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Local liquor sales in line with state trends

December 19, 2018

The winter season is a time for skiing and ice fishing — and it is also the season for whiskey, liqueur and cordials.

According to data released by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, statewide vodka sales drop as whiskey sales increase. Rum trades places with liquor and cordials, which peak in December. Somerset and Cambria counties, however, do not see the same replacement. Locally, whiskey remains elevated throughout the year compared to vodka. In December there is a decrease in vodka and an increase in whiskey.

While liqueur and cordials replace rum in December in Cambria County, Somerset sees and increase in those drinks without it overtaking rum during December.

In general, white wines have higher state store sales in the warm months while red wine sales increase in colder months. Statewide, sparkling wine increases in December and takes sales away from chardonnay. Cabernet sauvignon decreases slightly in December, although remains the highest amount of sales for the month.

Somerset also has an increase in domestic sparkling, overtaking chardonnay sales and rivaling Cabernet sauvignon for December. In Cambria County, sparkling takes a greater share than chardonnay and Cabernet sauvignon during December.

Liquor stores are not the only places that see seasonal trends. Keith Welch, owner of Tall Pines Distillery in Salisbury, said that he sees an overall uptick in sales in the winter, which he attributes to the holiday season.

“People like the craft distilling, small batch stuff,” he said. “The price is a little higher, but people are happy to do it because they like the idea of all handmade.”

Welch said that their “Moonshine Ma’Rita Momma,” which is their form of a margarita, sells better in summer months. “We sell a lot of fruity flavors like our huckleberry,” he said. “Add that to lemonade, it makes an excellent summertime drink.”

In the fall, apple pie, lumberjack and apple and caramel sell better. He said being able to do events has also helped his business. “We do a lot of events now,” he said. “That makes it nice, It’s a pretty good trend going to these different events and having drinks as well as bottle sales.”

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