British supermarkets cater to diverse population's beer tastes
Helen M. Moores, the beer buyer for the huge Tesco supermarket chain in Britain, has increased the number of international brands from 15 to 30 over the last 18 months. The reason? Britain has an increasingly diverse population that prefers its native beers. Moores herself likes Baltika from Russia and Svyturys Ekstra from Lithuania. For more, see here.
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.
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.
Illicit alcohol 'piped into EU'
BBC News reported in December 2004 that residents of rural Lithuania appear to have found an ingenious way to get round sharply rising alcohol prices. Border guards have unearthed a 3km pipeline used for smuggling liquor from neighbouring Belarus where it can be purchased much more cheaply. A guards' spokesman said it was the fourth such pipeline to be found, but that this one was of record length. Find the full story here.