PHUKET: Lovers of Phuket Island Lager will have to exercise some restraint over the coming week; distributors are being rationed after an unforeseen surge in sales resulted in demand outstripping supply. “We’re not completely out of stock, but we can’t match demand,” said Ekaraj Intravisit, general manager of Phuket Island Trading Co. “If a customer wants 10 boxes of beer, we can give him only four.” Partakers of the amber nectar can rest assured that the dry season will pass quickly. K. Ekaraj promises, “Everything will be back to normal next week.” The shortage has been attributed to a switch in marketing strategy from concentration on distributors to concentration on consumers, with a recent spate of campaigning on billboards, on radio, and even on the canvas of a Thai boxing ring. Booming demand for the lager has created supply problems throughout January. Phuket Island Lager is brewed by the Pathum Thani-based Thai-Amarit Distribution brewery. The process takes 10 days. While the last batch was being brewed, demand snowballed to exceed the amount being made. The popular beer is now sold widely in Phuket and in a number of other cities in Thailand, and has been attracting interest from distributors in England, Hong Kong and America.
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