The comparability of general population studies on alcohol from nine European countries is evaluated from three points of view: (1) methodologic aspects influencing alcohol estimates, (2) variation between countries in coverage of sales estimates of alcohol consumption, and (3) associations between type of question used to measure alcohol consumption and gender differences in alcohol consumption. With respect to methodologic aspects, it was found that the studies differed on most of the 10 points included in this comparison. The coverage of sales estimates by surveys varies between 39% (Germany) and 56% (France). With respect to type of question and gender differences, it was found that more elaborate sets of questions on alcohol consumption are associated with smaller gender differences in the prevalence of heavy drinking (>600 g 100% alc/mo). It is concluded that the methodologic differences between studies and the differences in sales coverage do not allow cross-national comparison of survey estimates of alcohol consumption of different European countries. Compared with more elaborate sets of questions on alcohol consumption, simple questions on alcohol consumption are likely to underestimate gender differences in the prevalence of heavier drinking.