I think we all knew that Rhinegeist has been growing very big, very fast. I also think that we all knew they were really big here in Cincinnati, but the level that they had grown to in the United States has now taken on mind blown status.
According to the latest numbers from the Brewer’s Association, Rhinegeist is not only the 33rd biggest craft brewery in the country – they are also the 43rd biggest brewery in the country – including the massive “big guys”.
These numbers are all from sales volume… and I am blown away by the thought of it all. We should dive in a little bit.
I’m going to focus on the Craft Brewery list because it makes things a little bit easier. The top 33 breweries (ending on our own Rhinegeist are as follows…)
- D.G. Yuengling & Son, INC – Pottsville, PA
- Boston Beer Co – Boston, MA
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – Chico, CA
- New Belgium Brewing Co – Ft. Collins, CO
- Duvel Moortgat – Paso Robles, CA, Kansas City, MO
- Gambrinus – San Antonio TX, Berkeley CA, Portland OR
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc – Comstock, MI
- Stone Brewing Co – Escondido, CA
- CANarchy – Longmont CO, Tampa, FL, Salt Lake City, UT, Comstock Park MI
- Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR
- Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn, NY
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE
- Minhas Craft Brewery – Monroe, WI
- Artisanal Brewing Ventures – Downingtown, PA, Lakewood, NY
- Sweetwater Brewing Co – Atlanta, GA
- New Glarus Brewing Company – New Glarus, WI
- Matt Brewing Co – Utica NY
- Harpoon Brewery – Boston MA
- Alaskan Brewing Co – Juneau, AK
- Great Lakes Brewing Co – Cleveland, OH
- Abita Brewing Co – Abita Springs, LA
- Odell Brewing Co – Fort Collins, CO
- Stevens Point Brewery – Steven’s Point, WI
- August Schell Brewing Co – New Ulm, MN
- Summit Brewing Co – Saint Paul, MN
- 21st Amendment Brewery – Bay Area, CA
- Shipyard Brewing Co – Portland, ME
- Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick, MD
- Full Sail Brewing Co – Hood River, OR
- Troegs Brewing Co – Hershey, PA
- Long Trail Brewing Co – Bridgewater Corners, VT
- Rogue Ales – Newport, OR
- Rhinegeist Brewery – Cincinnati, OH
Here’s Why It’s A Big Deal
It’s a big deal to have one of the biggest breweries in the country right in your own backyard for the obvious reasons. It gives our city’s craft beer scene that much more notoriety. I get really excited thinking about the possibilities if Sam Adams decided to finally open up a taproom in their OTR production facility. But beyond the easy and obvious, this is a big deal for another major reason.
Look at the ages of the breweries that are ahead of Rhinegeist on this list. You’ve got breweries that are more than 150 years old on here. You’ve got the places that build and defined craft beer when it was just a bunch of homebrewers with an idea. The old guard. Then you’ve got Rhinegeist, just moving toward their 5th anniversary this summer.
I did a little math. If you average the ages of all the breweries ahead of the ‘geist on this list, they average out to just a hair over 49 years old. Hell… the closet “new” brewery to Rhinegeist on here is 21st Amendment, and they’re almost 18 years old. It’s a feat that has to be acknowledged to be such a young brewery and to make this list. It’s also really mind-blowing to start to think about what it might mean for the Rhinegeist of 20 years from now, and what that might look like.
Cincinnati is entering a new phase of its craft beer life, and it looks like Rhinegeist is doing their best to pave the way for what that might look like.