Thursday, November 29, 2012

France Putting Up Barriers to Beer Bars?

Beer drinkers at Chez Prune in Paris
Photo by Stephane Remael
The New York Times

And against beer generally! Or so reports Aurélien Breeden for the New York Times in "Beer Lovers Fear an Unequal Tax Bite in Wine Country" (November 26, 2012):
Simon Thillou likes to think of La Cave à Bulles, his shop here devoted only to beer, as a place where beer lovers can gather to taste new brews and, of course, discuss the state of the world. But this was one controversy he never saw coming, and wishes he never had: a proposed 160 percent increase in the tax on beer.

"The increase is brutal; 160 percent is a lot," said Mr. Thillou, 36, who prides himself on promoting French microbreweries. On a barrel near the entrance, a pile of fliers that say "+160% taxes on beer: Who is going to pay the price?" shows what he thinks of the government's latest plan for raising revenue.
The intent isn't actually against beer, but rather to help the French government cover its growing deficit, a problem that many European countries need to solve as social welfare spending puts a strain on state budgets. But maybe the tax won't happen:
Complaints about the tax increase are coming not just from customers, but from brewers, the food industry generally and politicians, who know that some voters, at least, like French ales. They say the government's public health arguments are an excuse to single out beer, instead of spreading the pain across all alcoholic drinks.

"If we want to keep industries and economic sectors, we can't do any old thing," said Bernard Gérard, a center-right politician in the National Assembly, Parliament's lower house. "Increasing excise duties by 160 percent seems completely unreasonable to me."
I agree, and this politician has my vote -- or would if I could vote in France. I'll just have to raise a glass of brew to his success in thwarting this evil proposition, even if I have to fill the glass with some overpriced, highly taxed, poor Korean beer . . .

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At 6:56 AM, Blogger ilTassista Marino said...

The Bottomless Barrier to Beer.

ha ha ha ha, the current word verification is "èmpila," Italian dialectal form meaning "just fill it up!" (i.e., the bottle)

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If it's bottomless, filling up could take some time . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all makes sense. Don't believe me? Check it out :)

Beer and mosquitoes

You see, French science is not dead yet :)


At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies. I screw sth up here.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"Why do mosquitoes dig beer drinkers? The French scientists aren’t sure. But they hypothesize that mosquitoes know that people who have consumed alcohol will be slower to notice bugs or defend themselves from bites."

Those damned mosquitoes will quickly learn the error of their assumption about this particular drinker of beer! Like the little tailor, I can kill seven at one blow!

I just need a belt -- not a drink or a fist, but the sort to wear -- with the deterring words stitched into it so those critters will have advance warning and leave me be . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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