Even on the brewery-saturated West Coast, where Symphony IRI Group says craft and import beer share is as much as 56% (including 25.5% craft beer share in Seattle and 30% craft share in Portland, Ore.), cooperation is key to the craft sector's success. Sierra Nevada in Chico, Calif. -- the nation's third-largest craft brewer after its production jumped from 613,000 barrels in 2005 to 724,000 two years ago -- produced 45 brands last year after not altering its lineup between 1992 and 2009. That growth helped it start growing its own hops -- starting with a half-acre in 2003 and expanding to nine acres in 2009 -- and producing its own energy through a solar array it began building in 2005 and biodiesel-fed fuel cells that generate 85% to 100% of the brewery's power on site. Instead of squirreling all of those resources away, however, founder and owner Ken Grossman has encouraged other breweries to come tour the site, take notes and even leave with some of Sierra Nevada's innovations. "As far as ingredients, equipment and lab analysis, that's something we have over other craft brewers," says Sierra Nevada spokesman Bill Manley. "We have a pretty sophisticated lab, so we run a lot of lab analysis for other, smaller craft brewers just as a favor. Even our proprietary research on things like hop flavor and bottle cap liners, for example, go into white papers that are available for everybody." That cooperation has nearly as much impact on Sierra Nevada as maintaining a private hops field for research and development and introducing varieties like Kellerweiss and Torpedo IPA that reduce its popular pale ale's share of production from nearly 90% to little more than 70%. Production capacity, distribution and innovation are just some of a big brewer's worries; bringing craft beer into the marketplace is as much about politics as it is about presentation.