Driven by SXSW, Austin alcohol sales jump 10% in March

4:17 p.m Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Business
Roxanne Wallin of Austin enjoys a drink at the Independence and Lagunitas Bug Out party at the Scoot Inn during South by Southwest. March alcohol sales were up 10 percent citywide.

Austin alcohol sales jumped 10 percent in March, according to an American-Statesman analysis of state data.

Thanks in large part to South by Southwest, March is typically the most lucrative month of the year for many venues – especially those in downtown Austin. That was especially true this year, with tabs at the city’s bars, restaurants and hotels totaling $75.1 million. That’s up from $68.2 million in 2016.

Across Texas, receipts were up 8 percent, with bartenders pouring $589.3 million worth of beer, wine and mixed drinks.

The top-selling venue statewide was Houston’s NRG Park, which hosted the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – the largest livestock show in the world – last month. Alcohol sales there reached $3.8 million.

Austin’s No. 1-ranked business was the JW Marriott hotel, 110 E. Second St., coming in at $1.1 million.

Next on the list was Chupacabra Cantina, 400 E. Sixth St., at $655,738.96, followed by the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., at $562,270.90.

The rest of Austin’s top 10 list includes:

Top sellers* in other Central Texas communities were:

*Addresses are listed as reported in records from the state comptroller’s office, but might not reflect the jurisdictions that receive tax revenue from each business’ sales of alcoholic beverages.

View full experience