This Country Didn't Classify Beer As Alcohol Until 2011

Chances are you know drinking too much alcohol is bad for you, and that obviously includes beer. According to Livestrong, consuming too much beer can cause your blood sugar to quickly rise and fall. Drinking beer also stresses your body, such as your liver or pancreas, when there's too much of it in your system. That stress can turn into inflammation which, at its worst, can cause stroke or some types of cancer.

Though lighter beers generally tend to be lower in calories compared to dark beers, which can have up to 300 calories per pint, any beer can add up calorie-wise if you drink in excess. That can hinder any weight loss aspirations you might be working toward. It could also cause those trying to maintain their weight to gain pounds. Not to mention, underage drinking can alter brain development resulting in life-long problems among other consequences (via CDC). All of these reasons are likely why one country finally decided to classify beer as alcohol in 2011 after many, many years of treating it like any other beverage.

The country that recently made the change may or may not surprise you

While you might not be able to comprehend how a country could have said that beer was not alcohol until 2011, once you learn that it was Russia, it might make a little more sense (via Bored Panda). Apparently, anything such as beer or other alcoholic beverages that were less than 10% ABV was considered to be a soft drink. Once the change finally came, it allowed the government to finally have control over how and when beer is sold in a country where alcohol is drunk at a pace more than twice the World Health Organization's critical level (via BBC). 

Even though Russia is known for its vodka (and vodka consumption), beer has become a popular alternative that's often seen as healthier. In 2011 when the change was made, beer sales had risen 40% while vodka sales had fallen 30%. Though beer could be bought by anyone at any time of day or night before the change of classification, beer is now far more regulated.