Seeing parents and their babies coming to the bar to have their favorite beverage (beer and milk) is not uncommon, especially in the US. 

However, bringing children to pubs is not a new trend; in fact, bars have had a long history of allowing those younger than the legal drinking age to patronize at the local pub dating back before the 20th century. Historian Christine Sismondo has revealed that in the entire American history and before the age restriction, it was quite normal for kids to be seen in bars.

A Short History about Babies in Bars

In colonial times, bars and pubs were meant for gatherings for the entire family. These were some of the most prominent places for all age groups to gather and enjoy food and news, and also to participate in community meetings and trials. According to Sismondo, “Beer was not certainly deemed as a luxury, or grace, or something that was evil and bad”. She further explained that beer was considered to be a substitute for a meal, so it was not surprising for a child to drink a light ale.

Things were changed after the prohibition. As soon as the 21st amendment came into power in 1933, many states chose to modify their drinking rules. Some of the laws were bizarre enough to even examine, but they are still active and applicable to this day. For example, in Wisconsin, the laws still allow people who are below 21 years to drink in pubs as long as they are accompanied by guardians, parents, spouses who are above 21. It appears to be that each stated had set its own drinking age, but after the Drinking Age Act proposed by President Reagan in 1984, the allowed age to drink or visit bars was fixed to 21 in the entire nation. There is much discussion in modern day about those who fall within the age group of 18-21 as America recognizes adults as those above the age of 18 (able to legally marry and enlist in the army) but legally they can not drink. This is why the Age Act is widely debated.

American’s association with alcohol is complex. On the other hand, Europeans had no prohibition and pubs remain a major institution for social gatherings. Unlike Americans, the European parents never put a full-stop in bringing along their kids to bars for a drink. Alison Grasso, a content creator, and beer admirer, reports that she continuously heard stories from Belgians that they began drinking beer when they were super young in their early teens.

Baby Crawling

Would you still be called good parents if you bring your kids to bars?

When it is about bringing kids to bars, there are two major views that are heard. One group believes that bringing your children to a place that serves several kinds of alcohol represents responsible parenting. But the other one believes that a bar is not a suitable venue to come along with kids as it may hurt their personalities. A comment in “All About Beer” magazine described the ills of allowing your kids to pubs by saying, “What kind of message are we giving to all these kids by taking them to a place where drinking is the main activity”.

But Ambassador for the 4 Hands Brewing Company, Jeremy Danner, believes that kids also have a right to socialize. He has also stated several times that he and his 6-year-old son go out together to enjoy a beer. To him, this is the best way to teach his son how to become sociable amongst others.

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