Increased alcohol sales improved election night for liquor stores, students

Students and store owners said liquor stores were busier than usual on election night. (Emma Witter | Collegian Media Group)

Though the winner of the presidential election was not decided Tuesday, another winner emerged throughout the night. After the polls closed on Election Day, many liquor stores saw sales that far surpassed a regular Tuesday.

Matthew McGuire, senior in architecture, is one of many Kansas State students who grabbed something strong to wash down the general election results.

“I went to the liquor store straight after work because I was like, ‘I know how this is going to go,'” McGuire said.

The Fridge Wholesale Liquor, the closest liquor store to McGuire, was busier than he’d ever seen it, he said. It took McGuire almost 20 minutes to get through the line.

While many liquor stores were unable to share concrete numbers, John Richardson, owner of Library Liquor, said he definitely saw an increase in sales on election night.

“It was better than a typical Tuesday, I can tell you that much,” Richardson said.

Jodie Culbertson, assistant manager at Beer Goggles, said her store also saw a “considerable uptick” in sales on Tuesday.

Culbertson attributed the spike in sales to the excitement and uncertainty of election night, but she said the influx of customers did catch her off guard.

“I personally was surprised,” she said. “I didn’t even think about the election affecting us positively.”

At home after work, McGuire said he camped out on the couch and cracked a bottle of wine with a couple friends to watch the results come in. One friend brought a bottle of champagne, but without a winner announced, they decided it was too early to celebrate.

McGuire said being with friends on election night was a source of comfort. The bottle of wine helped things run even smoother between those with conflicting views.

“I’m someone who sees alcohol as an unfortunate social crutch, but I do think it got rid of some tension in the room between myself and one of my friends,” he said.

From there, “madness and confusion ensued,” McGuire said.

“We drank wine, yelled at the TV and before I knew it, it was 3 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Rather than staying in and watching the polls, Becca Clancy, senior in kinesiology, decided she’d be better off taking her mind off of election night.

She and her boyfriend went out for drinks at Manhattan Brewing Company for “Flight Night.”

“We thought it would be a great idea to sit around and not think about the results,” Clancy said. “Our intention wasn’t like, ‘Let’s get drunk and forget about all of this.’ It was just nice to focus on things that weren’t out of our control.”

While alcohol was the coping method of choice for several students on Tuesday, in the days after the election, many are keeping themselves occupied in other ways. Jobs, schoolwork and holiday planning go on as America waits for the final election results.