Beer = alcohol. From July 1st
From July 1. Russia introduces several amendments to the law on production and sale of alcohol. The new laws first of all concerns beer, which from that date will be affected by the same laws as other alcoholic beverages.
Russia is taking measures to fight alcoholism. In course of the last few years several measures have been made to tighten the sale of hard liquor – the price of vodka has risen, night-time sales of hard liquor is banned and there is a complete ban on TV advertising of vodka and wine.
Beer, on the other hand, is mostly regarded as a thirst-quencher and is technically classified as a foodstuff. It is common to see people swigging beer in the street and in parks as if they are drinking soft drinks.
Industry sources say Russia is now the third or the fourth biggest beer market in the world by net consumption after China and the United States, according to The Telegraph.
When the amendments to the law comes into force on July 1, it will now be illegal to sell beer (stronger than 5 percent) from street kiosks, at markets, trains stations, airports and gas stations. The ban also covers beer sale in cultural, medical and educational institutions, except at restaurants or cafes connected to them.
It will be illegal to sell beer between 23pm and 08am, except at restaurants and bars.
From July 1 it will no longer be allowed to drink beer in public places like streets, parks, playgrounds and beaches, and in courtyards, stairs and elevators of residential buildings, the Murmansk Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ web site reads.
In 2011 there were reported to be 561 beer producers operating in Russia. Among them there are 40 large producers, 76 medium scale regional breweries, 263 mini/microbreweries and 182 restaurant breweries, according to Wikipedia.