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As liquor stores from Texas to New York face shortages on their shelves, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission is saying its policies put the Granite State in better stead to weather the coming holiday demand in light of supply chain holdups.

“New Hampshire is more fortunate than other states because of the Liquor Commission’s ordering practices, our inventory requirements and the capacity we have in our million-plus-case warehouse in Bow,” said New Hampshire Liquor Commission spokesman E.J. Powers. “All that being said, supply chain issues are very real and will impact every liquor retailer throughout the country at some point, especially during the busy holiday season.”

Traditionally, winter holidays evoke times of festivities with loved ones and co-workers that include alcoholic beverages, sometimes to consume and at other times to give as gifts to others. In light of that, the Liquor Commission is offering advice to its customers.

The commission recommends people shop for their alcoholic items early, Powers said, especially premium and ultra-premium bourbons, single-malt and age-statement scotches, specialty tequilas and select champagnes.

“If you have something special you want for yourself or to give as a gift, you should purchase it sooner rather than later,” Powers said.

Unlike in some other areas of the country, Powers said the New Hampshire Liquor Commission is not anticipating rationing its product sales or establishing quotas.

Pennsylvania and Virginia recently instituted quotas on how much customers can buy at a time for certain popular brands.

Supply chain problems, stemming all the way from manufacturers’ abilities to access the raw materials, packaging, workers and fuel, to being able to transport their product to wholesalers and retailers, are causing problems everywhere, as the world tries to resume pre-Covid standards. The additional cost of materials, help and gasoline, and the scarcity of haulers and transporters are driving up the cost of products from food and drink to electronics, automobiles and other necessities.

The supply chain problems come following a record sales milestone for the commission. In May 2021, it announced the most successful year in its 87-year history, with sales reaching $765 million, a 5 percent (or $36.5 million) increase over the previous year.

The increase in last year’s liquor sales came during when many people stayed at home for months at the start of the pandemic, Powers said. Although the commission expects a healthy revenue stream this year, it was realistic in projecting its bottom line.

“We anticipate a strong year this year,” Powers said, “but not as robust as last year.”

Like other employers in New Hampshire, Powers said the “help wanted” sign is out for workers at Liquor Commission retail outlets to join the agency’s full- and part-time employees.

“We’re really fortunate to have a wonderful and very knowledgeable staff in our 1,200 full- and part-time employees,” he said. “But we’re struggling along with every other retailer in the state, working hard to fully staff our outlets.”

This article is being shared by partners in the Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit

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