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Time to Crack a Cold One

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted August 7, 2010

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition — our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles.

Cold and delicious, beer is one of my favorite ways to end the work week.

And with the markets as tricky as ever, I’m sure I’m not the only investor who stocks up the fridge the Thursday, so it will be extra cold by late Friday afternoon.

In fact a cold beer is so good that some folks would even go so far as to consider it a gift from above…

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

That’s what Benjamin Franklin said, anyhow. And we all know how wise he was — which is one of the reasons I’m bullish on beer stocks.

Mmmm… Beer

That being said, one of the sector’s top brewers remains the sole publicly traded American-owned brewer: Boston Beer Co. (NYSE: SAM), maker of Sam Adams.

According to the Brewers Association, sales volume at craft brewers rose 9% in the first half of 2009. Meanwhile, sales for the overall industry dropped almost 3% in the same time period, as consumers embraced smaller brewers like Boston Beer Co.

That translated to the bottom line last quarter; The Boston Beer Co. said earlier this week that its second quarter net income rose 36% as sales and shipments rose.

The craft brewer booked net income of $16.3 million (or $1.13 per share) up from $11.9 million (or 83 cents per share) in the same period last year.

What’s more, the company boosted its guidance for 2010 to between $2.85 and $3.15 a share, up from its previous estimate of $2.65 and $2.95.

Along the way, Wealth Daily readers who jumped on my recommendation of the brewer earlier this year banked gains as high as 50% in just six months.

Now that’s something to drink to.

And here a few fun facts about beer to ponder as you polish off a frothy pint or two:

  • The Babylonians loved beer so much that if you served a watered-down batch, your punishment was to be drowned in it.

  • When the monks in the Middle Ages fasted, they were still allowed to pound a few beers. However, each monk was limited to just five quarts of beer a day. (The monastery must have its limits, right?)

  • The Pilgrims on the Mayflower stopped at Plymouth Rock rather than continuing on to Virginia because they were running out of beer. What’s more, while it’s not confirmed that cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin pie were part of the first Thanksgiving meal, we know for a fact that there was beer.

  • The Vikings drank so much beer before battles that they sometimes forgot to put their armor on — or their shirts. In fact, we can thank the bare-chested antics of the Vikings for the phrase “to go berserk.” The Norse translation for berserk is bare shirt.

  • What’s more, according to Norse mythology, the Vikings believed that a giant goat whose udders provided an endless supply of beer was waiting for them in Valhalla.

  • It is believed that beer was one of the provisions Noah placed on the Ark. (Come to think of it, if I’d known what Noah knew… beer would have been at the top of the list.)

  • If an ancient Egyptian gentleman offered a lady a sip of his beer, they were considered betrothed.

  • George Washington was a devout beer lover and stopped off at the old Bull’s Head Tavern for a sud when New York was finally evacuated in 1783. In fact his ragtag group of rebels in the Revolutionary Army received daily rations of a quart of beer.

  • If you collect beer bottles, you’re a labeorphilist. If you collect beer coasters, then you’re a tegestologist.

  • Arnold of Soissons (ca. 1040-1087) is the patron saint of brewing. He encouraged the locals to drink beer instead of water due to its health benefits. He is also considered the patron saint of hop pickers because of the region in which he preached. Hops originated in Brabant region of Belgium; Belgians reportedly sent the first hops to England for use in making beer. No wonder they made him a saint!

  • A British man who was the victim of a car accident sued the other driver, claiming he had lost his ability to taste beer as a result of his injuries. The judge agreed that this was a “great loss” and awarded the man $14,076.

  • And finally, if you’re a serious beer lover, you may suffer from a condition known as cenosillicaphobia, or the fear of an empty (beer) glass.

But one thing you don’t have to be afraid of is missing another winning call from one of our top analysts. Below I have included a few this week’s best investment ideas from the pages of Wealth Daily and our sister publications, Energy & Capital and Green Chip Stocks.

In the meantime, I’m off to the see the doctor…

This cenosillicaphobia is killing me.

Enjoy the weekend,

steve sig

Steve Christ
Editor, Wealth Daily

P.S. Remember, always drink responsibly. The life you save may just be your own.

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