For beer purists, alcohol-free suds are a joke, if not an insult. But one group in Turkey, where alcohol-free beer has been recently introduced, is taking this strange brew very seriously, warning that there's no way to have your cake and drink it too. From the Hurriyet Daily News:
Alcohol-free beer is a trap set for children by liquor producers, said Muharrem Balcı, the head of Yeşilay (Turkish Green Crescent), a Turkish association combating drug abuse and alcoholism, yesterday.
“Liquor producers target the youth to increase their market share and alcohol consumption and therefore come up with various tactics to lower the age to start drinking alcohol. One of them is the ‘alcohol-free beer’ hoax,” he said....
....“Although [the rate of alcohol in alcohol-free beer] is under the legal limit, [the amount] is very significant,” Balcı said, adding that the Institution of Forensic Medicine put forth that a 0.20 percent alcohol rise in human blood raises the fatal traffic accident risk by twofold.
As the HDN article points out, the alcohol level in Turkey's near beer is actually lower than that found in traditional fermented drinks, such as the grain-based boza or the dairy-based Kefir, that have been sold and consumed in Turkey for centuries, with little evidence showing that they have played a role in increasing traffic accidents.