Nyet! Beer No Longer Considered Food in Russia: A New Year often brings with it a variety of new laws, but a legal change in Russia may have consumers crying in their beer. Before now, beer was consider a food item and was therefore largely unrestricted. Consumers could by it any time of day as if it were water. Those days are done. According to London's Daily Telegraph: "Beer's new status as alcohol, however, will prevent retail sales from street outlets such as kiosks, railway stations, bus stops and petrol stations – which account for up to 30 percent of sales – as well as preventing sales between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., and introducing a ban on television advertising of beer."
Beer and Taxes: The Beer Institute made headlines with a report that claimed the most expensive ingredient in beer was taxes. Now the issue of beer and taxes is back in the news. Last month, the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote a piece on The Hill.com that called for an increase in alcohol taxes, "which were last increased in 1991, the first major increase in 40 years (and) need a lot of basic retooling." The CSPI said a reworking of alcohol taxes could raise tens of billions of dollars.
Not so fast said Bob Pease, the COO of the Brewers Association, who claims an "increase the federal excise tax on beer would devastate – if not destroy – the small, independent Main Street American breweries that have developed all across our nation during the last 35 years, and which have created thousands and thousands of jobs for American workers."
Finally Slate.com sought an answer to when and why governments started to impose taxes on alcohol in the first place.