Apparently, America loves its beer and especially when it’s been brewed by small, independent breweries! Boundary Bay Brewery now ranks as the largest brewpub in the nation again, according to The New Brewer, The Journal of The Brewers Association. The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers with a mission to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
In the comprehensive industry reports in their May/June issue, The Brewers Association defines a brewpub as a brewery restaurant with at least 25% of beer sales occurring onsite, versus a microbrewery which sells over 75% of its beer OFF site. In 2009, we produced 5,738 barrels of beer (31 gallons per barrel) right here at Boundary Bay, which made us the largest producing brewpub in the U.S. For the last five years, Boundary Bay Brewery has been in the top two largest brewpubs in the US and for the last three years in a row, we have been number one.
Last year the craft beer industry experienced a 7.2% increase in volume over 2008 while huge brands like Budweiser and Heineken experienced drastically declining sales. Greg Kitsock (writer for The New Brewer) says that “…Americans might be putting off buying that new home or car, they might be making do with last year’s fashions, but they continue to splurge on better beer.”
Perhaps it is the societal shift toward small and local business that is sustaining the craft beer industry through tough economic times. Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, speculates that the success is due, in part, to “…what craft brewers have done – they have connected with their customers locally at events and at their breweries…and they have connected through beer quality, innovation in styles, liberal use of hops, and brewing complex beers…”. If Gatza is right, then Boundary Bay Brewery’s success should come as no surprise.
We here at Boundary Bay Brewery have a long history of award winning beers AND community involvement. It’s just as likely to see the brewery getting press for helping out over 100 local nonprofits every year as for their 70+ beer awards we’ve gathered over the years. We have been fortunate to win many awards. Each of those medals signal a triumph in the craft beer community, but it’s not the only way we measure our success. We feel it’s important to connect to the community of customers, neighbors, friends and fans who make it possible for us to keep doing what we do.
So, thanks everyone…for helping to make us the largest selling brewpub in the nation! We really, truly couldn’t have done it without you!!