Venezuela is not having a good summer. It’s been a hot one there, for starters, with temperatures blazing in the mid-80s during a month known for low-mid 70s. But now, in a cruel twist of fate, adding insult in injury, relief is being drained in a very tragic way—a beer shortage.
The country’s main supplier of beer, Cerveceria Polar (with a national market share of 80%, by the way), has started closing down breweries this week due to a severe lack of barley, hops and other resources.
“This is never-never land,” said Yefferson Ramirez, who works the counter at a liquor store in Caracas, whiwhereh Cerveceria Polar has begun halting deliveries to. This might be somewhat acceptable if stores like Ramirez’s weren’t also out of bottled water and milk (and have been for months). But this has compounded the local—and national—fury, making for some unpleasant customers.
“People more freaked out about losing beer than water,” said Ramirez. “It shows how distorted our priorities have become here.”
For now, citizens can buy one of the imported or locally made artisanal beers, though brands like Heineken are going for five times the price of Cerveceria Polar. However, with elections coming later this year, the beer shortage, among others, will likely drive conversation amid those running for office.
Still, in an odd coincidence, it’s International Beer Day today. To cherish what we are lucky enough to have enough of in this country (and have some fun), Playboy drank the world’s weirdest beers so you wouldn’t have to.