Stocking up for the Stupor Bowl

Nick Baker

Beer sales increase for the Super Bowl

If Super Bowl commercials have taught people anything, it’s that when fans watch the big game, they want to watch it with a fistful of Tostitos in one hand and a frosty domestic brew in the other.

Beer sales spike every year when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, especially in areas that serve as fan bases for participating teams. According to the Nielsen Company’s annual Guide to the Super Bowl consumer study, beer sales increased by three percent in the New York metro area and by 12 percent in the New England market in the days leading up to last year’s Super Bowl XLII contest between the Giants and Patriots.

The study reported that in the two-week period surrounding last year’s championship, American consumers purchased nearly 52 million cases of beer, and reports Super Bowl Sunday is the eighth-highest day for beer sales, ranking behind seven official holidays, including the top-ranking Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

The study also found that so far this year, Phoenix, home to the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, experienced a five percent increase in overall beer sales and a 23 percent increase during non-holiday weeks in the first sales quarter.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers heading to Tampa to participate in Super Bowl XLIII, local retailers anticipate brewing up some good business.

Craig Contini, general manager of 101 Bottles of Beer on the Wall on North Willow Street, said he anticipates Sunday to be a big day for the beer business.

“(Super Bowl Sunday) is a better day obviously for a Sunday,” Contini said. “It depends on who’s playing, and with Pittsburgh having probably the second-biggest fan base in the area, it should be a pretty big day.”

Contini said the usual big Super Bowl sellers tend to be the bigger domestic brewers and “mainstream party beers.”

“Depending on how it goes, it’s almost double our business for a given Sunday,” Contini added. “We’ll probably do 75 to 100 percent more business than on a usual Sunday, which typically is one of our worst days.”

Collin Bruning, junior sports administration major, said he plans to throw back a few beers during the game, despite the fact it is on a Sunday night.

“I don’t normally drink on Sundays,” Bruning said. “I consider myself to be a big football fan, and I’m pretty excited for the Super Bowl. I’ll enjoy having a few beers during the big game.”

From the looks of things, so will millions of other beer-drinking consumers.

Contact features correspondent Nick Baker at [email protected].