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“In Russian we say ‘to the bottom!’ I like that these guys are embracing our culture.”

Mike Pomranz
June 19, 2018

Soccer and hooliganism go together like, well…let’s just say those two things have a long, often unfortunate history. As a result, stadiums often take steps to curb fans' insatiable appetite for beer. At the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, for instance, many attendees were upset to find that stadiums were only serving 0.5 percent ABV beer. English soccer fans should be able to relate; Possibly the world’s most famous “football” league has banned booze within view of a match since 1985. But once fans are outside of a stadium, all bets are off—a reality that Russia is quickly adjusting to during the ongoing 2018 World Cup. Moscow is reportedly facing a beer shortage.

Visitors to the World Cup host country’s capital and largest city are currently “drinking parts of Moscow dry,” according to Reuters. Apparently, beer sales in Russia have dipped by about a third in recent years, and bars and restaurants in the notoriously vodka-loving country may have underestimated soccer fans' lust for malt and hops. “We just didn’t think they would only want beer,” one Moscow waiter told the news service. He went on to say 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.”

Still, some locals were reportedly taking foreigners’ love of beer in stride. A bartender named Dmitry told Reuters that at his trendy bar, soccer fans had guzzled up all the cheap lager, but they just moved on to the pricier bottled beers. “In Russian we say ‘to the bottom!’ I like that these guys are embracing our culture,” Dmitry quipped.

And least one fan the news organization talked to seemed unfazed. When asked about the beer shortage, a Croatian named Ivan who was visiting Moscow for the World Cup said, “Some places yes, some places no. You just have to know where to find it!” Though to be fair, you can say that about pretty much anything. Or to put it another way, if you need anything while you’re in Moscow, just talk to Ivan: He’s got you covered.

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