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Gateway To Afghanistan

Dispatches from Manas

Posts tagged: Russian beer

Two beer limit

One of the surprises at Manas is its selection of beer, which includes an edgy, high-octane Russian import called “9” that blends a bit of vodka with the hops. And it’s just $2 a bottle.

But you’d be wise to savor each sip because the base also has a daily limit of two beers per person.

Bartenders enforce the restriction by scanning customer ID cards, and a computer tracks purchases in 24-hour cycles rather than by the calendar day. That’s signifant because Manas is a 24-hour base, which means everything — even the bar — is open around the clock, since troops are arriving from all over the world at all hours of the day and from a multitude of varying time zones.

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About this blog

Fairchild Air Force Base supplies 80 percent of the military aircraft and flight crews operating out of Manas Transit Center, a key hub along one of the primary NATO supply routes into Afghanistan. The small base, located outside the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek, is barely 400 miles from the Afghan border.

Contributors

Colin Mulvany is a staff photographer for The Spokesman-Review.

David Wasson is a deputy city editor for The Spokesman-Review.

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