Share article:

    Only wine and beer authorized for the 16-18 age group

    (c) Belga
    (c) Belga

    Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 will now be authorized to consume wine and beer, but not spirits such as vermouth or beer mixed with tequila, Health Minister Maggie De Block announced on Friday. Explaining the new dispensation, De Block said there was now one exception to the ban on the sale, serving and offering of alcoholic beverages to people under the age of 18 years. “Beer and wine, including sparkling wine, are authorized from the age of 16,” she said.

    In concrete terms, minors cannot be served or consume: beer-based mixes to which a spirit or a spirit aroma has been added; beer labelled, presented or marketed with a reference to a spirit; and wine-based pre-mixes to which other drinks or products have been added.

    Beer-based pre-mixes to which a fruit aroma, another product or a non-alcoholic beverage has been added are authorized from the age of 16.

    When in doubt, the shop owner or bartender needs to check the age of the consumer, Mrs De Block said. She added that going further and banning wine and beer to people under 18 would make such beverages even more attractive to adolescents.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times