In The Netherlands, the law also prevents selling alcohol free beer to minors.

What can be reasons for this? Is alcohol free beer also addictive, and does it therefore attract minors to much to alcoholic beer? Or does alcohol free beer contain a substance that is also harmful to the (young) brain?

3 Answers 3


Alcohol free beer is not non-alcoholic, it does still contain some alcohol. It often contains around about 0,5%. A beer can be called alcohol-free from 1%.

To specifically respond to your situation I could not find any source saying that the Netherlands have an age restriction on alcohol-free beer. On the contrary the following sources indicate the opposite.

Sources (Dutch of course):

Ik ben 17 jaar, mag ik alcoholvrij bier kopen?

Mogen jongeren onder de 16 alcoholvrij bier kopen?

  • 4
    That doesn't really address the why though. If a beverage is labeled non-alcoholic it means the content is low enough that your body will process it without getting you drunk. Orange juice is commonly cited as a beverage with similar alcohol content to non-alcoholic beers but it is readily available. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 18:23

It is also often seen as a gateway if you let kids buy bottles of lets say Becks Blue it gets them in to drinking at a young age and as a younger body is still not fully developed it can lead to health issues or dependency on alcohol from an early age so it really comes down to not enough research on how a younger body can processes it and it is really hard to get that research done as we don't really want to be giving alcohol to kids


Alcohol free actually means alcohol free. Non-alcoholic beers (aka: NA beers, near beers etc) contain .5% or even less than .05%. Every "Alcohol Free" beer I have ever seen have actually been 0.0% and will also state "Nontaxable under section 5051 IRC". They are not brewed to ferment, they are essentially seltzers made with most ingredients used to make beer. "Alcohol Free" means 100% alcohol free. Non-Alcoholic means it contains less than .05% or up to .5%. Many people don't know the actual difference but the use of the word "beer" in alcoholic free beer is simply for marketing and is no different from being in ginger beer and root beer and birch beer.

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