The logistics of hosting a World Cup are absolutely staggering. From stadiums to transportation to media to marketing to simply having enough beds for the hordes of face-painted maniacs who just descended on your country from Machu Picchu to Melbourne, there's a lot to get right and even more to get wrong. So far, Russia, despite a few not-exactly-first-world band-aids (like, you know, erecting stadium seating OUTSIDE of the damn stadium), have done a pretty OK job, but if reports coming out of Moscow today are true, they overlooked one massive detail:
According to Reuters, less than one week into the month-long soccer rager, Russia's beer supply is already, in frat keg parlance, kicked. “We just didn’t think they would only want beer,” said a waiter at a restaurant who ran out of draft lager on Monday and wasn't expecting a new shipment for at least 24 hours. A bartender at Gogol, a trendy Moscow patio bar, said fans had consumed well over 200 gallons of beer in three days...AND THAT'S JUST ONE BAR.
That's also in the biggest city in Russia, where beer is easiest to attain. In Nizhny Novgorod, a former "closed city" about 250 miles east of Moscow, the suds situation is even more dire, with The Local Sweden reporting that the city ran out of beer simply due to Sweden fans celebrating their team's 1-0 victory over South Korea on Monday. Needless to say, if you're looking for a bandwagon to get on, the one that just drank an entire city dry in a single afternoon isn't a terrible choice.
Part of the problem can be traced back to the fact Russia simply underestimated how much the rest of the world LOVES beer. Apparently beer sales have plummeted by a third in Russia in recent years following new taxes and restrictions on advertising (and, you know, vodka), so there's a very real possibility they just misjudged this thing a bit. But like true Russians, they are embracing the struggle instead of running from it
“In Russian we say ‘to the bottom!" said another bartender. "I like that these guys are embracing our culture.”
Cheers to that.