Burundi beer fans blamed for shortage of the brew

BY BBC

Fans of one of Burundi’s most-popular bottled beers are being told it is their fault that there is a shortage of the drink.

The dearth of Amstel is “caused by an increase in demand”, Remy Ndayishimiye, spokesman for Burundian brewery Brarudi, told the BBC in a statement.

“We are doing our best to restore the happiness of our clients,” he said.

Amstel beer drinkers told the BBC they were annoyed as they had been obliged to drink other locally bottled beers such as Primus and Royal.

Their other option is to drink Skol, which is imported from neighbouring Rwanda.

“Not many of us can afford Skol because it is expensive – it’s hard to get our Amstel nowadays,” one drinker complained.

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But an industry source told the BBC the real reason for the shortage was a lack of foreign currency – as some raw ingredients need to be imported to make the brew.

Brarudi also produces Coca-Cola which is also reportedly in short supply in Burundi.

The World Bank says the country has suffered “persistent foreign exchange shortages with the drop in international reserves” since the 2015 political crisis that saw President Pierre Nkurunziza win a controversial third term in office.

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