Bill would let students under 21 take college wine and beer courses – New Hampshire Bulletin

The Hospitality Program at the University of New Hampshire’s Paul College of Business and Economics offers courses ranging from event planning to finance. However, one of our most popular courses is only available to our oldest students.

Students studying International Wine and Beverage learn about the “wide world of wine, beer and spirits”. website statusBut they must be able to taste wine and beer – and that means being 21 or older.

Markus Schuckert, Professor and Chair of the Hospitality Program, said: “And they’re not 21, so they can’t take it.”

For Schuckert, it’s a little puzzling. Originally from Bavaria, Germany, he teaches at the University of Heilbronn in Germany and the Gleason University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, both countries where university students can legally drink wine and beer. And students in New Hampshire are already grappling with alcohol.

“They came up to me and said, ‘Marcus, I already work in a bar. I work in a supermarket. I’m selling drinks or I’m selling drinks,” Shuckert told the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Let’s say.”

Bradford Republican Senator Dan Innis wants to change that this year.

Bill introduced by Innis, Senate Bill 194New Hampshire students under the age of 21 and over the age of 18 are exempt from criminal prosecution if minors drink to sample wine or beer as part of an accredited college course.

Students must be enrolled in a college or university that offers an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in either oenology (study of wine) or oenology. And under the bill, students under the age of 21 are still not allowed to drink wine or beer. They are only allowed to “taste” it and can sip and spit it out afterwards.

Not just for students, the bill would also protect colleges from prosecution for serving alcohol to minors, as long as the same conditions are met.

If the bill passes, New Hampshire will California, florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, north carolina, Ohio, Oregon, rhode island, south carolina, WashingtonWhen Vermont In creating a “bite and spit” exemption for underage hospitality students. According to Vermont, he passed that law in 1985, partly to support the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier. wine spectator.

Innis believes the bill will allow for an “educational experience” that will enhance the utility of hospitality courses across the state. Knowing how to taste, differentiate and recommend wine is an important part of the hospitality industry, Innis said.

“It’s an important part of the dining experience and an important part of many people’s lives,” he said.

Proponents of the exemption argue that wine education is about more than just tasting wine. That includes knowing the region, breeds and history. They say that trying to teach the difference between wines without letting students taste them created a disadvantage.

Innis compared it to the laboratory. “If someone[studies]a difficult science, he’ll go to the lab once a week. It’s a similar situation here, where we want students to be able to experience what they’re learning.”

Schuckert likened it to a cake.

“If you’re a chef or you like to bake bread and you like to make cakes… you’re not allowed to taste the cake and see what it tastes like. You can’t learn from your mistakes,” he said. I was.

Proponents also pointed out that hospitality students work behind bars or as servers in restaurants and are unable to provide well-informed recommendations to customers.

“Our state allows a great deal of liberty in serving alcohol to 18- to 20-year-olds,” Ennis said.

But the New Hampshire Liquor Commission has concerns. Aiden Moore, the commission’s legal coordinator, said the proposed carve-out would make enforcement difficult.

Commission officials cannot attend every tasting on every campus, so they have to trust the schools, Moore said.

“I think it’s hard at best… Hold the instructor accountable to investigate students and make sure they spit out all the alcohol instead of swallowing it,” he said.

Moore also said the bill offers little opportunity for the commission to take action against universities that may be violating the new rules. He said there is nothing to stop or abolish if the commission identifies problems because they have not.

“If this could be abused, how would you deal with it?” he asked. “…if such a situation were to arise, it is highly unlikely that we would sue.”

New Futures, a health care advocacy group in New Hampshire, also spoke out. Kate Frey, vice president of advocacy, argued that it weakened the country’s thoughtfully crafted legal restrictions.

“The legal drinking age of 21 has saved lives and protected health,” Frey said, noting that the limit is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and mothers who oppose drunk driving. “As far as evidence-based public policy is concerned, there is no question.”

Frey also questioned enforcement, saying she feared the legislature would later move to create carveouts to other types of alcohol besides beer and wine. He said he was not convinced by the argument that hospitality students working in restaurants could benefit.

“I understand the serving discrepancies, but I think it’s a little different when sipping alcohol as opposed to serving alcohol,” Frey said.

Members of the Commerce Commission asked their own questions.

Bedford Republican Senator Dennis Riccardi asked if students who attended a wine tasting lesson could face legal trouble if they had an accident after class. If the student spit out the wine and drank the water, he thought that there might be alcohol left in the student’s breath, and argued that the blood alcohol concentration was negligible.

Sandown Republican Senator Bill Gannon had a different concern. “Here I am, I see the children trying to swallow the wine,” he said.

“Not a class that they do,” Ennis replied.

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