Can a Minor Buy Non-alcoholic Beer?

Non-alcoholic drinks are a great alternative for people who can’t have alcohol. If you’re under 18, you can drink non-alcoholic socially without facing negative consequences. But can a minor buy NA beer?

Minors can buy non-alcoholic beer because it’s technically like coffee, tea, or a soft drink. But the rules vary widely across different states. Some states ban selling non-alcoholic beer to minors. In other states, it’s unregulated. 

This article explains everything you need to know about purchasing NA beer as a minor. Keep reading to find out what states allow and which ones ban it.

Is Non-alcoholic Beer 0%?

Is Non-alcoholic Beer 0%

Non-alcoholic beer has most of its alcohol content removed. But depending on the process, a tiny percentage of alcohol may remain in the beer. So, it’s highly likely that the non-alcoholic beer is not 0%.

Natural fermentation or flavors can add traces of alcohol to non-alcoholic beer. A non-alcoholic beer may have 0.04%-0.3% of alcohol. So, the US law allows up to 0.5% of alcohol in non-alcoholic beer.

If you want a 0% beer, check the label. But many producers don’t disclose the true alcohol levels on their bottles. A study examined 45 drinks for their true ethanol levels. 29% of these beverages had higher levels than they had declared. And 13% of them had alcohol levels higher than 1%.    

This means that you can’t be sure a non-alcoholic beer is 100% alcohol-free. Thus, the regulations may also be based on these issues.                                                    

Regulations for Buying Non-alcoholic Beer in Different States in the U.S.

Regulations for Buying Non-alcoholic Beer in Different States in the U.S.

The regulations on beer drinking in the U.S. are state-level. According to federal law, non-alcoholic beer can’t have more than 0.5% alcohol. This is the accepted percentage on the state level, too. Plus, the Federal Alcohol Administration Act refers to beer containing less than 0.05% alcohol as:

  • Malt beverage
  • Cereal beverage
  • Near beer

So, non-alcoholic beer is technically not beer.

And according to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, the minimum age for drinking alcoholic beverages is 21. But state laws for selling non-alcoholic beer to minors vary.

Some treat non-alcoholic beer the same as alcoholic types. So, they have age restrictions for drinking and purchasing non-alcoholic beer. Others allow it.

States that prohibit the purchase of non-alcoholic beer by minors include:

States Prohibiting the Purchase of Non-alcoholic Beer By Minors States that Allow or Don’t Regulate the Purchase of Non-alcoholic Beer By Minors
● Florida 

● Georgia

● Indiana

● Kansas

● Maine

● Michigan 

● Missouri 

● Nebraska

● New York

● Ohio

● Pennsylvania

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

In these states, you must be over 21 to purchase non-alcoholic beer. In other states, purchasing non-alcoholic beer by people under 21 is either unregulated or permitted.

Still, you may not be sold an NA beer in bars or clubs, even if it’s allowed in your state. Many places avoid the social and legal consequences.

They believe that selling a non-alcoholic drink to a minor doesn’t guarantee that they drink it. They may exchange it with an alcoholic drink with the help of an adult over 21.

Plus, NA beer looks exactly like a regular beer. So, if a minor drinks a glass of beer, nobody can tell if it’s NA. This can be negative in the eyes of other customers.  

Note. Regulations for selling non-alcoholic beer to minors vary greatly. So, you may find different laws in each jurisdiction. Thus, checking your local laws while purchasing non-alcoholic beer is recommended.

Vendor Policies for Selling Non-Alcoholic Beer

Vendor Policies for Selling Non-Alcoholic Beer

Although non-alcoholic beer contains less than 0.5% alcohol, the vendor policies are strict. The laws for selling non-alcoholic beer are even more confusing for venues. Different states have varying rules for selling non-alcoholic beer in places other than bars and restaurants.

Supermarket Policies

You may see non-alcoholic beer in some grocery stores and supermarkets. Non-alcoholic beer is no different than soft drinks and sodas. So, their sale may be subject to lax rules. This means many supermarkets can sell non-alcoholic beer.

Still, they may need specific permits. That’s because different states approach such drinks differently. These permits may differ from those required for selling alcoholic drinks.

Plus, the stores may be required to place their drinks on specific shelves. These shelves aren’t in plain sight to prevent exposing minors to alcoholic drinks.

In some places, selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be strictly regulated. For example, liquor stores in New York are prohibited from selling non-alcoholic drinks. So, you can find such drinks only in supermarkets.

So, selling non-alcoholic beer in supermarkets is mostly unregulated. But sellers must consult their local authorities before stocking up on such drinks. Franchise laws may also put more restrictions. So, they must comply with those, too.  

