Government cracks down on beer gardens

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The Public Health Ministry is cracking down on beer gardens popular during the cool season, warning operators against serving minors and to comply with laws regulating alcohol promotions by sponsors.

Assistant Minister Pansiri Kulnatsiri said Nov. 23 that beer gardens are considered event marketing, thanks to their heavy advertising and financial support from breweries.

Assistant Health Minister Pansiri Kulnatsiri (inset) warns beer garden owners to not target their advertising to entice underage drinkers. Assistant Health Minister Pansiri Kulnatsiri (inset) warns beer garden owners to not target their advertising to entice underage drinkers.

Of particular concern is the common practice of offering free music shows to draw in customers. Both the beer company advertising and the musical performances, she said, are too often aimed at the young. She reminded beer garden operators that no one under age 20 is allowed inside such gardens.

Since October, the ministry’s Office of Alcohol Beverage Control Commission has been monitoring beer gardens throughout the country and, to date, have filed 805 charges in 3,975 cases. A dozen cases against beer gardens are still pending, she said.