hist-brewing: Age

Bryan John Maloney bjm10 at cornell.edu
Thu Aug 15 09:24:17 PDT 1996

First, a gentle reminder:  This is not the "SCA brewing" mailing list, so 
don't presume that all who are in it are SCA folk.  I know that it's an 
extremely common habit for SCA folk to immediately leap to the 
unwarranted conclusion that anything vaguely "historical" must be them, 
but it just isn't the case.

(It's a bit of a tender spot with me because I also study rapier, the 
real thing, not epee in the round like SCA does, but SCA folk immediately 
presume that I'm talking about what they allege is rapier--but 
isn't--whenever I speak of my studies.)

Second, I think your question can have more general merit but far less 
trouble outside of the SCA.  In the broader homebrewing world, there are 
very, very few "minors", if any at all, who brew on their own 
recognizance.  Instead, they brew as "assistants" to their parents (or to 
their Uncle in Charlie Papazian's case...)  Thus, everything they do is 
presumed to be under direct parental supervision.

When it comes to actual AHA meetings, many of them are held in venues 
that won't permit minors anyway (taverns, etc.)  However, there is still 
the legal issue of permitting minors to help you brew.  (It's not a moral 
issue as far as I'm concerned.)  From what I've seen, it only approaches 
"legally safe" when the minors' parents are directly involved.  However, 
a good number of SCA members are mere children of 18-20, usually sans 
parents, thus we have a SCA-unique problem.

If you want to be legally butt-covered, I'd say that you should restrict 
all but "theoretical" application away from anybody under the local 
drinking age.  It may make you unpopular with the kiddies, but liquour 
laws are nothing to scoff at, and nothing can get you and your sponsoring 
group shut down faster than excise/liquour violations...

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