Beer sales may have increased since the banking meltdown, but the winter holiday season will be the tale of the tape for beer and wine sales and, of course, for all of retail.
Anecdotally, hiring is less than it was last year. And, as commercial credit remains tight (just where did that $700 billion go), many stores may not be able to afford to fully stock their floorspace.
Maybe A.E. Houseman was on to something.
Why, if ’tis dancing you would be,
There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
A Shropshire Lad
[UPDATE 2008.10.30: See Bob Skilnik's recap of a study of Aussie beer during bad times: "While people may think twice about large purchases like cars and white goods, affordable luxuries like premium beer tend to remain popular."]