Planning an evening out with friends at a club watching your favourite teams face off in the upcoming FIFA World Cup over a few beers or a weekend binge at a popular pub in the national capital? You may need to look out for the date of expiry on the label of your favourite bottle of beer before you get inebriated. For, in a report submitted to Delhi Assembly, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has found popular restro bars, clubs and pubs serving “expired beer” to customers.
In a written response to a question by AAP MLA Vishesh Ravi in the Delhi Assembly, the Excise Department has said that 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. 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.
Confusion over expiry date
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.
Apart from serving “expired beer”, 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 excise 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.