I occasionally review other blogs (usually through the excellent aggregator at Real Simple Beer Syndication) so it was with a light chuckle that I came upon these two news updates from Draft Magazine’s online news blog.
The first post, which informed readers that brewer and pub owner JD Wetherspoon would be offering its customers pints of Greene King Ruddles for the cut-rate price of 99p, also noted the criticism of this cheap drinking campaign.
Some of the country’s citizens are worried the sale, which runs from January 4th through the 19th, will encourage binge drinking, a massive problem in the UK.
A short while later, Draft also reported on the allegation a Russian doctor has made suggesting that the country’s largest breweries are adding “pure alcohol” to their beers to speed up fermentation. Of this, Draft reported:
Russia, which has a massive drinking problem (citizens drink 18 liters of pure alcohol per year), is raising taxes — profiting Carlsberg — in an attempt to curb alcoholism. This latest news is only the tip of the alcohol-industry corruption iceberg.
Now, I’m only noting the humor in casting such flat aspersions at entire nations in back-to-back posts. I’m otherwise putting aside the issues of how these parties define binge drinking, where such alcohol abuse stats come from, whether this particular Russian doctor has any objective basis for his serious claims against some well-known international brewers, whether the underlying numbers regarding Russian alcohol consumption are actually correct (WHO numbers suggest this would be a pretty substantial jump–nearly two-fold from recent years and that the per capita alcohol consumption rate of Russians, at least as recently as 2004, was substantially less than that of Germans, Czechs, Danes, Spaniards, and the Irish, just to name a few European neighbors), and the little unsubstantiated editorial tidbit dropped at the end…