Why execute you require ID to buy alcohol-free beer and also other “alcohol substitute” drinks? find out why pubs, bars and retailers give numerous alcohol-free drinks the same constraints as alcoholic ones.

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These days, it’s no surpriseto need ID when you purchase alcohol, even if you’re top top the wrong side of 30 likeme.

What us don’t intend is to have actually to present ID to buy alcohol-free beer.

After all, if there’s no alcohol in it, anyone should be able to buy the right?

If you’re a continuous buyer the alcohol-free beer, you’ll probably understand this isn’t the case. In countless pubs, bars and shops, alcohol-free drinks are treated the very same as alcoholic drinks.


Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Asda didn’t respond to mine requests for info on their plans on the promotion and sale that alcohol-free beer. But it’s clear the they and also other retailers room taking a comparable approach to AB-Inbev and also the Portman Group concerning the promotion and sale the alcohol-free beer in your stores.

Hey Jon, these products are typically dealcoholized, meaning they are assets aimed at adults rather than children. It would be wrong to offer such assets to under 18s together they are meant as a substitute for alcohol. 1/2

— Tesco (

Hi Laura, we carry out this due to the fact that as a responsible retailer, we don't want to promote alcohol like products to under age customers. Apologies for the inconvenience caused. Jess

— Waitrose & partners (

Co-op’s approach focuses on its reputation v customers and also the availability of alcohol substitute products to children.

A spokesperson for Co-opsaid: “As a responsible retailer us voluntarily limit the sale ofnon-alcoholic drink products which resemble a beer, wine or spirit, as we donot desire to offer the impression to customers that human being under 18 space beingpermitted to purchase assets that contain alcohol.”

As a responsible retailer us voluntarily limit the revenue of non-alcoholic drink assets which resemble a beer, alcohol or spirit…


Enforcing rules about alcoholic drinks

Another reason why pubs, bars and retailers regularly treat alcohol-free beer the same as assets that save on computer alcohol is to do it simpler to enforce rules concerning alcoholic drinks.

We’ve currently highlightedthat the packaging that alcohol-free beer is virtually identical to the of beerthat contains alcohol.

This isn’t much of an issue in shops, where point-of-sale systems deserve to flag increase the differences between alcohol-free and also alcoholic beer for staff to protect against them marketing alcoholic commodities to minors by mistake. (The knock-on effect of this is it also affects the availability of alcohol-free drinks whereby the revenue of alcohol is minimal to certain days or hours of the day.)

sainsburys i was refused a revenue of non-alcoholic beer past 10pm in among your Edinburgh shops recently. Why was ns refused a legit sale? The licensing (Scotland) plot 2005 particularly excludes "alcohol i beg your pardon is of a toughness of 0.5% or less at the moment of the sale".

— Scott (

But it can be an problem inpubs and also bars wherein owners space responsible for what human being drink on thepremises, and what lock buy. Here, it provides sense for them to treatalcohol-free beer the very same as alcoholic drinks to screen what client aredrinking.

For example, the UK’s Wetherspoon pub company doesn’t market alcohol-free beer to minors. That says, “it can be complicated for staff to distinguish in between customers who space drinking alcohol and also those drinking non-alcohol products.”

…it can be challenging for employee to distinguish between customers who room drinking alcohol and also those drink non-alcohol products.


Hi Francois. Because non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits are still offered in ours alcohol ar we apply the exact same rules together alcohol products. This is mostly to avoid any mix ups that could end up with alcohol being sold to who under age. Expect this helps – Cameron

— Tesco (

Over come you

Selling alcohol-free beer under 0.5% come minors isn’t illegal in most regions. And getting asked because that ID when buying alcohol-free beer have the right to be annoying, especially if friend don’t have any type of on you.

However, it appears that retailers are concentrated on society’s ideal interests by voluntarily restricting the revenue of alcohol-free beer. Your ultimate aim is to protect children from the threats of alcohol.

In the future, we might evensee legislation regarding the revenue of “alcohol substitute” productsand children. After ~ all, retailers voluntarily limited the sale of e-cigarettesto children before it came to be law. The same could happen with alcohol-free andnon-alcoholic beer as they become more and an ext popular.

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But is alcohol-free beer really a peril to minors? Or perform “alcohol substitute” drinks without alcohol actually promote healthy habits?

I’d love to understand your thoughts. Post me on Twitter or Facebook, or leave a comment below.