“Sorry, this was the last bottle of Czech beer we had,” said a waiter at a restaurant in central Moscow, a month after Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine and the West imposed sweeping sanctions.
“Some pubs have accumulated large stocks when it all started. “But as far as I know, no new deliveries have been ordered and confirmed after February 24,” said Alexander Skirpkin, who runs two bars in Moscow.
Many foreign companies have left Russia. strong> and the maritime trade has plummeted, pushing the economy and influencing the habits of Russians accustomed to a rich selection of foreign spirits.
“The situation for beer is very bad,” said Anton, a 36-year-old IT specialist working for a state-owned financial institution in Moscow.
Not to mention Paulaner, Pilsner Urquell and other delicious, I'm not at all sure if Russian beer came to stay. “There are problems not only with beer imports but also with hops,” he added.
Russian breweries are heavily dependent on imports of raw materials , such as hops.
“The complications of sending money to suppliers in Europe and America, as well as the disruption of supply chains, are now the two most difficult issues,” said the Russian Brewers' Association, citing Beer Resource, one of the largest distributors. Raw materials in Russia for brewers.
The world's largest foreign container lines – including the top three MSCs, Maersk, CMA CGMs – have temporarily suspended shipments to and from Russia , while the countries of the European Union that share borders with Russia and Belarus have banned the entry of trucks registered in these countries.
“Guinness no longer exists and will not return, at least to present, “said a bartender at White Hart, a large English-style pub in central Moscow, next to the central bank. Sold dark beer for 690 rubles ($ 10.83) per pint.
Diageo , which produces Smirnoff and Guinness vodka, started its own distribution in Russia in 2006 and once had huge growth potential in the country. It said in March it had suspended all exports to Russia as well as local production of its beer. available at two pubs nearby, where bartenders said they were selling stocks with little hope of being replenished soon.
“ We have stocks that will last for half a year Said a spokesman for the Moscow-based beer importer Nice Beer.
Foreign-produced hard alcohol could also become rare.
“Almost empty and restaurants are selling old stock,” said Sergei Mironov, a mediator in Moscow restaurants, according to the state-run RIA news agency.
Russian President Putin's He said the sanctions would boom in the West and provide new opportunities for Russian companies./strong>
“We started looking for domestic alternatives to foreign beers and, as a result, the choice has changed dramatically. “Imported alcohol is now 20-50% more expensive, while local beers are slightly cheaper than those imported before February 24,” Skirpkin said.