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Friday is International Beer Day and if you’re looking for a way to celebrate, checking out your local craft brewer may be a good choice. 

According to the Brewers Association, a brewery is considered craft if it is a “small and independent brewer.” That means the brewery produces 6 million barrels of beer or less per year and less than 25% of the brewery is owned by a non-craft brewer industry member. 

Craft brewers must also make beer and have a TTB Brewer’s Notice, according to the association.

At the end of 2020, there were 8,764 craft breweries in the U.S., the association says on its website. That includes 1,854 microbreweries, 3,219 brewpubs, 3,471 taproom breweries, and 220 regional craft breweries. 

It’s International Beer Day, the perfect excuse to enjoy a pint from your local craft brewer.

The association also reported that 346 craft breweries closed, while 716 breweries opened in 2020. 

The coronavirus pandemic hit craft breweries pretty hard in 2020, but Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson told FOX News there has been some improvement this year.

“Craft brewers have seen sales improve versus a very challenging 2020, but our midyear survey suggests that they are still below 2019 sales levels in the first half of the year,” Watson told FOX via email.

Watson also said it’s important for people to support their local craft breweries so that they can recover after 2020. 

“Like many small businesses, when COVID-19 hit, breweries were forced to change their entire business models overnight,” Watson said. “Supporting local craft breweries helps fuel local small businesses in the community, and the hundreds of thousands of local jobs they support directly and indirectly, and they need our help now more than ever. Not to mention it’s one of the tastiest ways to support jobs in your community.”

In March, the Brewers Association released its annual report on the top-selling craft breweries in the U.S. for 2020, using sales volume for the year.

To see the top-ranked breweries here’s the Brewers Association’s most updated list.

Top 10 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies

1. D. G. Yuengling and Son

Location: Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Yuengling, which was originally founded in 1829 as the Eagle Brewery, claims to be “America’s Oldest Brewery.” The brewery will also be opening a “restaurant and entertainment destination” in Tampa, Florida, late next year, according to the website. Yuengling also ranked in seventh place on the Brewers Association’s list of overall brewing companies for 2020.

According to the Brewers Association, a brewery is considered craft if it is a "small and independent brewer."

2. Boston Beer Co.

Locations: Boston and Milton, Delaware

Boston Beer Co. owns several brands including Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head, Dogfish Head Miami, Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, Coney Island Brewing Company, Angel City Brewery and Havana Lager, according to the company website.


3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Locations: Chico, California; Mills River, North Carolina

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which was founded in the 1970s, has two breweries, one on the West Coast, in Chico, California, and one on the East Coast, in Mills River, North Carolina. The brewing company also has a “Torpedo Room” in Berkeley, California, according to the website.

4. Duvel Moortgat 

Locations: Paso Robles, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Cooperstown, New York

Founded and headquartered in Belgium in 1871, Duvel Moortgat has its U.S. base in Cooperstown, New York, according to the website. 

At the end of 2020, there were 8,764 craft breweries in the U.S., according to the association. 

5. Gambrinus 

Locations: Berkeley, California; Shiner, Texas

According to the Gambrinus website, the Texas-based craft brewer’s brands include Shiner Beers and Trumer Pils. 

Earlier this year, the Brewers Association published the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S. based on sales volume and Pennsylvania-based Yuengling took the top spot.

8. Artisanal Brewing Ventures

Locations: Downington, Pennsylvania; Lakewood, New York; Brooklyn, New York

According to the website, Artisanal Brewing Ventures owns five brands: Southern Tier Brewing Co., Victory Brewing Company, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Sixpoint Brewery and Southern Tier Distilling Co. 

9. Stone Brewing

Locations: Escondido, California; Richmond, Virginia

According to the brewery’s website, Stone Brewing beers are available in all 50 states and 40 different countries. Stone Brewing was also among the first breweries to create a West Coast IPA, the company says.

10. Deschutes Brewery

Locations: Bend, Oregon

According to the company website, Deschutes Brewery beers are available in 32 states. Aside from its Bend, Oregon, brewery, Deschutes also has a pub in downtown Portland and a tasting room in Roanoke, Virginia. 

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