‘I’m in heaven’: Beer becomes available, creating frenzy in Tijuana


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.

People line up outside VIP Supermarket in Tijuana to buy beer, which has become a rare commodity in the city.
(Jorge Nieto/Special to Border Report.)

Almost immediately police officers showed up to keep peace and order.

Tijuana Municipal Police officer asks people to follow social distancing guidelines and to remain orderly as customers await to buy beer. (Jorge Nieto/Special to Border Report)

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.

Alexis Gonzalez shows off a 12-pack of Bud Light he was able to buy after more than a month without having a beer.
(Jorge Nieto/Special to Border Report)

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.”

Tijuana practically out of beer

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.

Don’t wander streets looking for beer officials warn

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.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.