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Beer Is Now Classed As Alcohol In Russia

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mikec

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Sobering day in Russia as beer becomes alcohol

January 1, 2013 - 11:56AM
Tom Parfitt in Moscow

Beer in Russia will become an alcoholic drink for the first time today.

Many Russians consider beer a soft drink - a light refreshment that can be guzzled on the way to work or downed in great quantities before a picnic and a swim in the river.

Hard drinkers sniff at its weakness, and there is a saying: "Beer without vodka is like throwing money to the wind."

But a hung-over nation will wake up to a new and troubling reality when, with the new year, beer becomes classified as an alcoholic drink for the first time.

Until now it has been considered a foodstuff, along with all drinks under 10 per cent in strength. An array of international and local brands, from Amstel to Efes and Baltika to Zhiguli, could be bought at street kiosks, railway stations, and corner shops, like fruit juice or mineral water. Bus stops and petrol stations account for up to 30 per cent of sales.

Morning and evening, people supping from cans or bottles are a common sight in parks and squares and on Moscow's Metro.

Beer's new status as alcohol, however, will prevent it being sold from street outlets, and sales between 11pm and 8am will be banned. Television advertising will also be outlawed.

The new restrictions were signed off by the then president Dmitry Medvedev in 2011 in an effort to tackle alcohol abuse, which he had described as a "national calamity".

The average Russian drinks the equivalent of 32 pints of pure alcohol per year, and about 500,000 deaths annually are thought to be drink-related. That includes a large number of road deaths and several thousand cases of drowning.

Vodka remains the most popular and most damaging alcoholic drink in Russia but beer has been steadily advancing on it in recent years. The new measures could be a blow to beer's challenge.

Isaac Sheps, chairman of the Union of Russian Brewers, claimed that the change could be damaging to health. "Stocking beer is more problematic than stocking vodka," he said. "It's bulky, it's big, there's no room for it in small homes. It's much easier to buy two bottles of vodka.

"So it's quite ironic that this attempt to improve health and lower alcoholism could have the opposite effect and cause people to drink more harmful spirits."


The Telegraph, London

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/sobering-day-i...l#ixzz2GhBAUzD1
 

Mike L'Itorus

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oh, those whacky Russians...
 
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warra48

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What do they expect when you have deep deep cold cold winter for 9 months of the year, and a barely adequate excuse for a summer?
I too would want to drown my sorrows every moment of the day.
Peoples, feel happy, glad, exalted, delighted, and thrilled we live in Australia, where only the Victorians and Tasmanians know what a real winter feels like.
By the way, I'm really enjoying my latest batch of APA, inspired by Trough Lolly.
 

Dunkelbrau

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Because the only place it gets cold is vic or tas? What about the southern nsw or anywhere south of sydney really? It snowed a couple of months ago 20 mins from my house, it's 39 degrees right now.

Real winter? Unless its the arctic circle or Antarctic, you can't relate it to Russia.
 

_HOME_BREW_WALLACE_

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Because the only place it gets cold is vic or tas? What about the southern nsw or anywhere south of sydney really? It snowed a couple of months ago 20 mins from my house, it's 39 degrees right now.

Real winter? Unless its the arctic circle or Antarctic, you can't relate it to Russia.

I recall it getting ******* cold in Dalby, (west of Brissy)..............
 

warra48

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All right, so there are some other places where it gets cold.
I wasn't trained as a geographer.
My apologies.

What I do know, from living 15 years in northern Europe that the winters are absolutely bloody miserable and too long.
I stand by my comment that we're lucky to live in Australia.
 

Dunkelbrau

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All right, so there are some other places where it gets cold.
I wasn't trained as a geographer.
My apologies.

What I do know, from living 15 years in northern Europe that the winters are absolutely bloody miserable and too long.
I stand by my comment that we're lucky to live in Australia.
We are, for at least two of the four seasons haha
I'm heading to Troms, Norway in march (early spring in Europe) and that's going to require 4 layers of clothing and 2 layers of socks to stay warm.
Wasn't having a go, apologies if it came across that way.
Can't believe a beverage with alcohol in it at those percentages wasnt considered alcoholic for so long, and here we are charging 44% excise on that same beverage!
 

brettprevans

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This is an old story.
 

mwd

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Just think a Zyweic Porter before today was classed as a soft drink in Russia until today.
 

mwd

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Just think a Zyweic Porter before today was classed as a soft drink in Russia until today.

Kostrizer Schwarzbier has a resemblance to Zywiec porter without the punch.
 

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