Russia faces beer shortages as World Cup fans drink the taps dry
Russia is known for its vodka, but fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup are drinking a different type of adult beverage: beer. And they're drinking so much of it that restaurants and bars around Moscow are running dry.
A waiter at one Moscow eatery told Reuters that the restaurant "didn't think [the fans would] only want beer." The outlet reported that beer deliveries are taking longer, with some restaurants waiting more than 24 hours for a shipment, because restaurants are being taking over by thirsty fans who seem to be bent on turning soccer's biggest tournament into one long bender.
"There are really a lot of people in Moscow," the waiter told Reuters. "And they are all drinking."
Breweries in the country have seen their beer sales decrease over the past few years after a 200 percent increase on the beer tax in 2010. Prior to 2011, beer wasn't even considered to be an alcoholic drink in the country but rather a "foodstuff."
It's not just Moscow that's having trouble. Newsweek says that reports from other cities are indicating the same thing is occurring all around the country. In Nizhny Novgorod, nearly all the beer kegs were dry.
"The city has never hosted anything like this before, and that is why proprietors of bars have been caught by surprise," Martin Freidman, the security chief for the Swedish Soccer Association, told Newsweek.
But in the streets of Moscow, the party rages on in the true Russian fashion.
"In Russian we say 'to the bottom!'" a bartender at one Moscow bar told Reuters. "I like that these guys are embracing our culture."