Be prepared for a beer less New Year as Maharashtra faces acute shortage
Wine shops claim stock of three major brands have taken severe beating; shortage till early Jan
If you plan to party at home this New Year's Eve, chances are that you'd have to celebrate without your favourite bottle of chilled beer. For the last one month, Maharashtra has been facing an acute shortage of beer, thanks to the state's decision to hike excise duty on mild and strong beer by 25 to 35 per cent in October.
While the state excise department had promised to look into the hike during the ongoing Winter Session, any new decision is likely to come too late in the day. "The manufacturers are waiting for the new revised prices, and hence, holding back distribution. Due to this, the beer drought could well go past the first week of January," the source added.
Three main affected brands, which are likely to remain off the shelves, include Kingfisher, Carlsberg and Tuborg.
When mid-day visited Aradhana Wines in Lokhandwala -- one of the biggest wine shops that stocks domestic and imported brands of distilled spirits -- none of the three brands were available. "We aren't keeping cans or pints," said the staff at the shop. "We haven't got any supply from Kingfisher in a month."
Millenium Wines in Andheri and Deepak Wines in Bandra also didn't have the three brands. Pinky Wines in Andheri said the shop hadn't received any beer stock for the last one-and-a-half months. "We will have to wait and see whether this shortage dies down before the New Year," a staff at Pinky Wines said.
Shankari Bar and Restaurant in Andheri, which runs well past 1.30 am, has also stopped selling these brands. The situation was the same at wine shops in South Mumbai. But, a majority of the high-end nightclubs and bars are likely to remain unaffected as they rarely stock the three brands.
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