Minnesota liquor sales soared in 2020 for a record year

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sales at municipal liquor stores in Minnesota soared in 2020 for a record-breaking year.

Sales at the state’s 213 “munis” jumped 10% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released this week by State Auditor Julie Blaha. In recent years, a typical sales increase has been in the range of 1 to 3%.

With many bars and restaurants either closed or operating at reduced capacity during parts of the year, people did more of their drinking at home, according to liquor store managers and employees. And the lifestyle shifts prompted by the pandemic played a major role.

The Star Tribune reports The bars and liquor stores transferred more than $21 million back to their local governments in 2020, helping supplement traditional tax revenue.

According to the International Wines and Spirits Record, Americans consumed 2% more alcohol last year than in 2019. It was the biggest year-over-year increase since 2002.