England fans who braved the trip to Moscow for the World Cup could be left to go it sober after bars and restaurants warned they are running out of alcohol.
Parts of the nation’s capital are turning dry as football fans have guzzled pint after pint of beer as well as spirits like vodka and whiskey.
Moscow has been transformed by the World Cup, with singing, chanting and beer-swilling fans overwhelming some of the packed bars and restaurants around the Kremlin and Red Square.
But Russians were not prepared, and now face long waits to be restocked.
Dmitry, a barman at trendy courtyard bar Gogol, said visiting football fans had drunk 800 litres of beer in three days, downing the cheap lager before moving on to more expensive bottled beers.
Gogol was taking three deliveries on Tuesday to replenish supplies, he said, as workers busily unpacked boxes of beer, vodka and whiskey from a nearby van.
England fans have drank bars dry in Moscow as some pubs say they cannot get deliveries fast enough
Fans were jubilant after England’s 1-0 win over Tunisia on Monday evening. They will next play Panama on Sunday
‘The sun makes them thirsty,’ he said of his customers. ‘In Russian we say ‘to the bottom!’ I like that these guys are embracing our culture.’
Meanwhile, the England stars who are reportedly steering clear of alcohol are not bothered by the booze shortage as they were spotted playing with giant unicorns in their hotel.
Jordan Pickford poses for a photograph on an inflatable unicorn as the England team recovers
Jesse Lingard and Jordan Pickford were clearly enjoying the recovery session in Moscow
Kieran Trippier, Jordan Pickford, Jesse Lingard and Harry Maguire play with inflatable unicorns in the pool during a recovery session at the ForRestMix Hotel
High from victory against Tunisia on Monday evening, members of the squad were pictured jumping into inflatables between training.
Their glamorous wives and girlfriends have been stealing the show, and the nation’s attention as they fill the spousal seats in the stadiums.
The players will face off with Panama in Nizhny Novgorod, more than 400km from Moscow on Sunday.
WAGs at the competition have generated huge interest as they turn out to support their partners in the World Cup
A Russian fan seen in the stands as the national team took on Egypt in the Group A games
Women have generated huge attention in skimpy outfits at the World Cup tournament in Russia while beer has run out in some pubs and restaurants in Moscow
The break may give the pubs a chance to refuel with beer.
‘We just didn’t think they would only want beer,’ said one waiter at a upscale restaurant in central Moscow.
The waiter said his restaurant ran out of draft lager on Monday and deliveries are taking longer than usual, at least 24 hours, because suppliers’ stocks are also running low.
Jordan Henderson looks on as Kieran Trippier plays with an inflatable unicorn in the pool during a recovery session at the ForRestMix Hotel in Repino
‘There are really a lot of people in Moscow … and they are all drinking,’ he said. ‘It’s hot, and it’s football.’
Beer sales in Russia have fallen by around a third over the past as duties have risen and rules been tightened on sales and advertising. Brewers had not been expecting a major reversal of the trend this year.
Baltika, the Russian unit of Carlsberg, said although there was an increased risk of supply disruption during the World Cup, its business had not been affected.
Heineken said sales were so far going well and it did not yet see any challenges supplying its beer.
A female fan of Russia looks on during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Russia and Egypt at Saint Petersburg Stadium
Spartak Stadium, Moscow: Robert Lewandowski’s wife Anna Lewandowska gets behind her husbands team as Poland played Senegal
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer and an official FIFA sponsor for the World Cup, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ivan, a Croatian in Russia to see his team take on Argentina on Thursday, said he had yet to encounter any shortages.
‘There is beer everywhere,’ he said, swigging from a can of Russian Zhiguli lager whilst sitting on a bench near the Bolshoi Theatre. ‘Some places yes, some places no. You just have to know where to find it!’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.