Online Sales Policies

Selling non-alcoholic beer online is generally unregulated. So, you can find such beverages in many online markets. Plus, manufacturers can ship their products online.

You can find non-alcoholic beer on major online marketplaces like Amazon. Unlike alcoholic beverages, you don’t need to provide an ID to buy a non-alcoholic drink on Amazon.

Still, states approach this issue differently. So, sellers should check their local laws. They may need to get specific permits.

Health Implications for Minors Consuming Non-Alcoholic Beer

Health Implications for Minors Consuming Non-Alcoholic Beer

Non-alcoholic beer has many benefits. It’s a great way to enjoy beer’s taste and flavor. Plus, it doesn’t have the negative effects of alcohol. But it has drawbacks.

Minors may be allowed to drink non-alcoholic beer. But it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% healthy. The main issue is that non-alcoholic beer can still have trace amounts of alcohol. They can’t make the person drunk. But they can have negative effects.

According to studies, alcohol can

  • Impair development
  • Disrupt hormones
  • Increase violence and injuries
  • Cause depression

Non-alcoholic drinks may not have these effects. Their alcohol content is near zero. But minors can rely on this and drink too much. This can cause several issues.

  • High sugar content. Most of these drinks have too much sugar. It’s used to compensate for the reduced alcohol. Sugar can increase the daily calorie intake.
  • Triggering alcohol cravings. Non-alcoholic beer is still fermented. It has the taste and flavor of alcoholic beer minus the alcohol. This feature can create cravings in minors to try the real drink.  
  • Alcohol content. These drinks still have alcohol. If drunk too much, they can raise the BAC. That’s particularly important given the zero-tolerance The BAC of underage drivers can’t be over 0.02%.

Societal Implications of Non-Alcoholic Beer Consumption

Drinking non-alcoholic beer is on the rise. But it’s still a new phenomenon. Let’s explore what people think of it.

Societal Views on Non-Alcoholic Beer

Societal Views on Non-Alcoholic Beer

People are looking for ways to reduce their calorie and alcohol intake. The new health trends encourage people to minimize anything unhealthy. As a new trend, NA beer has lovers and haters.

People like NA beer since:

  • It’s a perfect alternative for people in recovery.
  • It can help social drinking without posing health threats and calories.
  • It’s refreshing and tastes like regular beer.

Still, there’s still some resistance. The opponents of NA beer believe it doesn’t taste like regular beer. It also has societal implications.

A study on the stereotypes around drinking alcohol found that alcohol drinking is generally viewed as a masculine trait. Women drink NA beer more than men.

So, a person who drinks NA beer may face stigma for showing feminine behaviors. Plus, alcohol is associated with coolness and freedom. But NA drinks imply restraint and consciousness.

Besides, drinking NA beer may not be ideal for people on recovery. It can trigger cravings and lead to relapses.

Market Trends and Societal Views on Non-Alcoholic Beer

Market Trends and Societal Views on Non-Alcoholic Beer

Drinking is a staple of every gathering. But not everyone is interested in drinking alcohol. NA drinks have been around for a long time. But they have become popular recently.

Right now, young people seem to drink NA beer more than other age groups. But this trend is changing. People are becoming more interested in these types of drinks.

A study conducted in the UK suggested that drinking NA beer is a new trend in higher socioeconomic families. This may help spread the trend.

People can drink NA beer and still feel they’re part of a group. Besides, they don’t face negative outcomes like hangovers and DUI punishments.

NA beer’s market share shows the same trend. According to Statista, the sales revenue of NA beer was $2.2 billion in 2014. But it grew to $6.5 billion in 2023. And it’s expected to grow to $8.51 billion in 2027.

Can Minors Legally Drink Non-alcoholic Beer

Can Minors Legally Drink Non-alcoholic Beer

The minimum age for purchasing non-alcoholic drinks varies between states, with some requiring consumers to be 21 and others having no age restriction. But what about drinking? Can you drink non-alcoholic beer if someone else has purchased it?

Generally, you can drink non-alcoholic beer if you’re under 21. If you can purchase it, you can drink it. But what about the states where you can’t buy non-alcoholic beer? You can drink under supervision if your state bans this. The supervision can be provided by:

  • A parent
  • A Guardian
  • A Spouse

This is also the case for alcoholic beer. Most states allow minors to drink beer if a parent or guardian is present.  


Minors can buy NA beer in many states. Other states, like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, only allow the purchase of NA beer if you’re over 21. Still, you can drink non-alcoholic beer if offered by a parent, guardian, or spouse.

Can a Minor Buy Non-alcoholic Beer

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