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Cases of lager roll off the assembly line at the Yuengling brewery in Pottsville, Penn. on June 29, 2005.
Cases of lager roll off the assembly line at the Yuengling brewery in Pottsville, Penn. on June 29, 2005.  Bloomberg/Getty Images

Beer Lovers Divided Over Title of America's Top Craft Brewery

Mar 31, 2015

Not everyone is toasting to whom the Brewers Association named Tuesday as America's top craft brewery: Yuengling.

The Pennsylvania-based brewery shot to the top of the trade group's annual ranking of U.S. craft breweries by sales volume thanks to its new consideration under the "craft beer category," while Boston Beer and Sierra Nevada rounded out the top three.

The Brewers Association had designated Yuengling a craft brewery last year by striking the requirement that the majority of produced beers needed to be "all malt," Fortune reports. Instead, the group said it would also consider breweries that used traditional ingredients, like corn or rice, which are used in Yuengling's beers. Many smaller craft brewers were concerned that Yuengling's craft status would affect how "craft beer" is used to appeal to customers, the Huffington Post reported last year.

Though the family-owned Yuengling is America's oldest brewery, many beer lovers still weren't happy that a mainstream brewery was named the nation's top craft brewery. As one user wrote on Facebook: "Yuengling, craft beer for people who cannot get enough Budweiser."

Over in Philadelphia, beer drinkers celebrated the brewery's newfound status, along with other area brewers like Dogfish Head, Troegs and Victory Brewing.

See the full list of top 50 U.S. craft brewers here.

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