Moscow shops stockpile alcohol for World Cup fans

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Moscow, June 23: Moscow’s shops are stocking up on beer to slake the thirst of World Cup fans after some bars reported shortages.
At a branch of Russian supermarket chain Azbuka Vkusa crates of Heineken, Guinness and local brands like Zolotaya Bochka blocked the aisles on Friday.
Thousands of foreign fans in the Russian capital for the month-long tournament have been partying until the small hours, guzzling beer in bars and restaurants and spilling over onto the streets.
There’s beer everywhere,’ an Azbuka Vkusa saleswoman said. ‘There’s nowhere to put it.’
International brewers report an increase in demand for the World Cup, which runs until July 15 in 11 Russian cities, and have guaranteed that fans will not run out after some shortages in the first week of the event.
‘We are experiencing higher demand for beer in Russia, compared to a typical summer period in Russia,’ said Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer and an official FIFA sponsor for the World Cup.
‘We have planned and prepared for this scenario to ensure we are delivering beer to our partners in full capacity.’
‘We are having to order more beer because of the World Cup,’ said Zinaida Fisher, the manager of a Perekrestok supermarket branch in central Moscow. ‘But we have enough for everybody.’
At one Azbuka Vkusa branch, a salesman named Kirill said that demand for beer was booming and that stores had to constantly renew supplies.
Some fans said they were downing their fair share. ‘Countless beers. Countless. A lot. Many. Plenty,’ said Hector Capistran, 40, from Mexico, when asked how much he had been drinking. (Agencies)