A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


Comments are locked. No additional comments may be posted.

Todd R. -

I have to agree that the pushing the legal drinking age to 21 was a big mistake here in the US. At 18 or 19 someone's first legal drink would typically be in the presence of your family, at 21 it's most likely in the presence of your frat/sorority buddies, who's usually looking to see how drunk they can get you. Any wonder why binge drinking is such a problem?

MADD really needs to concentrate on the much more realistic goal of educating people to prevent drunk driving, NOT prohibition. We tried that before, and it didn't work all that well.


Stephen Beaumont -

The age of majority south of the border may be a state-level issue, but the establishment of a national legal drinking age of 21 was certainly a federal initiative. It happened during the Regan years, when the White House threatened any state that did not raise their drinking age to 21 with the complete elimination of their federal highway funding. There was some initial griping, as I recall, but it didn't take long for all 50 states to comply.

Stonch -

A police chief in the UK proposed a raise in the drinking age to 21 this week. Mentalist. Surprisingly lots of people expressed agreement. It would never happen, of course.

Alan -

Yes, Stephen, it arose from a Federal funding threat in the way that in Canada funding of health care minimum standards is subject to a level of national pressure. But there is a huge amount of state to state variation of the law which interestingly results in a large number of states effectively nullifying the Federal policy pressure.

Brian -

Wisconsin's laws are a little weird for the 18-20 crowd - I remember being in college and wanting to catch a friend's band at a bar. Even with my parents along, I wasn't allowed in. It may have been just that bar's decision, but the reasoning was that I was no longer a minor under my parents' control, so the law you quoted didn't apply, and I wasn't yet 21, so, yeah.

Although reading the actual text makes me think that they were wrong.

Christopher Foyle -

Raising the drinking age in the US was the dumbest idea since prohibition. Like gun control advocates, prohibitionists see the object as the problem rather than the human heart. It is not access to beer or wine but a lack of self-control that results in alcohol abuse.

I was "lucky" enough to have the drinking age raised on me TWICE between 18 and 21. When I was one month short of 18 North Carolina (where I grew up) raised the age to 19. After I turned 19 I was legal for 11 months before they raised it again to 21.

Did this prohibition prevent me from consuming alcohol? Absolutely not. It did increase my foolish and reckless use of it, including drinking and driving (as I was not allowed to drink in bars, friends would procure alcohol for me and I would find somewhere isolated to consume it and often be the "designated drunk driver").

Anyone who is considered a legal adult in society should have the choice of drinking alcohol or not.

What the United States (and MADD) DOES need to crack down on is our idiotic driving regulations in this country. It is much to easy for any fool to get a driver's license. The penalties for careless driving and especially drunk driving should be severe. First offense- 12 months without a license, Second offense- 5 years, Third offense-- lifetime banishment from driving.

Dylan -

Look at Italy, no "recognized" drinking age, yet you don't see them having major problems like us. You can also drink alcohol openly on the streets any time of day. Everything has to do with education and the fact that North Americans put such a negative twist on alcohol unlike Europeans who accept it as a part of life.

G -

You have to LOOOOOOOVE the USA for their policies and laws.
They deem a person under 21 or even 18, mature and responsible enough to be send to war while handling a weapon to kill others and probably die, but he is not responsible enough to have a beer or know when not to drink too much at the same age.

Can anyone see the irony?
I dont want to hear that they are properly trained to go to was. If thats the case then we can train our teens the same way not to drink and drive and kill someone.

Another problem I see here is when you give someone a drivers license at 16, while they have never had a drink b4 and they dont know how to handle alcohol, what do you htink will happen when they drink for the first time and drive.

Let them drink at a young age. Then let them drive after they know that while I am drunk there is no way I should be driving.
I was raised in Greece. There was no legal drinking age. We also got our drivers license at 18 not 16.

While growing up alcohol was available everywhere. No one in high school really cared about drinking or going out to get drunk. Trust me I was one of the 'BAD' kids I was by no means an angel child and did not hang out with any other well behaved kids.
Coming to Canada I found it very weird that peoples attitude was lets go to a bar and get hammered. We didnt go to bar to get hammered. We went to have fun.
The only reason this is happening is by making it not legal at a younger age teens over do it when they are of age.
Lets not forget that teens around 14 15 all they want is to appear older and do what older teens do. Thats why they end up smoking, doing drugs etc. They do it to fit in and appear older.

Then, We all know that when we tell a teen 'dont do this' thats when they really want to do it.

Maybe the answer to all this drinking and driving is, let them drink... dont let them drive at the age of 16 17 18 or even 19.

Let them learn the consequences of drinking first hand. Let them experience at a younger age the fact that they cannot control them selfs properly while drunk. Then give them a drivers license and I really don't think they would be drinking and driving.
Bottom line... I rather give my 17 year old a beer than give them a riffle and send them to war.

justin -

ye seee that sucks, canada has much better laws over this, In Ontario you must be 19, which in my opinion is a year to late, 18 is a great age like i montreal. Montreal laws are one of the best as they are more of a guideline.

Careless driving -

Laws are flawed everywhere in my opinion. No system is perfect