There is a simple way to predict consumer behavior, and thus predict the level of fractionalization we will experience in the beer industry. It is happening, but it may not happen like you’d expect. Learn more in this month’s Distributor Productivity Letter.

Break out your shoe horns, because this March it’s getting tight in c-stores.Also, Mich Ultra and 03 update, Smirnoff Ice update, Miller RTD update, California legislative update, and NBWA’s David Rehr tears it up with Presidential hopeful John Edwards.

Interbrew’s profits in 2002 fall due to problems in Russia, a weak $, and the Beck’s dilemma in the US. But new CEO Brock says don’t worry, we’re getting our house in order.Also, Heineken will end its partnership with SAB to import Heineken into S. Africa, and Coors family finally buys CoorsTek.

TTB proposes new rulemaking that would force many malternative makers to alter their formulas so that 90% of the alcohol is derived from a malt base.Here’s what it could mean to distillers, brewers, and wholesalers.

Diageo, Mike’s, others disappointed but will use 90 day comment period to voice concern.Former Texas ABC director clarifies his position, and NBWA/Brewers to postpone joint leg. conference due to war.

The conduct of the lawyers was apparently so bad that the Florida Bar has cause to charge them with misconduct.Also, Femsa may combine soda and beer divisions in some areas.

NBWA/Brewers Joint Legislative Conference postponed, and beer ads stop.Will the war affect beer sales?

If you ever entertained thoughts that this wasn’t a blue chip company, this should wipe those clean. A-B will repurchase about 12% of its outstanding stock, which should provide a shot in the arm to its stock price over the next few years.Also, readers respond to yesterday’s issue, and Miller ads back on the tube for basketball.

Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Markets are rolling out to compete with supers. Here’s what it means to you.Plus, A-B comments on bottle bills, and more.

Joe speaks on the pace of distributor consolidations, value trends, and the dreaded “triangle of terror.”Plus, NYC bans smoking. Has the world gone nuts?

Q1 was a tough quarter by all accounts in the beer business, but it’s looking up from here. Also, Coors unveils new ads at sales conference to distributor approval, A-B registers to issue a cool $2 bil in bonds, TTB administrator warns that agency would get more aggressive in regulating sexy beer ads, and SABMiller hosts journalists in NYC and Chi.

While it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, many believed the NBWA would come down on the side of the Beer Institute, supporting the feds proposal to force malternatives to reformulate so that 90% of the alcohol is derived from a malt base. It’s a tough road for Diageo and the FMB Coalition. Read the inside story.

Not yet, but its supply-driven business model may not bode well for the retail category long term. Surprisingly, chain drug stores and c-stores are making a comeback. Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart is dominating the growth in food channels. What it all means to beer marketers

The brand has had a tough quarter, but don’t forget that we had a big buy-in last year at this time ahead of the price increase. In fact, April may be Corona’s biggest month yet.Also, A-B wrote a $116 mm check yesterday, but it’s only money. Their deal with Tsingtao is done.

NCAA asks Miller to pull the ads during the tourney to protect out young minds full of mush.Also, we investigate which brands are hot, which are not so far this year.