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An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethyl alcohol which is commonly referred to as ethanol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes for taxation and regulation of production: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries with over 100 countries having laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption. The production and consumption of alcohol occurs in most cultures of the world, from hunter-gatherer peoples to nation-states. Alcohol is widely available, with beer being the third most popular drink overall in the world, after water and tea. (via Freebase)