Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.

Beer was considered non-alcoholic till 2013 in Russia

Many Russians consider beer a soft drink – a light refresher that can be guzzled on the way to work or sucked down in great quantities before a picnic and a swim in the river.

Hard drinkers sniff at its weakness, as the saying goes: “Beer without vodka is like throwing money to the wind.”

Until 2013, the brew has been considered a foodstuff along with all other 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 from street kiosks or at railway stations, as well as from countless 24-hour corner shops, just like fruit juice or mineral water.

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

Source: UK Telegraph

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