Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer Summit

At 6pm today, a beer war of international scope will begin. That's because the participants in the Beer Summit -- President Barack H. Obama, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, and Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sargent James Crowley -- will each be drinking different beers. Those who thought that Boston Brewing Company (SAM) would be a big winner, including me, could be out to lunch unless a last minute lobbying effort pays off.
And it now looks like today's Beer Summit will pit two corporate beer titans -- Belgium's Anheuser-Busch's InBev NV and Colorado's Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP) -- against each other and a privately-held Jamaican brewer, Desnoes & Geddes (D&G). Which company will benefit the most from this beer face-off at the picnic table on the South Lawn?
Meanwhile, it strikes me as a missed opportunity to give so much publicity to firms based in Belgium, London, and Jamaica when there is a perfectly good American company -- Boston Brewing -- which could probably benefit from a little help. Peter Cohan is president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College.

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