NEWTON, Iowa — A potential record number of RAGBRAI riders came in waves across Iowa, which meant an opportunity for towns on the route, like Newton, to serve the riders and make some money.

At least, that was the plan.

For the Newton American Legion Post 111, it didn’t go quite that way. After consulting various people, the Legion decided to order 400 cases of beer. They didn’t want to run out or disappoint the riders. Of the 400 cases of beer, the Legion sold only 13 cases.

They spent $12,000, and had a lot of beer left over.

“I think we’re too far off the main thoroughfare and just didn’t get the folks to come through,” said Jerry Nelson, Post 111 Commander. “Had we been in the place we typically do a bike night, I think we at least would have had a fair day.”

The Legion post is checking in to see if some of the beer could be returned.

“I thought if we’re going do this is, do it right,” said Nelson. “We don’t want to run out of product, leaving folks waiting on us, expecting us to serve, and then under forecasted or be the bad guys and be drove by because there’s no beverages available.”

Nelson said despite the disappointing sales, he’s proud of Post 111.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the folks in American legion who put this all together,” said Nelson. “A lot of guys took time off work all week and really the plan was good.”

Asked if he would do that again on RAGBRAI, Nelson said he would, but he would be more measured and ask more questions.