An annoying feature you come across on an increasing number of beer and brewery websites is a requirement to either enter your age or confirm that you are of legal drinking age in your country of residence. I assume this originally began in the US, but it has now spread to this country, for example on the website of Wells & Youngs.
Obviously these controls are easily circumvented by anyone with half a brain, and so are no more than a futile sop to political correctness, but even so there is an underlying assumption that it is undesirable for anyone under the legal drinking age to find out anything about alcoholic drinks, because if they did they would immediately head out for a mammoth binge. Presumably we’re not meant to see any schoolchildren researching projects on the brewing industry, although that in itself would probably lead to howls of outrage from the Righteous.
In most countries the legal age to drive a motor vehicle is at least 16, yet I don’t see any of these age controls on automotive websites, and indeed they are probably an endless source of fascination to pre-pubescent boys. Nobody suggests that being able to view the Ford website is going to encourage a 14-year-old to go out on a joyriding spree. So why do we have to have these double standards when it comes to drink?
Isn’t it time that, at least on this side of the Atlantic, those running beer-related websites stopped treating all their readers like naughty children?