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Poles consume most beer in Europe: report

Poland is a leader in the amount of beer consumed in Europe. On average, every drinking Pole over the age of 15 drinks 136 litres of beer a year, which is equal to 272 half-litre cans and over 5 kilograms of ethanol, according to a report by the Jagiellonian Institute entitled “Poland flooded with beer”, released on Wednesday.

Data published by the Jagiellonian Institute showed that “Europe is the continent with the highest beer consumption, and that Poland is a leading state with regard to that value on the continent.”

“Poles drink beer in a risky and harmful way; they drink low-quality, cheap and strong beer,” the report stated.

Foreign companies producing in Poland supply most of the beer to the Polish market. In turn, craft breweries account for only 3.5 percent of the beer market”.

The data shows that around 55 percent of Poles consume ethanol while drinking beer, and it is responsible for the increase in alcohol consumption over the last quarter of a century in Poland.

The authors of the report recommend “introducing an unambiguous definition of beer (specifying the standards), which will result in the elimination of beers with low, quality and high alcohol content from the market”.

They also indicate the need to “level the excise duty on all types of alcoholic beverages”. In the opinion of the authors, it is necessary to make the excise tax dependent on the amount of ethanol, regardless of the type of alcoholic drink, thus increasing the tax burden on beer “as the main carrier of ethanol in consumption.”

Among other issues, the Jagiellonian Institute highlighted the need to “amend the legal provisions on the admissibility of advertising alcoholic beverages aimed at ensuring full protection of vulnerable groups, especially children and adolescents”.

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