The FIFA World Cup is here, which means lots of faking illnesses (yes, illnesses, plural) to get off work early, and the consumption of an inordinate amount of beer! Now, thanks to the thousands of football fans flooding the Russian capital, Moscow is facing a facing a beer shortage (most likely thanks to the British fans, but we’re not pointing any fingers).
According to a report by Reuters, an increase in duties, and the tightening of rules in regard to sales and advertising had led to beer sales falling by a third in the last year with brewers not expecting a reversal in the trend leading to some restaurants running out of beer with suppliers stocks also running low.
“We just didn’t think they would only want beer,” one Moscow waiter told Reuters. He then said that his restaurant sold out of beer on Monday, and supplier stockpiles are so low, it’s taking 24 hours for fresh brews to arrive. “There are really a lot of people in Moscow…and they are all drinking,” he added. “It’s hot, and it’s football.”
However, some Russians seemed to take pride in the visiting tourists embracing their culture. Dimity, a bartender at Gogol said, “The sun makes them thirsty,” he said of his customers. “In Russian we say ‘to the bottom!’ I like that these guys are embracing our culture.”
Ivan, a Croatian fan visiting said there wasn’t really a beer shortage problem, “There is beer everywhere,” he said speaking to Reuters while swigging from a can of Russian Zhiguli lager sitting on a bench near the Bolshoi Theater. “Some places yes, some places no. You just have to know where to find it!”