratch by Flying Dog
4. Amber Ale (10%) Annie’s by High Noon Saloon or HopBack by Troegs
3. India Pale Ale (10.4%) Rickard’s by Molson or Fuller’s by Fuller, Smith & Turner
2. Pale Ale (15.3%) Butler’s by Niagra Brewring Company or Dale’s by Oskar Blues
1. Seasonal (18.1%) Winter Warmer by Rahr or Spring Seasonal Bock by Mendocino

I know, it’s a trick, right?
“Seasonal” isn’t really a beer type. A seasonal could be an ale. It could be a porter. It could even be a pilsner. But, it certainly speaks to the strength of that market segment. I know my wife always asks the bartender/waitress, “What’s your seasonal?” before settling on a beer for the evening. And, it’s certainly a truism to say that my current favourite beer is a seasonal in the shape of Rahr Brewery’s goddamn good Winter Warmer which just won the World Beer Championship’s Gold Medal with a Rating of 91.

Broaden your palate and widen your taste.


  • Something is missing about this list. Like the word “except for American Lager Swill” or something. I just find it very hard to believe that any of those types out sold Budweiser, Miller Light, etc.

  • When I read the list to my wife this morning, I realized the same thing. I would have fully expected the list of best selling beers in the US to definitely include Pilsner or the Lager (which according to Wikipedia is the best selling beer in the U.S.). So, I’m guessing that the folks who kindly sent that list to me accidentally left off the word CRAFT in their title.

  • The titlke says top CRAFT beer, so thats why there is no American Light Lager, etc. Do agree that “seasonal” isnt a style but interesting what can fall into that hole.