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U-M vs. MSU game like 'major holiday' for beer distributor serving downtown Ann Arbor

Thursday, October 18, 2012 4:54 PM | Anonymous

U-M vs. MSU game like 'major holiday' for beer distributor serving downtown Ann Arbor Posted: Oct 8, 2010 When it comes to beer sales, a big game means big business. “For us, in downtown Ann Arbor, it’s the equivalent to a major holiday,” said Kit Morgeson, vice president of marketing for O & W Inc., the Ypsilanti-based distributor for Miller Lite, Heineken, Corona and a host of other beers, along with Bo Wines, a wine series in the memory of Coach Bo Schembechler. With the University of Michigan and Michigan State University set to faceoff in Saturday’s showdown, the beer is already flowing fast, Morgeson said. It's just another economic indicator of what the big game means to local businesses. Beer sales are expected to be so brisk that special runs have been added to Saturday, Morgeson said. “Businesses are afraid they’ll run out because they don’t have the capacity to hold what they need.” Between 200 and 250 kegs of beer were delivered to downtown Ann Arbor on Friday, she said. A normal game sees about 100 kegs delivered and a non-football fall Friday sees between 50 and 100 kegs. “That’s a lot of beer,” Morgeson said. This year is a perfect storm for beer sales. Both teams’ undefeated records, the fired up rivalry and the late game start time combine for increased sales, Morgeson said. “The 3:30 p.m. start means there’s more time to party," she said. "Then after the game, they go downtown for dinner.” U-M’s winning season has helped. Beer sales took a beating the last two football seasons when U-M has disappointing records. “People do pre-party, but not as much. Winning really does affect business,” Morgeson said. “If we lose, people just go home. But (this Saturday), win or lose, we’ll have a big day.” Party stores near the heart of campus see the biggest uptick, Morgeson said. But supermarkets on the city fringes and hotels around Ann Arbor also see action. The most popular beer of the day? Miller Lite is O&W's biggest seller. And while plenty has been shipped for revelers on Saturday, that may not mean there's much left on Sunday. “Everyone gets wiped out,” Morgeson said. 

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