Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, craft brewer Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Boston Beer's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Boston Beer facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Boston (1984)

Market Cap

$1.1 billion

Industry

Brewers

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$471.9 million

Management

CEO Martin Roper (since 2001)

CFO William Urich (since 2003)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)

20.5%

Cash/Debt

$45.3 million / $0

Competitors

Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD)

Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 96% of the 1,338 members who have rated Boston Beer believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Borbality and All-Star TMF1000, who is ranked in the top 0.5% of our community.

A couple of months ago, Borbality tapped Boston Beer as a tasty opportunity:

[T]here are a lot of great microbreweries (Sierra Nevada) that will make it hard to grow as fast as it has been. However, I do think the old days of crappy fizzy yellow beer are going away and SAM will gain along with the micro-microbrewers.

Over the next five years, in fact, Boston Beer is expected to grow its bottom line at a brisk rate of 22.7% annually. That's faster than beer giants Anheuser-Busch (14.3%) and Molson (10.0%), as well as other alcohol plays like Diageo (NYSE: DEO) (9.1%).

CAPS All-Star TMF1000 elaborates on the bull case:

SAM sells a premium beer much like Starbucks sells a premium coffee. In tough times, people can buy cheaper alternatives. If that happens we are likely to see a cheaper stock price. But if the economy continues to improve and if oil prices go down, SAM should continue to do well.

I think there is a strong trend away from the usual light beers that Miller, BUD and Coors makes to a heartier beer that is made by Boston Beer. Much like drinking the much stronger Starbucks coffee, once you had it for a while it is hard to go back to weaker brews. I think this is true of coffee or beer.

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