COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Fall is in the air and you would think beer lovers would be focused on flavors like pumpkin and spice. However, in one college town in Maryland, new 77-packs of Natural Light are flying store shelves.
Phones are ringing off the hook at beer stores in College Park as customers are waiting in long lines and waiting lists have been created.
“We came Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – all sold out,” said one customer at College Park Liquors. “They said that people were camping out from West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania. It was crazy.”
There isn’t any notable cost savings for this 77-pack of beer and Natural Light isn’t exactly geared toward those with fine taste palates. So why are people rushing to the store to buy it?
“The box is pretty tight and I kind of just drink Natty out of habit,” said another customer. “It’s chug-able.”
The box that holds the 77 cans of beer is lined with plastic, so no cooler is needed. All you need to do is just add ice into the box to chill them.
As a nod to the year of Natural Light’s creation, 1977, this special case is being made available only in College Park – one of its biggest early markets.
“They are just running out of stores,” another customer told us. “You would think you were walking into a concert line. I have never seen lines like this anywhere else.”
The University of Maryland isn’t weighing in on the phenomenon. However, there is an important disclaimer for those trying to get these cases.
“It’s a party pack,” said Dave Parker of Bob Hall Distributors. “It’s not an individual challenge to drink 77 beers.”
About 500 cases have been sold so far. Bob Hall Distributors is hoping to have the remaining 900 cases in area stores by Maryland’s homecoming on Saturday. But it’s a bit up in the air.
“These are all hand, individually packed,” said Parker. “It takes two people to pack them up. So it takes an incredible amount of time to get them packaged.”