2016 is well behind us, but the numbers are still trickling out. The Brewer’s Association just released it’s May/June edition of The New Brewer Magazine. In it they detailed their annual Industry Review where 2016 barrel production for all US breweries was broken down.

For those unaware, a barrel is equal to two (2) kegs and a keg is 15.5 gallons. Each barrel is then 31 gallons. In each keg there are about 110 drinkable pints, when accounting for spillage and head. That means a barrel has about 220 drinkable pints. If you’re averaging $5 a pint, each barrel is worth about $1,000 when sold in-house. If you’re selling all in house and you sell 1,000 barrels (2,000 kegs) in a year, you’re gross revenue is roughly $1,000,000. Breweries take a big hit in revenue when they start to distribute, but it also allows them to greatly increase brewing frequency, volume and expansion.

Here’s how many barrels each Bellingham brewery produced in 2016 from most to least.


K2 Location


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2. 5,654

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James St.


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Structures Brewing


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Only produced for ~9 months


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Not listed because they didn’t open until about the last quarter of 2016 in their new location.

Some Notes

Bellingham breweries produced a combine ~25,000 barrels, 50,000 kegs, or ~750,000 gallons of beer in 2016.

Melvin Brewing, which will open here in June, produced 7,896 barrels at its Wyoming location in 2016. Melvin just ordered eleven (11) 240 barrel tanks earlier this year that are headed to its Wyoming location. Melvin Brewing’s Bellingham location will be a much smaller neighborhood brewpub, with a full kitchen and a 7bbl system.

Aslan Brewing hopes to hit cruise control when it reaches 12,000 barrels, which is about 75% of it’s capacity. This will allow the brewery to meet all the demand it wants and take care of all it’s employees.

Wander Brewing has no plans to get any bigger and hopes to stay right around the 2,000bbl production level.

Kushan Brewing Company’s net volume between both breweries is over 8,000bbls, or a 1/3 of Bellingham’s production. At full capacity, K2 should be able to produce about 15,000 barrels a year.

With a leveling, or even declining, national craft market, but an arguably expanding local craft market it will be interesting to see what shakes out in 2017. Where will the barrels be produced, who will produce them and how will the new players impact our craft market? 2017 will be full of answers.