3 local brewers make national ranking

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Stone Brewing Co. of Escondido was the10th largest craft beer maker in a nationwide ranking released Wednesday by a trade group.

The Brewers Association ranking of the top 50 beer makers, based on sales volume, also included the San Diego-area operations Karl Strauss, ranked 39th, and Ballast Point, 46th.

The top spots went to Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, Calif., maker of its eponymous beer products; and New Belgium Brewing Co., of Fort Collins, Colo., which puts out Fat Tire.

Actual sales totals were not released.

“In 2012, craft surpassed 6 percent of the total U.S. beer market, with volume and dollar sales reaching record levels,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Increasingly, beer lovers are turning to craft brewed beer from small and independent producers to satisfy their thirst for bold, innovative and flavor-forward beers.”

Another ranking that includes bigger commercial breweries ranks Stone Brewing 17th and Karl Strauss 50th. The list is topped by Anheuser-Busch Inc.