Age Gates & Other Liquor Laws
But there are plenty of other wacky alcohol laws. Richmond’s C. Jarrett Dieterle, the nation’s leading alcohol policy expert, among other titles, recently published Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink! 65 Cocktails to Protest America’s Most Outlandish Alcohol Laws (Artisan Books, $16.95). In the book, he recaps alcohol history, profiles “spirited patriots,” and details liquor legislation—then matches a cocktail recipe to each absurd example. You’ll both laugh and wince when you learn Louisiana banned mini bottles of booze; gas stations in Indiana can only sell warm beer; and here in Virginia, happy hour advertising became legal just last year. It’s a fun collection of conversation starters and cocktail recipes. Plus, Dieterle often calls for Virginia-made spirits and mixers, and lists them in the Resources.
Still wondering about the age gates? Dieterle doesn’t cover them, but a little digging revealed that, even without a law, most alcohol trade associations require them of their members, presumably as a way of preventing underage drinking. And it might be working. In 2018, significantly more European and Scandinavian teens reported binge drinking than American kids. Maybe those inconvenient age gates help keep kids away from alcohol until they’re old enough to “drink responsibly.”