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As if Germany’s fans weren’t having a hard enough time already

Tim Nelson
Updated: June 20, 2018

The 2018 World Cup is less than a week old, but it’s already been packed with moments of joy and heartbreak, not to mention some exciting action and intriguing replay decisions. But one thing happening away from the pitch is both more impressive than Cristiano Ronaldo’s four goals through two matches and more disappointing than Egypt’s early elimination: fans are drinking literally all the beer.

That’s not even a joke. Reuters reports that thirsty footy fans from around the globe have been a major drain on Moscow’s beer supply, guzzling copious amounts of brews around town to the point that shortages have become widespread. Some bars and restaurants say they’ve run out of draft lager, with others taking as many as three resupplies of booze a day to keep fans properly sated. That demand has put a strain on supply lines, with new deliveries from distributors taking up to 24 hours or more.

The current shortage is likely exacerbated by the divergent tastes of native Russkies and their international guests. Beer sales in Russia have fallen roughly 30 percent over the past decade, a decline fueled in part by rising duties alongside sales and advertising restrictions. Despite the presence of raucous World Cup fans, those in the beer business assumed that downward trend would continue in 2018.

Some of the servers who’ve had to manage the shortage were also caught off guard. “We just didn’t think they would only want beer,” said an anonymous Moscow waiter who spoke with Reuters. His explanation for what’s happening both hits the nail on the head and provides the most succinct justification for day drinking during the World Cup: “It’s hot, and it’s football.”

With Moscow just one of eleven cities hosting matches, it’s probably only a matter of time before this tragic lager shortage spreads across the country. Thankfully, Moscow bars have a week to stock up between a July 3rd round of 16 match and the second semi-final leg on the 11th (Moscow also hosts the final on the 15th). Hopefully that means whichever fan bases still have a dog in the fight will be properly hydrated. Until then, be on the lookout for bands of hooligans roaming Red Square in search of whatever booze they can get their hands on.  

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