In June 2015, the department had submitted a proposal to the AAP government advocating bringing down the legal drinking age to 21 for consumption of beer and wine.
Before you gulp down your favourite brand of beer at a restro bar or a club in the city, make sure to check the expiry date on the bottle as the Delhi government has found some establishments serving “expired beer” to customers. The Excise department has found nine prominent venues in popular hangout spots like Hauz Khas, New Friends Colony and Connaught Place serving “expired beer” during surprise inspections between August 19, 2017 and April 13, 2018. Restro bar is a commonly used phrase that means a restaurant which serves alcoholic drinks and has characteristics of a bar or nightclub.
In a written response to a question asked by AAP MLA Vishesh Ravi in the Delhi Assembly, the Excise Department said 214 pubs, bars and restaurants were inspected by its Enforcement Branch during the past year and of these, 94 restro bars were found violating excise rules. According to data provided to the Assembly, nine restro bars located in Vasant Vihar, Rajouri Garden, Saket, New Friends Colony, Punjabi Bagh, Laxmi Nagar, Connaught Place and Janakpuri were found serving “expired beer” to customers during the inspections. An excise official said beer bottles of various brands have different written advice.
For instance, labels of beer bottles of some brands say “best before six months from the date of manufacture”, while others read “best before twelve months from date of manufacture”. “The department takes action if restro bars and clubs are found serving beer which has expired as per the written advice,” he said. Five cases of serving alcohol to “underage customers” were also found and complaints lodged with the police accordingly, the department said. In Delhi, the legal drinking age is 25 years.
In June 2015, the department had submitted a proposal to the AAP government advocating bringing down the legal drinking age to 21 for consumption of beer and wine. But, it was turned down. The department said during inspections, most of the restro bars and clubs were also found violating the seat-capacity condition. In these cases, fines were imposed on such establishments.