It's Happy Hour for Whiskey in Russia

Imported whiskey is booming amid a government crackdown on booze
Courtesy The Real McCoy Speakeasy

When Beam spun off from Fortune Brands last year, the American whiskey company turned its attention to vodka-soaked Russia, hoping to double sales there by 2015. Its timing is risky: In the past year, President Vladimir Putin has expanded the country’s biggest crackdown on alcohol since the Cold War. Late-night alcohol sales, outdoor drinking in public areas, and booze ads on television, radio, and billboards are banned. That’s on top of a 200 percent increase in beer taxes in 2010. The aim is to improve the health of Russians, who drink 15 liters of alcohol a year—down from 18 two years ago.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.