Europe’s Booze Belts

I discovered the Strange Maps blog a few weeks ago and just can’t get enough of it. Here’s the latest post, which breaks down Europe into three alcohol belts. As you might suspect, there’s three of them: wine, beer, and vodka, which get progressively cooler. Identifying more with the British/Scottish culture, and living in the microbrew capital of the United States (Portland, Oregon!), I’m all about the beer belt. So, this probably is my favorite part of the post:

For cultural reasons, however, the Vodka Belt has been losing ground to the Beer Belt. Scandinavians tend to drink more beer than before (although possibly this doesn’t mean they drink less wodka). Maybe this is due to the perception of beer correlating more with ‘core European’ behaviour (as it is the preferred alcoholic beverage of Britain, Germany and other influential and centrally positioned countries). That might explain the emergence in Poland, some years ago, of a Beer-Lovers’ Party (which actually won seats in the Polish Parliament in the early 1990s). Beer has since surpassed wodka as the most consumed type of alcohol in Poland.

That’s what we need in the USA! A Beer-Lover’s Party! It does sound much more fun that the Tea Party, doesn’t it?

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