Just in time for the holiday season Sapporo Breweries, a venerable Japanese beer company, has announced the results of a study by Sapporo Medical University. The study found that ingesting large quantities of a strategic ingredient found in beer, hops, can boost cold-fighting abilities in adults and help avert a serious virus in children. Never mind that the brewery funded the study, the results are what matter. But before you rush to raise that first pint of Christmas Cheer to toast your new lease on life, there is a catch. A body would have down around thirty 12-ounce cans at one sitting which just might kill you before the virus fighter has a chance to prove its worth. A real Catch 22, but in the ‘spirit’ (pun intended) of the season, why not invest in companies that are involved in the creation and marketing these cool brews; strictly for medicinal purposes, of course. There are some really nice emerging growth opportunities to choose from.
Castle Brand Inc. (NYSE: ROX) with a market cap of $30 million, is a developer and international marketer of premium and super-premium branded spirits and wine. Net sales increased 9.8% to $10.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, as compared to $9.4 million for the comparable prior-year period. Sales of their signature Gosling products are up across the board. And get this; shares are selling for around $0.30. A very affordable stocking stuffer. Craft Brew Alliance (NASDAQ: BREW) with a market cap of $118 million, is another one worth looking into. The company is an independent craft brewer based in Portland Oregon. It also operates Pubs in five locations, four of which are next to their breweries. Shares are priced at $6.25 and the company is seeing record sales. If you have some extra cash you might want to throw in the direction of Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM) whose shares are reaping around $112 per this week. It is the largest craft brewer in the United States. The business sells an assortment of variations of Samuel Adams beer, Twisted Tea flavored malt drinks, and HardCore hard cider. If you feel more comfortable with one of the bigger players, opt for Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.B), boasting a market cap of $14.63 billion with shares running at $68.57. BF-B is probably best known for its wide-ranging line of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey products, but the company also retails Korbel California Champagnes, and some of the most prominent Sonoma California wineries.
Last but not least, check out your local micro-breweries this holiday season. Cyclic craft beer releases often suggest the holidays this time of year. For example, Maryland based DuClaw Brewing will present its newest Christmas contribution on December 12, when the company will release Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. We’re sure baby Jesus would be pleased. Cheers!