Alcohol distributors and downtown businesses are getting creative as they try to figure out how to keep the alcohol flowing for the Super Bowl. Unprecedented crowds and security will make distribution near Lucas Oil Stadium extremely hard.
If the Big Ten championship game was a dry run for the Super Bowl, some bars may run dry. "We saw ourselves getting pretty low on alcohol right before the game started," said Gordon Cocke, owner of The Pub.
With kegs running out on Saturday, Cocke scrambled to get another delivery.
It was far from the only beer emergency call taken by Monarch Beverage Company.
"They said, ‘I’m loaded to the gills and we're out of beer, and I need it now,’” said Terry Williamson, Director of Operations with Monarch. “Luckily with the number of employees we have and the proximity to downtown, it was pretty easy."
It will be far more difficult to make last minute trips to bars downtown during the buildup to the Super Bowl. With widespread security zones and elaborate plans for Georgia Street and Capitol Avenue.
"Those streets will be shut down and we won't be allowed to have vehicles on them,” Williamson said. “So we'll have to get creative."
For example, Monarch is stocking up on golf carts with flat beds, to make deliveries on crowded streets.
If the streets are completely blocked off they also plan to use a new fleet of CooLifts, which are push carts that feature a lift system, allowing a single person to transport at least 25 cases of bottles.
The distributor is even planning for uncertain weather.
"We can push our own snow if we need to,” Williamson said, pointing to a snow plow attached to the front of a flat-bed ATV. “We can deliver with the flatbed in the back. It allows us to get around more efficiently."
Monarch is in no danger of running out of supply at its warehouse because it can hold nearly a month’s supply. Williamson says the real key is convincing bars to order more, sooner.
"Let's load it to the ceiling. You know, stack it high let it fly, that sort of thing. Those are going to be the conversations with our business partners, the retailers," Williamson said. “We've got to get this inventory level as high as possible to alleviate some of these late, last minute deliveries."
Bars and restaurants will have a better idea of delivery limitations next week, when the Super Bowl Committee reveals detailed transportation and street closure plans. But Williamson says they already know they have to add a third shift of workers to deliver downtown between the hours of 1:00 a.m and 6:00 a.m.