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craft beer—how quaint, how cute! But don’t fall in love with an in­vest­ment be­cause you love the prod­uct. craft Brew al­liance is an as­sort­ment of ar­ti­sanal beer­mak­ers from Ore­gon, hawaii, New hamp­shire and else­where. But a fair amount of its brew­ing and most of its dis­tri­bu­tion is han­dled by an­heuser-busch in­bev, the Bud­weiser out­fit. in this crowded busi­ness, where fresh­ness and economies of scale mat­ter, small­ness does not con­fer prof­its. craft Brew’s en­ter­prise value runs to 29 times its plau­si­ble 2017 net be­fore in­ter­est, tax and de­pre­ci­a­tion; the ra­tio for ab in­bev is more like 18. Own the lat­ter.

Wil­liam Bald­win is Forbes’ In­vest­ment Strate­gies colum­nist.

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