Chicago sees St Patrick’s day beer sales rise 200% above ‘average’ weekend

Chicago again topped the list of cities in the US getting into the St Patrick’s Day spirit this year, with sales of beer more than 200% higher than the average weekend, while Bristol and the South West of England topping the list of UK cities.

It is perhaps no surprise that Chicago, famous for its exhuberent celebration of St Patrick’s Day, remains by far the biggest city for celebrating the patron Saint of Ireland, with soaring sales of beer and stout, but according to Nielsen CGA data, bars in Chicago can make around $8,287 on beer sales alone on the day, around 221% higher than a ‘regular’ Saturday.

This is more than $5,184 dollars more than bars in Boston, in second place with sales of around $3103 (an increase of 33%), or Washington DC at $2819 (31% more than usual). Other cities in the top ten included Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Miami, Houston and Tampa.

And it wasn’t only demand for stout that fuels the day though, premium wines also rose by 80%, along with imported drinks (up 52%) and cider (up 46%), while demand is also growing for Irish whiskey, Nielsen states.

Nielsen notes that St. Patrick’s Day is the single highest grossing day of the year for sales of booze in bars and restaurants across the US. Sales of beer were 174% and spirits 153% higher than the average day, and over a third of the US visits a bar on the day, which it said put it behind only New Year’s Eve, SuperBowl Saturday and Valentine’s Day in terms of on-trade holidays.

Last year saw sales of beer rise 20% with stout sales receiving a boost of 141% compared to the previous weekend. This peaked in Chicago and Boston, where sales rose 688% and 355% respectively.

South West hotspot for St Paddy’s Day 

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, sales of Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish rose 78% across the UK% in the run up to St Patrick’s Day last Sunday, according to data from shopping insight company Criteo.

West Country city Bristol lead the charge after seeing sales rise 244%, with Dorset, only a stone’s throw away, clocking up sales of 144%. This list of top twenty regions for St Patrick’s Day was dominated by counties in the South of England – but London didn’t even make the top ten.

Bucking the trend of the dominance of the South of the Country was the West Midlands, which saw sales of 188%, above Essex at 159%, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire, where sales rose 149%.

However London, which is home to around a third of the UK’s Irish population is home of 400,000 people, failed to even make the top twenty, although the more traditionally Irish-centric regions of Scotland – Strathclyde, West Lothian and Lothian – did.

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