Brewskis may be on thin ice

LAS VEGAS -- The reports have been coming in with great regularity, and the outlook is shaky for beer brewers and suds fans alike. Sales are off, even in such beer havens as Germany and the U.S.

The latest song of woe was sung by Norman Adami, chief executive of Miller Brewing Co., in a speech delivered at the Nightclub & Bar Show here,

Adami said the beer industry is at a "critical crossroads" after enjoying a dominance in the alcoholic drinks industry as high as 61%. He blamed a "sameness in message, sameness in look and sameness in our products."

He pointed to such dated ideas as mass-advertising campaigns with lots of bikinis and bad jokes in a time when consumers had begun looking for more sophisticastion.

"We were promoting sameness and increasingly going low-brow. It is as if we were promoting beer as the official beverage of the knuckleheads," Adami said.

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