Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Point of Brew: Aged 21? Welcome to the Davis BeerFest

MichaelLewisW

By
From page A11 | May 22, 2014 |

It’s BeerFest time!

The 10th annual Davis BeerFest will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7, beneath the overpass at Sudwerk, 2001 Second St.

The BeerFest is a lot of fun and good value for money: Included in the entrance price of $40 in advance ($45 at the door) are, among other things, unlimited tasting of about 100 different beers from nearly 40 breweries, live music all afternoon provided by three bands, a delicious beer-brat sandwich and free parking at Target with a shuttle bus to and from the site.

There also will be a raffle and silent auction for your entertainment that, among many other things, will include some curious and interesting beers. Designated drivers are $10 at the door for everything except beer (sodas instead).

Please go online to Davis Beer Festival to purchase will-call tickets; that will save a few bucks and also speed entry to the site. Please plan to attend because this is an important fundraiser for Citizens Who Care; this local Yolo County charity receives every penny of income. Kind brewery owners donate the beers, the space is donated, volunteers staff the event and generous and much-appreciated sponsors help with many of the expenses.

This income funds a significant share of the expenses of CWC programs that bring respite and time off to the caregivers of shut-in patients who are mostly elderly; these programs of support help elderly folks stay home longer than otherwise might be possible. It’s a great cause!

There will be a few teenagers helping to set up the BeerFest site and to clean up afterward. Of course, those who enter the site during the hours that beer is being served must be over 21 years of age. That is because of the ridiculous provisions of the national Minimum Drinking Age Act that was passed 30 years ago (1984!) by a Congress stampeded into action by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

In this column I have complained bitterly and often about this age restriction, the highest in any advanced nation, to (of course) no effect. However, I hope I have explained that the law does not prevent youngsters from enjoying beer or wine around the family dinner table. To me, this is an important opportunity to demystify alcohol, to remove it from the realm of forbidden fruit and, indeed, to inform and educate youngsters about alcohol.

This last I have always thought most important because true ignorance is a potential disaster; it is rare, but always tragic, when a naïf drinks 21 shots of blackberry brandy on his 21st birthday and dies from the effects of alcohol poisoning or an unexpectedly drunken young women is raped on campus.

Learning how to drink alcohol sensibly and responsibility (or choosing not to drink) is a basic and necessary lesson of growing up; unfortunately, misinterpretation of the 1984 Drinking Age Act inhibits many parents from exercising that responsibility towards their youngsters in the privacy of the family home.

The 1984 act requires the states to prohibit persons under the age of 21 from “purchasing or publicly possessing” alcoholic beverages as a condition of receiving federal highway funds. Camille Paglia, in a piece in Time magazine (May 19, 2014) titled “It’s Time to Let Teenagers Drink Again,” makes the familiar arguments about the rights of 18-year-olds: Although teenagers can vote, marry and sign contracts, and fight for their country, some young veterans of the Bush/Cheney wars cannot legally buy a beer in a bar.

Paglia goes a bit further than I might go by claiming that, in the same way Prohibition in the 1920s eventually spawned the present global drug trade, so the 1984 Act pushed young people of today into binge drinking, pill popping, drug use and anti-social behaviors.

However, Paglia is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a libertarian and a feminist and doubtless knows whereof she speaks; she argues that the act pushed drinking underground and deprived young people (paraphrasing here) of “safe spaces where they could drink beer and socialize in a free but controlled environment” and spawned the “scourge of boorish fraternity keg parties cut off from the adult world.” I see her point, but I think there have been boorish fraternity keg parties ever since there were fraternities.

Paglia applauds the decriminalization of marijuana though she recognizes that there are many problems with pot, e.g., that it “saps energy and will power” and it is difficult to measure potency (that is not a problem with alcohol). But she praises the virtues of alcohol, taken in moderation, in much the same terms that I would use: “It relaxes, facilitates interaction, inspires ideas and promotes humor and is quickly flushed from the system with excess punished by a hangover.”

She contrasts these virtues with the dangers of “deadening pills and massively over-prescribed antidepressants that linger in the body and brain” and related to “unexplained suicides and massacres” though here I think she may be wandering off the point into paranoia. Finally she goes off the deep end entirely by blaming the 1984 act for “undermining the art of conversation and having a disastrous effect on our arts and letters with their increasing dullness and mediocrity.”

For all the weirdness, here and there, in Paglia’s piece, I am delighted to see this topic aired in a prominent national magazine. Maybe it will spark a reasonable conversation about this topic that eventually will lead to much more sensible laws around age and alcohol. But I’m not holding my breath.

When the legal age for young Germans to purchase beer and wine is 16 years (18 years in the United Kingdom, France and Italy), one must agree with Paglia’s last sentence and call to action: “This tyrannical infantilizing of young Americans must stop!”

— Reach Michael Lewis at cymro@sbcglobal.net. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8