Hyderabad: The summer this year is turning out to be quite cruel to beer lovers in the city, who are facing a severe shortage of beer in wine shops here.
While the shortage is for almost all the dozen brands of beer sold in the city, the crunch is particular when it comes to Kingfisher variants like Strong and Premium. There are no stocks at all of these, while the immensely popular 330 ml beer bottles too have completely vanished from wine shops. The situation has been prevailing since March, liquor shop owners said.
Ironically, officials attribute the shortage to the steep rise in beer sales in summer. A liquor depot run by the Telangana State Beverages Corporation Limited (TSBCL) on the city suburbs sold 2.5 lakh cases of beer this summer as against 1.5 lakh cases sold last summer.
The ongoing IPL season has also led to a spurt in beer sales as most fans are evincing interest to watch the live matches sipping a mug of chilled beer.
“The demand is high this time and even the distilleries are unable to cope up with the increasing demand,” an official of TSBCL said. Every distillery usually keeps a fresh beer stock in cold storage for at least 20 days before sending it to the TSBCL, which in turn sells liquor and beer to all wine shops and bar-cum-restaurants in the State, he said.
Owing to the demand, a few distilleries are directly sending the stock to the TSBCL in lorries. However, this has been causing damages to bottles while loading and unloading the stock at the depots, which has also contributed to the shortage.
Another reason was that the corporation was unable to make payments to distilleries on time because of which the managements are failing to ensure enough stock to meet the demand.
Wine shop owners are requesting TSBCL to take necessary measures to ensure proper supply. When contacted, Telangana Wine Dealers Association president D Venkateswara Rao said the government and the distilleries should assess the situation and take corrective measures.