- Tito’s Handmade Vodka maintains its position as North Carolina’s top liquor choice.
- Premium tequila brands are catching up, making significant sales strides in the state.
- North Carolina’s liquor sales show strong recovery, especially in bars and restaurants.
- The ABC Commission’s role in controlling and responsibly distributing liquor revenue.
- Bourbon experiences a growing popularity in Wake County.
Tito’s: North Carolina’s Undisputed Liquor King
From its modest beginnings in Texas during the mid-90s, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has carved its niche in North Carolina. With both its 750ml and the generous “handle of tito’s abc” 1.75-liter bottles, the brand is unparalleled in sales volume. Founder Tito Beveridge’s entrepreneurial spirit seems to have resonated with the state’s residents, making Tito’s a household name.
The Rise of Premium Tequila Brands
Even though Tito’s reigns supreme, one can’t ignore the undeniable surge in premium tequila sales. Notable names like Patron Silver have ascended the rankings, landing spots within the top 10 most sold bottles in 2022. ABC Commission’s Jeff Strickland points out the significant growth in both super premium and ultra premium tequila sectors. With a shift in consumer preferences, tequila is no longer just a celebratory shot but has become a sophisticated choice for many.
Rebounding from Pandemic Slump
COVID-19 took a toll on various sectors, and the liquor industry wasn’t spared. Especially in the mixed beverage segment, referring to sales in bars and restaurants, the numbers dwindled due to the imposed lockdowns. However, 2022 showcased an impressive comeback, with sales soaring by over 50%, raking in almost $330 million. This resurgence demonstrates the industry’s resilience and North Carolinians’ enduring love for spirits.
Understanding the ABC Commission’s Role
The ABC Commission plays a crucial role in ensuring liquor sales are both responsible and beneficial to the state. Apart from regulating sales, the commission is also responsible for revenue distribution. The impressive $670 million distributed last year was funneled back to the state, local governments, and pivotal alcohol educational programs. Strickland emphasizes the commission’s dedication to promoting responsible consumption while actively preventing potential alcohol-related issues.
Bourbon’s Budding Popularity in Wake County
Wake County has noted a particular uptick in bourbon sales. Bryan Hicks, the county ABC’s general manager, acknowledges the rising demand for bourbon spirits. Although the supply hasn’t matched the surging demand, there’s a promising trend. Bourbon enthusiasts in the county have reasons to be optimistic about wider selections in the near future.
In conclusion, North Carolina’s liquor landscape is ever-evolving. While Tito’s continues its dominant run, it’s exciting to see premium tequilas and bourbons making waves. The state’s rebound from the pandemic-induced sales slump is commendable, signaling brighter days ahead for liquor enthusiasts and businesses alike.