Idaho In Good Spirits, State Sells Record Amount Of Booze

Jul 27, 2017

The Idaho State Liquor Division sold over $203 million worth of alcohol last year. Numbers from the agency show one drink poised to be the next "it" spirit is Mezcal.
Credit Williamnyk / Flickr

Figures from the Idaho State Liquor Division show the state sold the most alcohol ever in the fiscal year that just wrapped up June 30. One takeaway from the data is it's always 5 o'clock somewhere in Idaho. Sales were up 6.5 percent to over 203 million dollars. Measuring by another standard, the state moved some 12.2 million bottles.

Tony Faraca, the CFO at the State Liquor Division, tells the Statesman the rise in alcohol sales is probably linked to a growing population and good economy instead of an unquenchable thirst. Faraca says southern Idaho is buying the most hooch; sales in the Treasure Valley are up almost 10 percent.

Out-of-state purchasers make up around 7 percent of total Idaho liquor sales. After Washington switched from state-run liquor stores to private operations in 2012, prices went up and Washingtonians started crossing the border to get their potent potables.

Idaho residents are also apparently not buying the cheap stuff. Because dollar sales rose faster than bottle sales, that illustrates people spending more for premium liquor rather than bottom-shelf, plastic bottle booze.

By volume, Idaho's most popular spirit last year was vodka. However, the best performers in terms of dollars were all whiskeys. First was Fireball, followed by Crown Royal, with Jack Daniels rounding out the top three.

Faraca says the numbers show one of the spirits heating up and primed to be the next big thing is Mezcal.

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