Big boost in beer sales as Indy 500 nears

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 21, 2015) - Racing fans are gearing up for Indy 500 weekend and business owners are preparing for an influx of customers.  Supervisors at liquor stores near the track say the combination of race day and Memorial Day will likely lead to their highest weekend of sales for the year.

Rachel Henson oversees the Liquor Cabinet, which is just about a mile away from the Speedway. She says the store's location draws in plenty of customers who are in town for the Indy 500.

"It's huge," Henson said. "I compare it to Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It's pretty busy for us."

According to Henson, most liquor stores change their usual beer orders to accommodate the needs of race-goers.

"We definitely order a lot of extra beer cans for the week, more can packages, so they can take those into the Speedway," Henson said.

The weekend is also a boost for beer distributors, like Monarch Beverage. The company's delivery trucks are on the streets starting at 5 a.m. to make sure liquor stores are stocked.

"We'll increase our sales by about 60 percent this week," said Terry Williamson, director of transportation. "That equates to about 500,000 cases in cans alone this week."

Monarch started to build up its inventory before the month of May in order to meet demand. The company expects to sell 1.5 million cases during race month.

"Fourth of July is usually our biggest week but in 2014 Memorial Day and Indy 500 weekend created our largest sales week of the year," Williamson said.

The company hires seasonal workers to assist them with the delivery schedule. Williamson said this year they hired about 30 additional employees.

 

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