Non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits are increasingly gaining popularity among legal-age drinkers.
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What are the rules on serving non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits?
Non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits are increasingly gaining popularity among legal-age drinkers; not just in months like Dry July but every month as adults look to reduce alcohol intake, avoid sugary, fruity mocktails or soda, and still enjoy social occasions.
While having these drinks available in venues is an important revenue and service option for bar operators a grey area has emerged over the service of these drinks to minors. Can a minor drink a non-alcoholic beer or cocktail in your venue?
Technically it is no different to any other non-alcoholic drink, so what are the rules?
While technically these are non-alcoholic drinks and so not covered by the official rules of alcohol service, how do you think it looks to have a minor drinking, what looks like a beer or a cocktail in your venue? And if they have one non-alcoholic beer can you be certain that every beer that is in front of them is not alcoholic and could you prove it if an inspector walked through the door?
Many of the companies who are creating these drinks view these as non-alcoholic options for adults looking to moderate – not as drinks for minors. So I don’t think these products are being marketed at minors, but it’s important to understand where you stand in your venue.
At this stage, these products are still being defined, largely, as non-alcoholic and so are not regulated in the same way as their alcoholic cousins. But as this segment continues to grow so aggressively, it will be interesting to see whether that stays the same.
As the marketing and quality of these products improve the rules may simply have to change.
(Source: Hospitality Magazine 21/07/22 by Andy Young)
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