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Hurricane Sandy Creates Top-Shelf Liquor Shortage In New Jersey After Storm Surges Flood Warehouse

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HURRICANE NEW JERSEY LIQUOR SHORTAGE
Fedway Associates Inc., New Jersey's exclusive distributor of Cristal champagne, Grey Goose vodka and Kamasutra, was flooded by Hurricane Sandy's 10-foot storm surges, which devastated the company's Kearney, N.J., warehouse. This stock picture shows bottles of Grey Goose vodka. | WikiMedia:

The superstorm that flooded towns across the Eastern Seaboard last week has apparently added insult to injury, decimating New Jersey's top-shelf liquor supply.

According to Bloomberg News, the state's exclusive distributor of Cristal champagne, Grey Goose vodka and Kamasutra (“the natural spirit of seduction"), was flooded by Sandy's 10-foot storm surges, devestating the company's Kearney, N.J., warehouse. Losses are expected to be in the tens of millions.

Fedway Associates Inc. posted a long update on its Facebook page Wednesday. Company president Neil Barnett said Fedway was "already past the 'why us' stage and well into the recovery stage," and intended to being shipping against the week of Nov. 19. "You have our commitment to do everything in our power to address the issues we face together," Barnett wrote.

In the meantime, however, New Jersey residents with refined liquor palates seem to be out of options. New Jersey state law prohibits retailers from buying supplies from out-of-state distributors, Bloomberg notes.

The shortage comes at a bad time for liquor stores, many of which experienced increased demand during Hurricane Sandy as inhabitants across the tri-state area stocked up.

Brooklyn's Gnarly Vines Wines and Spirits told Reuters that the day before the storm was the busiest day of the year so far.

"Sales were almost as good as on last Christmas Eve," said store manager Ben Rosenthal, who said the store also worked through Hurricane Irene last year. "For us storms are basically the same as major holidays."

Further inland, for example, Penn State students made a run on their liquor stores' stocks of Hurricane malt liquor.

In related news, residents of badly hit Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn had their spirits slightly lifted after a stocked Brooklyn marina pub broke off from its main structure and floated 2 miles onto their street. The surprise arrival of a large supply of liquid spirits started an impromptu block party, which lasted until police shut it down for safety reasons, the New York Post reports.

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