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:
|Boston Beer Co||SamuelAdamsBeer||77,000|
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):
Half 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.