Shoalhaven bottle shops have followed national trends in increased take-home alcohol sales over the 2020 pandemic period.
Nationally, alcohol retailers have turned over a record $15.6 billion is sales in 2020, up 26.7 per cent since 2019, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The manager of Little Bottler in Shoalhaven Heads Kim Trood said the shop had seen a jump in sales since the bushfires, but particularly over the pandemic period.
"We have been running at a summer heat since the fires. And it's only just stopped, so sales have been this way for 12 months," she said.
"It was the fact that during COVID, nobody was driving anywhere. Nobody was going to work, a lot of people weren't working for months.
"It was also a stressful situation and people were using alcohol for that reason."
National alcohol sales between 2018 and 2019 increased just by 6 per cent.
With the pandemic causing weddings to halt and local pubs and clubs to close temporarily, the majority of spending went to packaged alcohol sellers, with the industry turning over $3 billion across the nation in December alone.
The loss of weddings in 2020 changed the way business was run for Bomaderry Super Cellars, who sell packages for weddings and also have a bottle shop.
"It just changed the structure of what we were doing as a business," said Jeff Dudgeon, the owner of Bomaderry Super Cellars.
"The wedding part of our business deteriorated, but the bottle shop part levelled that out.
"At first there was an increase in sales, but after that people got a bit more premium with what they were purchasing.
"People are doing more nice little barbecues and entertaining at home which I think is going to be the new norm moving forward."