TIJUANA (Border Report) — Beer has become such a rare commodity in Mexico that when it becomes available, police officers have to be called in to control crowds.
It happened at a VIP Supermarket in one Tijuana neighborhood.
The minute word got out that it had beer, people rushed to the store and lined up.
Almost immediately police officers showed up to keep peace and order.
Ever since Mexico ruled beer as non-essential during the COVID-19 crisis, breweries south of the border ceased operations and beer became scarce before stores completely ran out of it.
“I’m in heaven, can’t remember the last time I had a beer,” said Alexis Gonzalez, who was able to buy a 12-pack of Bud Light.
Right now, only American brands and specialty beers are being sold, but even these have become an ice-cold hot commodity in stores.
“I get it from the other side of the border,” Christian Maciel said.
Maciel and his co-workers lined up at the store to get some “brews.”
Beer prices have doubled and in some cases tripled in Tijuana since last month. Some stores require a minimum purchase of 100 pesos or about $5 before allowing customers to buy beer one 12-pack at at time.
“We’re all a bunch of drunks, and as the saying goes, ‘drunks will do anything for a beer,'” joked a man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Tijuana officials have tried to discourage large crowds of beer-seekers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
When people line up for beer, police officers are also asked to enforce COVID-19 safety measures such as social distancing. In one case outside the VIP Market, a man was run out of the line for not having a face covering.
“You got money for beer but not for a face mask,” screamed the officer.
There is no word on when Mexican breweries will be allowed to start producing beer once again.
“It’s really expensive and really difficult to find, but worth the splurge,” Gonzalez said.