Enjoy Alcohol Stocks -- In Moderation

Greg Levine

Ann Gilpin, beverage analyst at Morningstar, isn't afraid of soaring commodity prices or tepid consumer spending.

"As we go into any kind of consumer slowdown, [alcohol] stocks should hold up relatively well," she maintains.

Gilpin explained her confidence to CNBC -- and offered her top stock picks.


Throughout economic see-sawing of the last 50 years, "Alcohol consumption per capita in the U.S. has remained relatively flat," Gilpin said.

"Alcohol stocks are classically counter-cyclical."


The analyst suggests sticking with companies that have broad product reach and very deep pockets. Her No. 1 pick: Diageo, a "behemoth" that "dominates distribution in the U.S." and has "left rivals in the dust in developing markets."

She also likes Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman and eponymous Molson-Coors Brewing.

(Sorry, Sam Adams quaffers: Boston Beer Company is "relatively overpriced" at current levels, Gilpin said.)


Neither Gilpin nor her employer currently hold shares in any of the companies mentioned.