Not surprisingly, the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 — and the victory parade that followed — was a boon to bars in the region, which usually see a post-holiday slump.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which governs sales of wine and spirits, said sales in the Philadelphia region spiked 22.3 percent between the week before Super Bowl LII and the week ending in the Big Game.
Looking at year over year, the week of the Super Bowl saw regional sales of $19.5 million, compared with $16 million in the same week in 2017.
The LCB said the top sellers statewide during the Friday-to-Sunday weekend were the 1.75-liter Tito’s Handmade Vodka, followed by Hennessy Cognac VS, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Old Number 7, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, and Capt. Morgan Original Spiced Rum.
In Philadelphia, retail wine and spirits sales between Feb. 2 and last Saturday increased by 13.4 percent over the same time last year. On the day of the victory parade and the day before (Feb. 7-8), sales in dollars were 22.7 percent higher than the same calendar days in 2017.
Then came the drop-off: The weekend after the Super Bowl and parade (Feb. 9 to Sunday), sales in dollars decreased by 36.2 percent.
Statewide, wine and spirits sales ranged from $16.2 million to $19.2 million during Super Bowl weekends from 2012 through 2017. The 2016 Super Bowl had the highest sales total until this year. In 2018, retail sales increased by 8.7 percent over 2017. This year’s $20.6 million was the highest sales total of the last seven Super Bowl weekends.
Beer sales are not counted by the LCB or the trade group Malt Beverage Distributors Association. Chris Fetfatzes, who owns Hawthornes, a restaurant with a large retail beer business in Bella Vista, said his beer sales “easily doubled” during the playoff weeks. Sales on the day of the parade were triple those of the corresponding date in 2017, he said.
Helping to pump up consumption were beer giveaways by Bud Light and Yards Brewing during the parade. Bud gave away an unspecified number of 12-ounce beers at bars near the parade route. Yards handed out 1,200 Philly Pale Ales at its new brewery and tasting room at 500 Spring Garden St.
Any beer hoopla did not necessarily help Shangy’s Beer Wholesaler, which deals solely in craft beers.
Matt Satten, Shangy’s director of sales and marketing, said the week after the Super Bowl was one of its slower weeks. “The ‘free Bud Light’ situation surrounding the parade and all of its hype and advertising had many bars — a bunch of which are normally craft-centric — prepped for macro-beer drinkers without as much concern for spending on craft,” he said. “Being a craft-only distributor, that wasn’t ideal for our business.”