The time to prepare is the week before the big game. Plan those snacks, make sure your lucky shirt is clean (or not), and, most important of all: Be sure you have plenty of drinks for your guests. It's a great way to toast a victory, or drown sorrows in a defeat (heaven forbid!).
We visited stores around Richland and Pine that sell beer, wine and alcohol, and one thing we heard over and over was that people tend to put off their beer purchases until the very last minute.
If you don't want to be standing in line when you should be marinating the wings, or -- worse yet -- coming home empty-handed, work a visit to one of these places into your schedule this week.
5600 William Flynn Highway, Gibsonia. Tel: 724-444-4473
A full-service beer store in Northtowne Square. Our messages were not returned, but we do have personal knowledge of this store and yes, you can buy lots of beer there, both chilled and room temperature.
2. Giant Eagle
Pine - 155 Towne Centre Drive, Wexford. Tel: 724-934-0155
Richland - 5600 William Flynn Highway, Gibsonia. Tel: 724-443-7400
Pennsylvania is finally catching up to the rest of the country as far as beer and wine sales are concerned. You can now buy these items at some places where you buy your other groceries.
Six packs of beer have been available for purchase at select Giant Eagle locations since 2009, including Pine and Richland townships. The Pine Township location even has a wine kiosk, installed in late 2010. Not that you can buy wine, though. Due to various software glitches, the wine kiosk was only open for a couple of weeks before they were shut down statewide. Dave Tomko, store manager, expects it to reopen soon.
Tomko also said that, beer-wise, imports sell really well in his store, with Yuengling probably the top-selling domestic. Customers can purchase up to two six-packs at a time,or consume two beers on the premises if also ordering food in the café.
5319 William Flynn Hwy, Gibsonia. Tel: 724-443-8080
Dave Kusserow says the big sellers at his store are Miller Lite, Yuengling and Coors Light. They get very busy right before the Steelers games and sell a lot more beer during a winning season.
"If the Steelers are doing good, we're doing good," says Kusserow.
11566 Perry Highway, Wexford. Tel: 724-940-1720
Is it OK to use the term "adorable" to describe the owner of a beer/cigar distributor? Owner Diane Kraninc isn't much bigger than the cases she has stacked around her neat Pine Township store. She's ready for the big game, decked out in her Steelers duds and with displays around the store of Steelers merchandise, courtesy of Yinzers, the sports clothing and memorabilia retailer located right next door.
Kraninc says she doesn't really notice one favorite beer over another, but, like other retailers we spoke to, said people tend to wait until the last minute to get beer.
"It's always last on the list," says Kraninc. "And not just for games, it's the same for holidays or any special occasions."
5. Treesdale Beverage Co.
11087 Babcock Boulevard, Gibsonia. Tel: 724-625-2070
Tucked into a little strip mall just before the turn to Pine-Richland High School on Bakerstown-Warrendale Road, this small beer distributor has been around for 15 years. Owner Joseph Choorapuzha says he doesn't have one brand that sells over another, but when there are Steelers parties he does sell a lot more volume-wise.
10624 Perry Hwy, Wexford. Tel: 724-935-3500
Paul Anderegg, owner of Wexford Beer Distributor, says domestic beers sell really well in his store, especially Miller Lite and Bud Light. He says there are a lot of season ticket holders in Pine Township and there's as much Steelers mania out this way as there is in the city.
As for playoff season, employee Rick Belli says he came in to open the store at noon the day the Steelers played the Jets and there was a line of people waiting to get in to purchase party beverages. Procrastination in Steelers Nation may not be a good idea, because once the clock strikes five, all sales are off. It's the law.
Richland - 5600 William Flynn Hwy, Gibsonia. Tel: 724-444-1150
Pine - 10660 Perry Hwy, Wexford. Tel: 724-935-4570
These are the two locations where you can purchase wine and spirits in Pine and Richland townships. Becky Kahler, assistant manager of the Gibsonia store, said liquors used for shots are very big sellers before a big game, particularly Jagermeister. Jack Daniels is popular for Jack and Coke, and Captain Morgan for rum and coke. Vodka is huge too because it can be used in so many different drink variations.