Sunday, December 07, 2008

Europeans Are Turning Into A Bunch Of Beer Guzzlers?

Say what? Europe is known as a continent full of enlightened sophisticates who enjoy socialized health care, responsible consumption of fine vintages of wine and long walks along the Seine and the Danube. Still mostly true, but part of that image may be due for a change, according to a survey commissioned by the Wall Street Journal:

Europeans are supposed to sip wine in sidewalk caf├ęs, not guzzle beer like American college students.

But Europe's relationship with alcohol is changing. Countries like France and Italy, where good wine is considered a birthright, are seeing a surge in beer drinking among young people. In many countries, the traditional glass or two at mealtimes is giving way to a new culture of binge drinking.

To study the issue, the Wall Street Journal asked market-research firm GfK to poll Europeans about their drinking habits. In 13 European Union countries, plus the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Switzerland, GfK asked more than 17,000 people to describe how often they drink, what they drink and how alcohol affects their lives. Many of the results were surprising. (Read the rest here...)

While this seems like an incredibly silly, inaccurate survey in which many of the participants are obviously lying (53% of Italians don't drink at all, really?), it does make for an interesting read. A surprising trend of younger Euro's preferring beer over wine clearly emerges, and (coincidentally?) binge drinking seems to be becoming more prevalent among that set as well. I'm not sure what exactly can be gleaned from all this, but it's worth a quick look.


Willie Moe said...

Well Italians are relegated to Peroni, so that 53% may be closer to accurate than you think!

Bill said...

Um, have you heard of Birra Moretti? (Or as a guy from North Syracuse once said, "Beeda Modehhhhti.")

I remember getting into an argument with this guy right after Woodstock '99 and he said that basically Americans are a bunch of thugs who like to start fires and cause trouble, and they don't do that kinda shit over in Europe. I countered, "Have you ever seen a soccer match?" Endgame.

I'd be curious to know if Europe's drinking laws have gotten less or more stringent in the last decade, and what kind of relationship that has to binge drinking over there. Europe is cool but their music sucks.

Bojangles said...

I hear you there, fellers, but don't forget that Italy is now among the most progressive craft beer scenes in Europe. They're gettin' shit done these days! Or at least the 47% of them who actually imbibe are.