The more I read about the cultural differences between the nations when it comes to bars and booze the more I know how little I know. Who knew, for example, that the Swiss needed to bring in a ban on free beer?
...the Cabinet has drafted a plan to ban restaurateurs from offering any free drinks to customers. It cited the director of the Swiss Alcohol Board on Sunday as saying an existing ban on promotions involving other alcoholic beverages would be extended to include beer.
Note the second word in that quotation. "Cabinet." This means while other nations are worrying about the economy, war or natural disasters, the Swiss are coming to grips with something few have ever seen. A free beer promotion culture....except the are going to keep the exception for "spontaneous" rounds to regulars. The "regulars" vote must carry some weight at the Federal level.
Lots of media outlets are carrying the story but they are all based on the one AP item. The central Federal government website has more information about the Swiss Alcohol Board's policies - and it seems that until this proposal beer has not regulated at all, along with cider and wine. Despite the slightly tortured translation, you have to give some credit for this page that's actually an effort to make the law of alcohol promotion make sense. So, while I may find it odd that the Swiss don't want any more ball caps with a beer label on it, at least now I know. Heck, a government that tells you how to make your own brandy can't be all bad.