Because of a new federal law in 2013 that banned the sale of alcoholic drinks inside sports stadium and arenas, plus a local ordinance approved in January 2014 that also prohibited sale of alcohol within 50 metres of sports venues, the Sochi Olympics is considered the driest winter games in Olympic history.
The only available brew is the Russian brand Baltika which is even non-alcoholic. Real beer is difficult to find in the resort city and even vodka, which Russia is known for, is rarer.
However, lucky members of the Canadian Olympic team, it turns out, actually enjoy free unlimited supply of real beer, courtesy of Canadian manufacturer Molson which shipped cooling machines full of the beer.
But only Canadian Olympians could avail of this privilege because the refrigerator door could only be opened using the microchip in a Canadian passport.
But far from causing the Canadian sportsmen and women to be inebriated and perform poorly in their event, the team bearing the maple leaf flag has the most all around medal count and has harvested the most gold medals so far at the Olympics.
The free beer offer actually goes beyond Sochi since Molson also shipped the special refrigerators to other parts of Europe and made the same offer exclusively to Canadians. These are in Canterbury, White Cliffs of Dover, Northern France, Cassel, London and Brussels.
A marketing project of ad agency Rethink, images of Canadians availing of the free beer were captured in a video and used for a commercial that was shown at the Stanley Cup finals. It was actually recorded in spring 2013, a few months ahead of the free beer in Sochi marketing campaign.
If Molson was only too glad to quench the thirst of Canadians overseas, other beermakers such as Heineken - the official beer at the London and Athens Summer Games - were not keen on sponsoring the Sochi Winter Games because of the ban on alcoholic drinks in the city.