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.

Here’s the latest skinny on what each of the three bigs are doing to promote their beer brands this summer.Also, Leo Kiely is a hedgehog, imports down big in Feb. lead by Mexican shipments, and a great Quote of the Week from a Chinese Interbrew exec.

And not a drop to drink. About half of all states have proposed increases in beer excise taxes. Here’s what it could mean.

Beer gets 1.1% gain in March IRI supermarket scans, lead by Bud Light. Imports still going strong despite economy.Plus, Mother Nature still pounding beer sales in April, and is Coors discounting in the Mid-Atlantic?

Santiago is a Corona look-alike, but will retail at a discount. It is being brewed for the chain by a brewery in El Salvador owned by SABMiller. Learn more inside.Also, Bass will go to LUSA from GBIC on July 1, but it’s not permanent yet.

Plus, clarity on the SABMiller / 7-Eleven private label deal, Bob Garfield takes a look at A-B’s latest beer ad, and you’re paying $500 per location in a tax from Civil War times. Rehr wants it to stop.

Is it worth not having a tax increase?Also, importers watching a proposal that would force every container to be searched, and Foster’s will wring efficiencies out of its brewing division by, what else?, shuttering a brewery.

Veteran M&A consultant Andy Christon speaks with Beer Business Daily about distributor values, deal flow, and whether we’ll ever see public ownership of distributorships.

Cannibalization, weather, economy, war it takes its toll. Boston Beer posted a loss in Q1, but STRs up about 2%.Plus, Beer Inst and NBWA publish a new study that shows that the beer industry has a huge impact on our economy.

While my break was refreshing, it is good to be once again back behind the platinum Beer Business Daily keyboard. Let’s get back to it. December is not turning out to be the savior of the fourth quarter we once thought. Distributors polled by Beer Business Daily are lamenting the holidays as “sluggish”. One problem is the weather as storms continue to plague the Midwest .  Another is that Christmas and New Year’s day occurred in the middle of the week. An exception to this is A-B, which gained some ad activity late in the month.