Maine has a decades-old law that prohibits advertising or otherwise promoting the alcohol content of beer. For a long time this law was unenforced. Yet as Jacob Sullum reports, the Maine Liquor and Lottery Commission is now enforcing the law and interpreting it to prohibit the disclosure of ABV-content on bar and restaurant menus. Sullum points to this story explaining that regulators fear disclosing the alcohol content of beers will encourage underage drinking and “overserving.”
This is just baffling and backward on so many levels. Beyond the obvious fact hat most people generally know how much alcohol they’re consuming in a given beer, every other trend in the civilized world for the last century or so has been toward giving consumers more information about what they’re consuming–not less.