Across nations, there are laws prohibiting folks under a certain age from buying tobacco products, marijuana goods, and alcoholic beverages (like, in the United States, the legal drinking age is 21). Of course, this is meant to protect children and consumers alike—which is completely understandable. Recently, though, many people have been turning to non-alcoholic beers, which allow you to enjoy the refreshing taste of beer without the unwanted inebriating effects.
Even though there’s no alcohol in non-alcoholic beers, there are still laws around purchasing non-alcoholic beers across state lines. So, today, we’ve gathered to answer a simple question: Do you have to be 21 to buy non-alcoholic beer?
Do You Have To Be 21 To Buy Non-Alcoholic Beer?
From a safety standpoint, na beer is superior to alcoholic beer because it doesn’t contain anything that can alter your brain chemistry. Regardless of that fact, though, there are still laws surrounding the purchasing of non-alcoholic beers. Just like there are age restrictions for purchasing alcoholic beverages.
Before we get into what those restrictions are, let’s talk a bit about what a non-alcoholic beer is, if non-alcoholic beer is 100 percent alcohol-free, and in which states allow minors to buy non-alcoholic beer.
What Is a Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Put simply, a non-alcoholic beer has a low or non-existent alcohol content and does its best to reproduce the taste of alcoholic beer. Of course, you don’t get the effects of regular beer, but you also dob’t get the carbs—so it’s kind of a win-win situation if you’re trying to avoid alcohol.
Is Non-Alcoholic Beer 100% Alcohol-Free?
No, non-alcoholic beer is not 100% alcohol-free. Typically, when you drink non-alcoholic beer, it will have at least a 0.5 ABV, which isn’t nearly enough to get you drunk even if you drink 10. Because of this, some folks believe it’s no big deal to consume non-alcoholic beer under the age of 21.
(In case you’re wondering about the brewing process for non-alcoholic beverages, it goes a little something like this, according to NA Beer Club: “Non-alcoholic beers are typically brewed using one of four major methods: controlled fermentation, dealcoholization [or where you remove the alcohol], dilution, or simulated fermentation.”)
Can You Buy Non-Alcoholic Beer Under 21?
Let’s say you wanted to go into your local liquor store and get yourself a few non-alcoholic IPAs. We know that, under the Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, selling alcoholic beer to a minor is against the law. But the act says nothing about non-alcoholic beer.
For that reason, this answer varies from state to state. Some states allow minors to purchase non-alcoholic beers while other states do not. We get into a quick breakdown below.
What States Can Minors Buy Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Even though the national minimum drinking age is 21, there are 16 states in our nation that allow the buying of non-alcoholic beer by minors. Those are:
- New Jersey
- Ohio (must be over 18)
- Rhode Island
If you’re on a non-alcoholic drink kick, may we also suggest indulging in our top-rated non-alcoholic drinks? Not for nothing, but they’re pretty dang good.