Kids buying “beer”

If you owned a restaurant, would you allow a 13-year-old to buy O’doul’s?

O’doul’s is a non-alcoholic beer, as is Kaliber (which is the brand that we sell).

Recently, we had a kid ask for a non-alcoholic beer, and I just didn’t feel that was a good idea. I mean, can you imagine walking into our restaurant and seeing some kid tipping back a bottle of beer? Weird.

Yet, I didn’t know if it were legal or not. I’ve insisted that our front staff check ID for anyone purchasing beer from our cooler… does this beer count?

So I sent the following email to our local liquor enforcement officer:

Are we permitted to sell non-alcoholic beer to minors?

We carry O’doul’s and Kaliber, which have negligible alcohol content. I
recently had a minor ask to purchase the O’doul’s, and I refused that
sale. I also recently had a customer ask to take her remaining N/A beer
home in a to-go cup, which I told her that I was unable to do because I
wasn’t certain if it were allowed by law.

Thank you for your time,
Keeneye

Here was his response:

That is an excellent question, and an issue which is frequently confused or misunderstood. There are two laws/rules that define what an alcoholic beverage means. OAR 845.007.0010 states that “an alcoholic beverage” contains more than one-half of one percent alcohol by volume. ORS 471.001(1) defines “alcoholic beverage” and “alcoholic liquor” as any liquid or solid containing more than one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and capable of being consumed by a human being.
 
It’s my understanding that both O’Doul’s and Kaliber contain less than 0.05% of alcohol by volume. Therefore, the prohibitions set forth in ORS 471.410 (regarding furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21) technically do not apply to N/A beverages such as these.
 
However, I must point out that many retailers have policies requiring ID for NA beers, in my experience mostly because of the way their departmental bar code POS systems are set up. For example, I frequently find myself having to present ID for O’Doul’s Amber at Fred Meyers.
 
So, bottom line is that it’s up to the retailer. However, it’s not a legal requirement in this state.
 
Does this make sense?
 
Best Regards,
Lieut. DUDE
It makes sense…. however, I can’t imagine selling a Kaliber to a high-school student during lunch. Or, drinking an O’doul’s while driving my car home at night. Seems like it should be illegal, although, if they have negligible alcohol content, I guess it makes sense.

It would be odd to see a 10-year-old sipping on a cold beer in our dining room, though, so I think I’ll stick to our house policy.

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One Response to Kids buying “beer”

  1. JEn says:

    Sooo I am guessing that we shouldn’t buy one for Jack next time. Would it be better if we slipped it into his sippy cup? Seriously, what parent would allow that?

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