Craft Breweries on Twitter

I’m interested in beer and social media, so I took a look at where these worlds intersect on Twitter. Many of the 4,000+ craft breweries in the United States have a social media presence, but the size of that presence varies widely. I rounded up 100+ breweries and their current Twitter follower counts. I was loose with my definition of “craft beer,” including breweries like Sam Adams and Ballast Point, but leaving out obvious macros like Anheuser-Busch (please let me know if I left anyone out). Here are the top twenty breweries by Twitter follower count:

Brewery Handle Followers
Dogfish Head dogfishbeer 274,000
New Belgium newbelgium 245,000
Stone StoneBrewingCo 240,000
Sierra Nevada SierraNevada 182,000
Founders foundersbrewing 154,000
Bell’s BellsBrewery 135,000
Brooklyn BrooklynBrewery 129,000
Flying Dog FlyingDog 115,000
Rogue RogueAles 111,000
Left Hand LeftHandBrewing 109,000
Victory VictoryBeer 109,000
Oskar Blues oskarblues 107,000
Deschutes DeschutesBeer 106,000
Green Flash GreenFlashBeer 80,500
Ballast Point BPbrewing 78,000
Odell OdellBrewing 77,500
Boston Beer Co SamuelAdamsBeer 77,000
Firestone Walker FirestoneWalker 76,600
Southern Tier stbcbeer 68,400
Harpoon harpoonbrewery 67,000

It’s not a shocking list. The top seven are some of the largest, most popular craft breweries in the country. Congrats to Dogfish Head on their Twitter dominance. Left Hand and Flying Dog are the smallest breweries to make the cut. Noticeably absent are some the big/old breweries like Lagunitas, Pyramid, Alaskan, and New Glarus.


Next I hunted down approximations of breweries output (barrels per year, please let me know if I’m way off) and compared that to their Twitter follower count. I’m looking for breweries that have an outsized social media influence for their actual beer production. Here are the top twenty breweries ranked by Followers per Barrel per Year (FPB):

Brewery Handle Followers Barrels FPB
The Bruery TheBruery 54,700 3,000 18.23
Jester King jesterkingbeer 27,100 3,000 9.03
Evil Twin EvilTwinBrewing 28,500 6,000 4.75
Moylans MoylansBrewery 16,100 4,400 3.66
Lost Abbey lostabbey 55,200 20,000 2.76
Revolution RevBrewChicago 41,800 24,000 1.74
Magnolia magnoliapub 9,098 6,000 1.52
Left Hand LeftHandBrewing 109,000 74,532 1.46
Flying Dog FlyingDog 115,000 86,585 1.33
Green Flash GreenFlashBeer 80,500 64,640 1.25
Dogfish Head dogfishbeer 274,000 227,986 1.20
Drakes DrakesBeer 19,000 20,000 0.95
Rogue RogueAles 111,000 117,000 0.95
Breckenridge BreckBrew 56,400 64,371 0.88
Victory VictoryBeer 109,000 125,711 0.87
Saint Arnold SaintArnold 57,100 66,579 0.86
Stone StoneBrewingCo 240,000 287,075 0.84
Founders foundersbrewing 154,000 193,000 0.80
Odell OdellBrewing 77,500 99,517 0.78
Oskar Blues oskarblues 107,000 149,000 0.72

bruery-barrel-headHalf of these are repeats from the first list; they may actually have a marketing budget. The rest are more interesting, with some relatively small breweries at the top. Tiny breweries like The Bruery, Jester King, Moylan’s, Magnolia, and Evil Twin have managed quite the internet buzz for their small beer output. Notably absent are some of the largest craft breweries like Sam Adams, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Bell’s, and Brooklyn.

Comparing the differences between the two lists doesn’t scream any big conclusions at me. Perhaps breweries on the second list tend to be more innovative than those that only made the first list. Jester King’s spontaneously fermented beers, The Bruery’s extensive barrel aging program, and Evil Twin’s gypsy brewing are probably more interesting than the older stalwarts like New Belgium that didn’t make the FPB list. The lesson then is to stay interesting and keep experimenting if you want to keep people’s attention.

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