Russia was clearly not prepared for FIFA's 2018 World Cup fans and athletes, as they are practically drinking Moscow dry. Thirty-two soccer teams from around the world and their beer-drinking fans have practically sapped Moscow’s bars and restaurants of their beer according to multiple outlets, and it is taking longer than usual for more supplies to arrive.
"We just didn't think they would only want beer," Reuters reports one waiter at an upscale central Moscow restaurant saying — who clearly doesn’t know soccer fans. The waiter told Reuters that the restaurant ran out of draft lager on Monday and that it’s taking at least 24 hours for new deliveries from suppliers, whose stocks are also running low.
According to the New York Daily News, the shortage could be related to existing consumer patterns in Russia, as beer sales have fallen by nearly a third in the past 10 years due to regulations on duties and advertising. However, some fans have not felt the effects of the shortage. "There is beer everywhere," one Croatian fan declared to Reuters reporters. “Some places yes, some places no. You just have to know where to find it!"
Russia has always been part of Europe’s “Vodka Belt,” in which distilled spirits make up a larger proportion of alcohol consumed, so bars aren’t used to an influx of fans from “Beer Belt” countries like Germany and England. If you’re watching the games, learn more about how each country imbibes by indulging in the signature drink of every country in the World Cup.