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Personally I don't like the stuff, but I was wondering what the implications would be?

Obviously it's non-alcoholic so not against company policy and doesn't break any rules. But it smells like beer, looks like beer (bad if any clients are visiting) and might raise eyebrows?

Is the fact that it can be mistaken for an unsuitable product cause for it to become an unsuitable product?

Oh how philosophical...

UPDATE: I'm in the UK and the non-alcoholic beer here is advertised as being 0.03% - 0.05% alcohol (I checked the ones in my local supermarket). There is one marketed as 0.0% but I think they're rounding down to one decimal place. However, as the answers have pointed out, the fact that there is any alcohol at all probably makes this question redundant.

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    Actually it does contain a small amount of alcohol. Typically up up 0.5% alcohol and still be called alcoholic-beer. For example in my state it cannot be sold to someone under drinking age.
    – paparazzo
    May 9, 2016 at 18:59
  • @Paparazzi I didn't realise that - I just checked and the alcohol level of the ones sold here in the UK are around 0.03% vol but even one listed as 0.00% vol still has a minimum purchase age of 18
    – Lyall
    May 9, 2016 at 19:08
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    @Paparazzi You and OP may both find this wiki article interesting: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-alcohol_beer
    – Lumberjack
    May 9, 2016 at 19:21
  • I'm just curious since you said you don't even like the stuff. Why are you considering drinking it at work, seeing as you don't even like it?
    – Brandin
    May 9, 2016 at 19:33
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    @AlexandreVaillancourt Not if you share it ;)
    – Lyall
    May 9, 2016 at 19:55

2 Answers 2

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Depending on your job responsibilities and the jurisdiction, it may be forbidden by law.

For example, in the state where I live, the law makes no special allowance for "non-alcoholic" beer. While it is classified under definitions as "immitation liquor" it is still subject to all of the liquor laws. You must be 21 years old to purchase, driving with an open container is illegal, etc.

The laws governing alcohol in the US state of Maine are contained in Title 28-A of the Maine Revised Statutes. Subsection 2 (Definitions) defines Alcohol as follows.

  1. Alcohol. "Alcohol" means the substance known as ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl or spirit of wine which is commonly produced by the fermentation or distillation of grain, starch, molasses, sugar, potatoes or other substances, and includes all dilutions and mixtures of these substances.

In some occupations it is illegal to consume alcohol while on the job, and in many companies it is forbidden by policy.

Conversely in less formal companies, although it is far from commonplace, you may find yourself in a more relaxed environment where the boss encourages you to have an actual beer at the end of a long day.

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Actually it does contain a small amount of alcohol. Typically up to 0.5% alcohol and still be called non-alcoholic beer. For example in my state it cannot be sold to someone under drinking age. It is more than a trivial amount of alcohol.

The typical process (fermentation) produces alcohol. Since water and alcohol are azeotropes you cannot get much less than 0.5% without get exotic.

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