- Written by Adam English, Associate Editor, Inside Investing Daily
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On the Fourth of July I made an old man's day.
I had just sauntered in on a friend's party to say hello and eat a couple crabs. Naturally, I brought a six-pack of beer with me.
That is what did it for my friend's father. You see, I brought the newly relaunched National Premium. The crabs-for-beer barter was a smashing success.
Once upon a time it was Baltimore's fancy beer. The National Brewing Co. created it as the top-tier alternative to its National Bohemian brew.
Unfortunately, the company was swept up into the massive consolidation of breweries a couple decades ago. After some questionable recipe changes, the beer died in 1996.
The consolidation only slowed when there was little left to buy. Almost 90% of all beer sold in the U.S. comes from two brewing conglomerates these days: Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.
The times are changing, though. Microbrews are doing well and are increasing their market share.
Unfortunately, there is only one microbrewery that is publicly traded. Take a look at how the Boston Beer Co. (SAM:NYSE) has done this year.
It is no surprise that the maker of Sam Adams is doing so well. The company has no debt and strong sales. Fiscal 2012 EPS guidance ranges from $3.80-$4.20. Analysts are expecting the company to report EPS of $4.15 for the fiscal year.
Taking a look at the entire picture, microbrew retail sales were up 15% and volume rose 13% in 2011. It was consistent with 2010, which delivered 15% growth by sales and 12% by volume.
The sector was worth $7.6 billion amongst 1,753 breweries in 2011.
From the look of the Boston Beer Co.'s performance, microbrewed beer has been bringing a lot of smiles to faces across the nation.
Hopefully, people have bought some shares to go with their six-packs too.