Michigan beer sales were up 36% the week before coronavirus shutdown


Sweet, delicious Oberon. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Sweet, delicious Oberon.

When news of the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold earlier this month, Michiganders got ready to hunker down by... stocking up on beer, apparently.

According to Nielsen, Michigan beer sales were up 36% for the week ending March 14 compared to the same period in 2019. Those numbers topped all other states, except for Ohio, which saw a 38% increase. Pennsylvania saw a 33% increase.

Those numbers will likely go up. “I think we’ll see the biggest jumps for the week ending March 14th and the week after that, and then we will start to see some of those spikes soften a bit,” Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen's VP of Beverage Alcohol Practice, told Brewbound. “A look into market by market will also be important. As cities and states enter a shelter-in-place phase, I think we can expect to see some spikes in sales for those markets, as consumers stock up and prepare to be at home for an unknown amount of time.”

Kosmal added that this appears to be “an indication that beverage alcohol is important to consumers, but other consumer good categories are being prioritized, at least for now. As more and more on premise locations close, I think we will continue to see off premise sales for Beer, Wine, and Spirits grow even more, and closing the gap with other consumer goods.”

Of course, Michigan breweries are hurting right now — along with just about every other sector of the economy — as most businesses have shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Fortunately, liquor stores have been deemed an "essential" service and are allowed to stay open, so support your favorite brewery by picking up a six pack this weekend.

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