Europe can be split into three different regions: the southern wine belt (red), the central beer lands (gold), and the northern domain of distilled spirits (blue) (frequently referred to as the vodka belt). For the most part, these regions conform to agricultural realities (wine isn't as popular in the north, as it's almost impossible to grow grapes there) and historic cultural influences. The wine belt, for instance, almost conforms to the borders of the Roman Empire at its height, with the notable exceptions of the Slavic and Germanic regions, where the empire failed to produce a lasting cultural impression.
Thanks to global warming and cultural changes, both the wine and beer belts are slowly creeping north. Grapes are now being cultivated in what were traditionally the beer areas of Europe, while Scandinavians and Poles are starting to consume more beer and less vodka.
I'd like to see a map like this produced for the entire world, though I suspect that beer would be the dominate beverage almost everywhere.
Image by Strange Maps. Via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
By Stephen M.