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Hurricane Sandy Causes Beer Surge

Many people plan on boozing their way through the monster storm—and beer could even become a form of currency.

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The sign at one Brooklyn bar on Monday
afternoon Tom Godfrey

By Chrisanne Grise

10/29/12

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As Hurricane Sandy rages, New Yorkers have stocked up on all the essentials: water, batteries and of course, lots and lots of beer. "There were long lines at my local supermarket yesterday," one Brooklyn resident tells The Fix, typically. "The four areas of shelves that were severely depleted were bread, water, potato chips and beer." With public transportation shut down and many people stuck at home for a few days, some have decided to start drinking right away; a quick Instagram search for "#hurricanesupplies" almost exclusively turns up pictures of booze. If the storm turns out to be as bad as feared, beer may also become valuable for more than just personal intoxication. As Forbes contributor Seth Porges writes: “I remember an interview in which a survivor of Hurricane Ike told us that, with stores closed and money useless, beer became the best available currency for supplies or enticing folks to help clean up debris.”

For more foolhardy drinkers, some bars are staying open for the duration. In New Jersey, a group of six retirees—calling themselves “The Breakfast Club”—meets almost every morning for a few drinks at Scooters Bar and Grill. They were determined not to let Hurricane Sandy break their tradition this morning. The small bar is just a few blocks away from the Delaware River, and often fills up with about two feet of water during major storms, but that doesn't stop its thirsty patrons. Lynn Hofacker, the bartender for about 15 years, opened at 7 am this morning and says she’ll stay open as long as there's power—even if customers have to wade through water to get their drink on. "They are a rare breed here," she says. "I expect business to pick up today."

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