Russia Joins the Rest of the World, Admits Beer is Alcohol

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REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Perhaps Russian legislators have just witnessed the drunken debauchery that is a beer-infused frat party, but for the first time in the country, the sudsy beverage will be regulated less like soda and more like booze.

We already know that Russians outdrink most countries by quite a lot — the World Health Organization has consistently ranked the country in the top five heaviest drinkers — but new legislation from the Kremlin is seeking to crackdown on what they consider a growing national health problem, and they’re taking beer down with them.

(More on NewsFeed: Russians and Europeans drink Americans under the table)

One in five male deaths in Russia is caused by alcohol, according to the WHO. And beer, which has long been classified as “foodstuff” (whatever that means) is finally getting the same treatment as its stronger sister and Russian mainstay — vodka.

New legislation, which passed its first reading in the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday, will restrict beer sales at night, limit cans and bottles to .33 liters, and ban the drink’s sale in or near public schools, where you can often spot teenagers downing brews during their lunch breaks.

(More on NewsFeed: Is beer the new sports drink of champions?)

Russia’s beer consumption has more than tripled in the past 15 years, making it the third or fourth largest beer market in the world. And while it’s tradition in the frigid nation to drink spirits in order to stay warm, NewsFeed recognizes the importance of limiting consumption in that a country that loses more than 500,000 people per year due to alcohol-related deaths. (via The Telegraph)