5. Sierra Nevada Brewing
2012 production: 966,000 barrels
Ken Grossman started this brewery nearly 35 years ago and has watched it expand into a nationwide brand with a sprawling lineup. Tastes may have shifted from its Pale Ale to its Torpedo IPA and the company itself is spreading its California roots to a second brewing facility in Asheville, N.C., in the near future, but Sierra Nevada has managed to flirt with the 1 million barrel mark while keeping its independent spirit intact. The company is still committed to its pioneering environmental initiatives, is still pushing boundaries with new specialty brands and will still be in Grossman family hands when the next generation begins running the Asheville location. Sierra Nevada has been around long enough to be the craft beer of choice for some new drinkers' dads. It's remained relevant enough to become one of that new generation's favorites as well.
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