Business: Beer: Big Battles Are Brewing

Pots of money plus hard marketing are the basic ingredients

Tradition, order, simple marketing methods, sales that rose reliably in good times and bad—all these were qualities of the beer business a few years ago. Now the $16-billion-a-year industry is being shaken by a costly battle for market shares that has sent some brewers to search for cash-heavy merger partners, other companies to reassess their marketing strategies, and nearly all the well-known firms to bring out new brands to curry the customers' fickle favor. Small regional brewers can scarcely keep afloat, with the result...

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