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Alcohol sales are on the rise during quarantine

Mike Polk Jr. examines why we buy more booze during hard times.

CLEVELAND — It probably won’t surprise you to learn that alcohol sales have risen here in Ohio during this pandemic, but how MUCH they have risen is pretty remarkable.

Sales increased more than 20% statewide last month and sales in March of 2020 are 26% higher than they were last march. And in THAT March even had a proper St. Patrick’s Day in it.  

While increased alcohol consumption is by no means the healthiest way to cope with a crisis, it is nonetheless a long-standing American tradition. It also shouldn’t come as a big surprise to us. Americans drink more during hard times. 

During The recent Great Recession spirit sales in America spiked by more than 6%.

Back in World War II, whiskey was hard to come by as distilleries had to shift to producing industrial alcohol for the war effort. So what did Americans do? They imported massive amounts of rum from the Caribbean islands to compensate.

I chatted with Pete Gerome, Area Sales Manager of Great Lakes Brewing Company to get some perspective, and then took a trip to my local liquor store to say thanks to the essential workers who aren't getting much credit during these times.

RELATED: Survey: 1 in 5 Ohioans admit to drinking while working from home

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