Arts, Culture & Media

European 'Brew'haha Over Raising Beer Taxes

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The seven Trappist beers (Photo: Robin Vanspauwen/Bram Weyens)

A "brewhaha"over a proposed beer tax is your first clue for today's Geo Quiz. We're looking for the European country that wants to raise taxes on beer by – wait for it – 160 percent. Ouch! That translates to about six cents a glass for the average drinker. This country's socialist leader says the tax will raise money for much-needed public services. Others hope that pricier beer will mean less binge drinking and better public health. Now, the place we're looking for is probably better known as a nation of wine-drinkers. Still, the average resident in our mystery location quaffs about 11 gallons of beer a year. Bonus points if you also guess the name of this country's northern neighbor, which has threatened to raise taxes on wine in retaliation. The answer is France, where President Francois Hollande seems determined to raise the price of a pint. And for bonus points, France's northern neighbor is Belgium, a giant of the beer-brewing tradition. Belgian brewers are worried that France's move to raise the price of beer will severely hurt their business. In fact, the Belgian government has started talking about raising the taxes on French wine in response.

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