Until recently, any drinks containing less than 10% alcohol were regulated in the same matter as food and soft drinks.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the new classification be put into effect in order to counter his country's alcohol consumption levels which are "already twice the critical level" according to the World Health Organization.
Beer has been marketed as a healthier alternative to vodka, causing beer sales to rise more than 40% in the past decade.
Here's to your classification, Russia! Будем здоровы!
Source: BBC News