This Man Was Carded Buying Zero-Alcohol Beer and He’s Grappling for Answers

A man who was forced to show ID buying Budweiser Zero is wondering why a so-called zero-alcohol beer has the same age minimum as alcoholic beverages.


Oct. 31 2023, Published 3:44 p.m. ET

How do so-called “zero-alcohol beers” actually contain alcohol? A TikTok user ran up against this question trying to buy Budweiser Zero, only to be asked to show ID for the purchase.

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As it turns out, some non-alcoholic drinks aren’t entirely non-alcoholic — remember the TikTok user who realized the NA drink she was promoting had trace amounts of alcohol? “I don’t understand how someone can advertise so bold about being alcohol-free, there being zero percent alcohol, but still actually contain alcohol,” that user, @brittanyjade___, said in that video.

Now, we have the case of the TikToker who didn’t understand why he had to prove himself to be of legal age to buy Bud Zero.

A store employee demanded that this guy show his ID for a Budweiser Zero purchase.

In his Oct. 24 upload, TikToker @averageculinary shared his confusion. “Bro, can someone explain to me why I’m getting ID’d for zero-alcohol beer?” he said from the driver’s seat of his car, examining the box of zero-alcohol Bud next to him. “‘Budweiser Zero, full-flavored, zero-alcohol brew. 0.0 percent alcohol.’ Why am I getting ID’d?”

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Apparently, a store employee gave the TikToker a hard time during checkout. “She literally would not sell it to me. Dude, I have my ID, first of all. I have my ID. I was just confused as to why I had to show my ID and why you won’t sell it to me if I don’t have my ID if there is no f------ alcohol in it.”

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He went on: “She was like, ‘Well, it says zero, but there’s still alcohol in it.’ Either the box is wrong in six different spots and Google is also wrong, or you’re just on some weird power trip, or your system is all f-----. Like, why are y’all ID’ing for zero-alcohol beer? You can literally drink this stuff and drive. Am I wrong?”

Twist! The store employee might have been right.

In the comments on @averageculinary’s video, other TikTok users weighed in on the confusing transaction.

“Bartender here,” one person wrote. “It’s the law for some reason.”

Another commenter said, “Zero alcohol doesn’t mean zero alcohol. There are and may be small traces of alcohol in ‘non-alcoholic’ products.”

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Indeed, a blog post on the website for Surely nonalcoholic wines says that non-alcoholic beverages can still be labeled as such even if they have up to 0.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).

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“That low percent alcohol is similar to what you’d find in some fruit juices, breads, and super ripe bananas,” Surely added. “It’s not enough to get you drunk or result in a morning-after hangover, but it’s also not accurate to say that non-alcoholic beer is 100 percent free of alcohol.”

And Bud Zero is one of the beverages that might actually have more than zero alcohol, Surely adds: “Even big brands like Heineken 0.0, Budweiser Zero, and Guinness 0.0 that market their beer as alcohol-free may have trace amounts of alcohol that allow them to round down to that number.”

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