Baltic and ex-USSR attitudes toward alcohol (article)
Therese C. Reitan, "Democracy in a Battle: Attitudes toward Alcohol Regulation in the Post-Communist Baltic Sea Region," Journal of Baltic Studies 34/2 (Summer 2003): 131-158.
Dangerous drinking habits taking heavy health toll in Baltics
Lithuanian Augustinas Grevys' glory was short-lived when he bested three friends by being the last to pass out after each had downed nearly a liter of moonshine.
Grevys, who was 34, didn't get the chance to spend his 20 litas (US$7) winnings -- enough to buy two more bottles of moonshine -- because he died within hours. Each of his three friends were comatose but eventually recovered.
The 2001 incident briefly drew nationwide attention to the problem of binge drinking in Lithuania and sparked calls for something to be done.
Mainichi Daily News reports.
A vodka by any other name?
The Estonian agriculture minister said Thursday that alcoholic beverages distilled from potatoes or grain were the only drinks entitled to be called vodka.
Ester Tuiksoo said Estonia was against recent proposals made by the European Commission to call all strong distilled alcoholic beverages vodka regardless of the base ingredient. For instance, alcoholic drinks distilled from grape or sugar cane could be also called as vodka under the commission's proposals.
Traditional vodka producers fear that sales of such drinks under the name of vodka may lead to financial losses.
RIA Novosti reports.
Scottish and Newcastle defending its Russian beer market
The Scotsman reports (26 April 2005) that S&N shareholders will cheer once again on news that, where growth in beer sales is sluggish throughout Western Europe, in Russia, the Ukraine, the Baltic states and Kazakhstan the trend remains sharply upward. Leading the charge is BBH, the S&N joint venture with Carlsberg, described by one City analyst as "the only sexy part of their beer business." Baltic Beverages Holdings holds three of the top six brands in Russia, amounting to 34 per cent of total market share. Since its foundation in 1991, the Baltika brand has intertwined itself with Russia’s newly prosperous lifestyle. Find the full story here.
EU OK's vodka made from grapes
The Australian reports (10 March 2005) that Europe's vodka drinkers can rest easy knowing European Union law will allow them to buy their favourite tipple made from a bewildering array of farm produce such as grapes and sugar cane - not just potatoes and grain. EU experts have spent the last five years trying to nail down exactly what vodka should be made from. They now look close to reaching a conclusion, rejecting an attempt by four northern EU governments to protect their versions of "traditional vodka." Find the full story here.
Finns flock to Estonia for cheap beer after EU accession
Lifestyle.co.uk reported in May 2004 that thousands of Finns flocked to Tallinn at the weekend to benefit from neighboring Estonia's accession to the European Union, stocking up on cheap beer and vodka which they can now bring home in unlimited amounts. Find the full story here. EUbusiness reported on the same story here.