Firestone Walker ranked No. 16 in top craft brewers list
The Brewers Association recently released its annual Top 50 US Craft Brewing Companies and ranked Paso Robles-based Firestone Walker Brewing Co. at No. 16 for 2013. The rankings are based on beer sales volume for the 2013. Firestone rose four spots in the ranking from No. 20 in 2012.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a microbrewery now located in Paso Robles. The company was formed in 1996 by Adam Firestone, a son of Brooks Firestone, and his brother-in-law David Walker. The company expanded two times in six years and purchased former SLO Brewing Company located in Paso Robles in 2002 where they added 17 interior fermenters, four exterior fermenters, a keg line, and Krones bottling line.
The Brewers Association is a trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 38 were small and independent craft brewing companies.
The association’s definition of a craft brewer: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewer’s brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.