Some people wait for hours in the cold to buy cheap televisions or video games. People in Wisconsin do it for beer. About 800 people were in line by 8am today—waiting in 15-degree, snowy weather—outside of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee to buy a limited-edition Black Friday brew. In less than four hours, the brewery was sold out of its 5,000 22-ounce bottles, each of which sold for $15. This is the fourth year the brewery has had Black Friday beers, and Lakefront Brewery owner Russ Klisch said the business would take in more money today than on any other day during the year. He said he and his employees got the idea after they tried doing early tours for beer lovers on Black Friday a few years ago.
Along with snatching four bottles, the per-customer limit, 30-year-old analyst John Graham said he wanted to be part of the buzz and the festive atmosphere that included a DJ, tap beer, and breakfast. "I've never been out for Black Friday before, never bought a TV or an Xbox or anything," he says. "But here I am drinking beer at 8am." Others started sooner. Dave Armstrong camped out overnight after arriving at 9:30pm last night with a propane heater and blankets. The 53-year-old seemed to have no interest in joining shoppers trying to take advantage of Black Friday deals at large retail stores. "They are either waiting in line for a television or computer or whatever it is, and they've got to mess with the crowds, the pushing and shoving," says Armstrong, a VP at a financial company in Milwaukee. "Here, it's a real orderly group but it's a fun group." (Read more Black Friday stories.)