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Drink the Recession Away? Bottoms Not Up!

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Jack Andersen | FoodPix | Getty Images

So, during tough economic times, you'd think people drink their sorrows away. Apparently not so much. I was surprised to find that US beer sales were down an estimated 2.7 percent by volume for the first half of 2010.

So who's winning? The craft, microbrews, like the newly-public Kona Brewing . The CEO rolled on set this morning in flipflops and a Hawaiian shirt, straight off the plane from paradise. (Seriously, he gets paid to drink beer and live in Hawaii—tough life but someone's gotta do it.)

The only thing that's not paradise is the rise in commodity prices for CEO Mattson Davis. "It's having a large effect on us. Fuel charges are heavy. It's something that's very difficult to control, being in the middle of the pacific ocean can be very challenging to get resources."

Like Coors , Kona is trying to break into the mainland, "We brew our beer in Portland, Oregon and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, because we can control on those transportation costs."

Ahead of ADP (of course and not for my own professional development), I asked Davis if he was hiring—"Yes, we are actually. We have been hiring more people especially along the Eastern coast here where we have an opportunity for upside. We have two restaurants, as well, in the hospitaltality industry, the core of the economy in Hawaii."

To be fair, I ask every CEO if they are hiring, whether they are wearing socks or not, or come by the set with Coffee or Coconut Beer, like he did. (I mean, it always is happy hour somewhere.... )

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