Alcohol-free beer and age restrictions

I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t looked at the licensing laws at all. I’m just spitballing.

My mate Ian came over yesterday to help me take a bunch of stuff to the recycling centre from the shed and then we went to Tesco last night to get a few bits for dinner. Since he was driving back to his later and his brother had been mentioning it, we got some alcohol free beer.

He got some Warsteiner (0.0%) and I got some Pistonhead (0.5%). We headed to the checkout and the girl at the checkout scanned Ian’s beer first. The checkout beeped at her. “Sorry, I need to get someone to confirm this, I’m 17”. I nod automatically then Ian mentions something obvious “But it’s zero percent”. She agrees but says something about alcohol and age limits.

We left discussing this, if someone was underage, and they tried to buy zero percent beer on its own – would they be allowed? Ian remarked how Tesco Mince Pies (so topical!) had brandy in them and other products had traces of alcohol. Was it because these were “beer” and therefore still fall under the same licensing act?

If we had bought just mince pies, would the girl at the checkout have been able to sell us those without authorisation?

Something to ponder.

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