New Belgium, Odell make “the top 50” of craft breweries

FORT COLLINS – New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co. have once again made the Brewers Association’s annual list of the top 50 craft breweries in the country.

New Belgium ranked No. 3 on the list, which is based on 2012 beer sales volume. New Belgium was No. 3 on last year’s list as well, behind Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada. Those two breweries remain cemented in first and second place.

Odell fell three spots in the ranking, from 30th last year to 33rd this year.

New Belgium sold 764,424 barrels of beer in 2012, up 16 percent from the previous year’s 712,843 barrels.

Odell also saw an increase in sales volume, of about 13.5 percent from 58,250 barrels in 2011 to about 67,000 barrels in 2012.

New Belgium and Odell are the two largest breweries in Fort Collins, followed by Fort Collins Brewery with 12,000 barrels sold in 2011.

Other Colorado breweries on the list include Oskar Blues Brewery and Left hand Brewing Co., located in Longmont and Breckenridge Brewery in Denver.

“In 2012, craft surpassed 6 percent of the total U.S. beer market, with volume and dollar sales reaching record levels,´ said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association.

New Belgium is establishing a second brewery on the east coast. The site in Asheville, N.C. is making its way through city planning processes, with the first beer expected to be poured in 2015.
The site was struck by fire this week and arson is suspected.
The brewery will encompass 150,000 square feet on about 17.5 acres. It will be constructed over seven years and comes with a projected cost of $175 million.

Odell is also expanding, but closer to home. The brewery plans to triple the size of its existing Fort Collins facility, enlarging its 50-barrel brewhouse to 150-barrel brewhouse.

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