Pubs and clubs roll out the barrels as thirsty supporters pour into town

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 March, 2004, 12:00am

It has been likened to a cross between Carnival in Rio and Munich's Oktoberfest.

And, as rugby lovers from across the globe poured into Hong Kong in preparation for the start of the Sevens tonight, beer suppliers were working overtime to get pubs and clubs ready.

'We have stocked up like there is about to be a nuclear war,' said Aviva Graeve, a spokeswoman for the Lan Kwai Fong Association.

'The atmosphere is absolutely electric. We are looking forward to a bumper Sevens.

'Our bars and clubs are stocked to capacity and we are fully geared up for mass consumption.'

She said California Bar alone was expecting to serve more than 1,000 litres of draught beer every night.

'The thing about the Sevens is that it is a bit like the Rio Carnival meets the Oktoberfest,' Ms Graeve said. 'There is lots of drinking and joviality but everyone also dresses up - you can see anything from Scottish bagpipers right through to groups of Indian squaws and girls dressed as Catwoman.'

A spokesman for Heineken, the official beer supplier for the Sevens, said more than 100,000 litres would be pumped into Hong Kong Stadium over the tournament's three days.

That means a minimum of 2,000 kegs.

'We have hired 70 staff to serve the product, as well as another 70 staff to pour the beer,' spokesman Jim Wong said.

'We have also flown in a draught specialist to train staff how to pour the beer properly, as well as buying special equipment to make it pour quicker. We want to make sure we have a continuous supply.'