NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- St. Patrick's Day success in the beer industry is measured in quantity, but it takes a substantial investment in quality to get that perfect holiday pint.Brewers went into last St. Patrick's Day in no mood to celebrate after U.S. beer shipments fell 2.3% in 2009, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. Judging by Brewers Association figures for last year, brewers' luck -- Irish and otherwise -- didn't change much when the holiday arrived amid a 2.7% slump in first-half sales. That didn't stop Diageo's ( DEO) Guinness from selling 3.5 million pints last March 17, an increase from 2009 and well above the 600,000 pints Guinness representatives say Americans drink every other day of the year.
|Beers such as Samuel Adams and Guinness have extensive quality control systems in place. Consumers can send back Sam Adams that's past its freshness date for a full refund from brewers and distributors.|