Russia Decides Beer Is ... Alcohol
Change will allow country to regulate its sale
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 10:09 AM CST
A man drinks beer in front of a TV screen broadcasting of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's televised meeting with heads of top national television channels.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Historic changes in Russia: Beer, long classified as "foodstuff," is about to get upgraded to alcohol, "dragging Russian alcohol regulation into the 21st century," quips the Telegraph. Beer consumption has tripled in Russia in the last 15 years thanks to the fact that it's been cheap and only lightly regulated. A bill set to end beer's special status passed the lower house of Parliament yesterday; the new law would curtail beer sales at night and limit the size of cans and bottles to about 11 ounces.

Many Russians, who have an affinity for the much-stronger vodka, regard beer almost like a soft drink, reports Telegraph, which notes it's not unusual to see men drinking beer on the way to work.