Hyderabad: Hyderabadis may be facing water woes but a good number of them, particularly youngsters with pocketful of money, are guzzling beer like theres no tomorrow. Beer sales, say wine dealers, are shooting up at the same pace as the mercury, creating new records. The dealers hold individual records, so to speak but statistics furnished by the Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Ltd (APBCL) give a good overall picture.
According to the APBCL, beer sales in the twin cities increased by 7 per cent in the months of March and April compared to the same period last year. In figures, the city witnessed sales of 7,16,413 crates (each crate contains 12 bottles of beer) in March and April last year. This time, during the same period, 7,66,841 crates were sold. In other words, 92,02,092 beer bottles, almost close to one crore.
The data for this month is not yet available but it can safely be presumed that the sales have touched new heights as the temperature is inching closer to 44 degree celsius. Wine shop owners and dealers are for sure happy but are not surprised by the spurt in sales.
There is an increase in beer sales in the city and its quite expected during summer, said D Venkateswara Rao, president, AP Wine Dealers Association. However, he attributes the increased sales to the recent raids by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on wine shops selling liquor at over and above the MRP. The ACB raids have made the customers happy as the wine shops are now selling liquor at MRP. This has led to increased beer consumption this summer, he claimed.
Echoing the same views, Ramesh, a sales boy at a wine shop near Basheerbagh, said, the increase in the sale of beer during summers is quite expected. Often, youngsters buy crates of beer in the morning itself as soon as we open the store! Moreover, quite a few people have switched over to beer just because of the heat.
However, youngsters and mostly students complain that wine shops are not selling liquor at MRP. They cannot resist the temptation though. Different shops in different parts of the city charge differently be it beer or something like scotch whiskey. So we become regular customers at places where they sell it at MRP, explains Rajesh, a student from a city college who admits that he has beer regularly to beat the heat.
Like him, several college students spend their pocket money on beer without any qualms. My classes get over by afternoon and we friends make sure to go and have a beer before lunch. It is a great stress buster as well, claimed Firoze, a student, while buying beer bottles at a wine shop in Himayatnagar. He wondered as to how anyone could not have beer on a hot afternoon. That too, when wine shops, bars and restaurants are giving certain discounts too like buy one get one free?"