Can You Buy Non Alcoholic Beer Under 21?

What is non alcoholic beer?

Non alcoholic beer is similar to conventional beer in terms of its taste and how it's made. Typically, the traditional process of creating beer is used for creating non alcoholic beer as well. However, the only difference between the two types of beer is that non alcoholic beer is advertised as a beverage that does not contain alcohol. All in all, non alcoholic beer is the safer option compared to conventional beer as it offers the taste without the harmful effects of alcohol.

Is non alcoholic beer completely alcohol-free

The advertisements of non alcoholic beer may be misleading, as the term 'non alcoholic' more often than not is actually 'low alcohol'. Most non alcoholic beers contain up to 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), which means that the alcohol content in them is incredibly low. So, the honest answer to this question is no - non alcoholic beer isn't completely alcohol-free. When consumed in moderation, the alcohol content in these beverages won't cause intoxication.

Famous beer brand Budweiser has recently launched Budweiser Zero, which contains 0.0% ABV. So, if you want the taste of beer with absolutely no effects of alcohol, Budweiser Zero is one of the safest options for you. You can also try Hairless Dog, which is yet another 0.0% beer similar to Budweiser Zero.

How old do you have to be to buy non alcoholic beer?

In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age (NMDA) Act was passed, which meant that to purchase beverages containing alcohol (irrespective of ABV) buyers had to be at least 21 years old. So, can you buy non alcoholic beer under 21? Well, technically, you can't, as the law forbids it. However, since the passing of the NMDA Act, many states have framed their own laws on the purchase of non alcoholic beverages. In the following states, buyers under the age of 21 years are allowed to both buy and consume non-alcoholic beer:

  • Minnesota
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska

How do you drink non alcoholic beer if you are under 21?

While the purchase of non alcoholic beer is illegal for individuals under 21 years old in most states across the USA, consumption is not. So, the good news for you is that you can drink non alcoholic beer under the age of 21, even though you can't purchase it. You might be wondering how that's even possible. Well, the law states that individuals who are yet to turn 21 can drink alcoholic beverages under their parents' supervision.

So, if you want to drink non alcoholic beer at a party or a gathering, you have to be accompanied by your parents. Also, it's your parents who have to be the buyers of the beverages. For example, if your father agrees to buy you a non alcoholic beer and is okay with you consuming it, you can drink it without worrying about any legal repercussions.

Can you drink non alcoholic beer if you are under 18?

If you are a minor, i.e. under 18 years old, you're in luck! You can drink non alcoholic beer in most states across the USA. However, as is the case with drinking for under-21 individuals, you need your parents' permission to drink non alcoholic beer, and they have to be with you when you are drinking. If you go to a retail shop or a bar to purchase non alcoholic beer, you will typically have to provide your age proof (any valid ID).

Additionally, individuals under 21 can only consume alcoholic beverages that have been given to them by their parents. Also, you can't drink non alcoholic beer at a club, pub, or bar if you are under-18, even if your parents are accompanying you. However, this varies from one state to another. You need to be at your residence or a private property to drink with the consent of your parents.

Under-18 individuals are also permitted to drink in some special situations, such as:

  • For medication: Certain medications contain low traces of alcohol, and if an under-18 individual needs to consume such medication for treating a medical condition, the individual is permitted to consume it.
  • For religious purposes: Religious congregations like Communion typically involve drinking alcohol, and under-18 individuals are allowed to drink at such congregations.
  • For undercover or sting operations: If minors are engaged in undercover or sting operations and are needed to consume alcohol for their outcomes to be successful, they have the permission to drink from the authorities.
  • For educational purposes: Minors engaged in culinary courses are allowed to drink as much as required for completing their studies successfully.

Additionally, minors working in the beverage and food sector can buy alcoholic beverages for work purposes. However, they are not allowed to consume the beverages they buy for work.

Can you drink non alcoholic beer when driving?

It's best to avoid non alcoholic beer when driving, even though its alcohol content is negligible. In most states, the authorities view non alcoholic peers the same way they do alcoholic beverages. Don't worry, a bottle or two of non alcoholic beer isn't likely to affect your driving. This may cause a lapse in concentration, which is likely to increase the risks of an accident. Non alcoholic beers are also subject to open container laws. So, the cops are very likely to pull you over if they see that you are consuming non alcoholic beer when driving. Last but not the least, you should know that it's illegal for under-21 individuals to drive when their blood alcohol levels are 0.02% or higher.