Beer by the Numbers: Colorado's Best-Selling Craft Brews

April 14 2011, 6:19 AM

Dedicated beer drinkers can often rattle off a brew's ABV (alcohol by volume) and IBU (international bittering units). Breweries obviously think about those percentages, too, but the most important numbers are kept by the Boulder-based Brewer's Association, which tracks the sales of craft brewers across the country.

Five Colorado brewers have made the latest list of the country's Top 50 Craft Breweries: Fort Collins' New Belgium (3) and Odell Brewing Co. (33); Louisville's Rock Bottom Brewery (35); Longmont's Oskar Blues Brewery (36); and Denver's Breckenridge Brewery (45). The state also claims four brewers on the Top 50 Overall list: New Belgium (7), Odell (45), Rock Bottom (48), and Oskar Blues (49). MillerCoors, which is now based in Chicago, lands in the No. 2 spot.

Colorado ties for second in the number of breweries represented, with Oskar Blues hitting the list for the first time and Boulder Beer notably falling off (Denver Business Journal).

Meanwhile, out-of-state brewers are desperately trying to break into the Colorado beer market, and some liquor stores are bumping out wine bottles in order to make room for them (Westword). No doubt some of it will get picked up by the hardcore partiers at CU Boulder, which Playboy ranks as the nation's top party school (Daily Camera). More, ahem, mature beer swillers can test their mettle with Colorado Beer Man Jonathan Shikes' top 10 manly beers challenge