The relationship between the chill and the festive spirit is sure to push the sales figures of liquor in the last week of the last month of the year.
Since the city Bacchus is in the mood to eat, drink and be merry in the run-up to the New Year, liquor traders would surely cash in on the high spirits. “So be it,” said a youth, eagerly waiting to welcome the New Year and bid adieu to 2013.
Liquor sellers and bar owners said alcohol consumption was set to increase by 20 to 25 per cent over the next week.
“This is one of the best times for us to make good business. Those who buy a bottle of whiskey on normal days, buy an entire case (12 bottles of 750ml) for New Year parties between December 30 and January 2. On an average, the sale goes up by 25 per cent during the weeklong celebrations,” said Pintu Singh, the manager at Skyland wine shop at Boring Road crossing.
Boring Road resident Pranab Kumar said he intends to buy three cases of liquor for the last week of 2013. Reason: his entire family intends to party from December 30.
For their own interest, liquor lovers should know that the permissible volume of liquor that can be possessed and carried is three litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and eight litres of beer.
The bar owners said they too witness higher footfall during the New Year celebrations like the off-shops.
“The footfall drops for three to four days immediately after Christmas but picks up in the New Year eve. Our bar remains full even in the afternoon between December 30 and January 2. Accordingly, we ensure sufficient supply of liquor,” said Raj Kishore, the manager of Oasis Bar on Boring Road.
Restaurant owners are also expecting a rise in alcohol consumption over the next few days.
“The increase in liquor consumption during the New Year celebrations is not phenomenal, it rises by around 20 per cent. Liquor sale is the highest on the New Year ’s eve,” said Sumit Kheria, the owner of Pind Balluchi Restaurant and Bar situated at Biscomaun Tower.
The supply of all kinds of liquor to bars and retail outlets across the state, including Patna, is done through Bihar State Beverage Corporation Limited (BSBCL).
The liquor manufacturers in Bihar and from other states submit requisition to the corporation and get the corresponding permits for supplying in the state. Upon getting permit, they deliver the liquor at the depots owned by BSBCL.
Sources in the beverage corporation said liquor in Bihar comes from Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Goa, Bengal, Assam and Rajasthan.
Brands like 100 Pipers, Blenders Pride and Royal Stag are supplied in Bihar from Gwalior. The biggest supplier of Indian Made Foreign Liquor in the state is United Spirit.
The retail traders and bar owners, on the other hand, are also required to take permits from the state excise department for their monthly quota.
Sources in the beverage corporation said the most preferred brands in the state at present are McDowell’s No. 1, XXX Rum, Imperial Blue whiskey, Royal Stag whiskey and Bacardi rum.
Wine shop owners in the state also made similar claims.
“The upper class customers go for scotch for the New Year celebrations. The highest selling brands in the scotch category are 100 Pipers and Blenders Pride. Their price ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,700. The sale skyrockets on December 31 and January 1,” said Bablu Singh, the owner of liquor shop number 51 at the Dakbungalow crossing.