Beer Industry Looks to Spirits for Muse

MillerCoors chief Tom Long posed this question to hundreds of beer distributors and brewers in the audience at the National Beer Wholesalers Association's annual meeting: "Can beer learn from spirits?" And the answer, it seems, is yes. The beer business as a whole has struggled in recent years and now the big brewers are trying to get back on track. Of course not everyone is suffering. Craft beer is on fire, Belgian and Mexican imports are growing, regional brands like Yuengling and North American Breweries are up and don't forget about Mike's Hard Lemonade. It is the domestic premiums that are feeling the most pain. And not only are they experiencing competition within their own category, but wine and spirits are taking share of ethanol.

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