This Kidsbeer’s for you, kid

Kidsbeer_1To a child, Shirley Temples are such a cool thing. Hip, glamorous and oh so adult. Now the Japanese have come up with Kidsbeer, a soft drink that looks like real beer, complete with the foam. Tomomasu, the company that makes it, has no plans to bring it to the U.S., but some people here are already kicking up a fuss. That’s because Kidsbeer will be introduced in Britain, and there are plans to extend it to the rest of Europe. So what if the U.S. might be next? Kidsbeer can be a useful tool in teaching kids how to handle alcohol responsibly as adults. We don’t tell our children to boycott alcohol when they hit 21, and study after study shows that moderate consumption can benefit one’s health. It’s time for our alcohol watchdog groups to get real and acknowledge that most children will probably drink alcohol when they grow up. In the meantime, when they go out with Mom and Dad to a restaurant and have a Shirley Temple or a Kidsbeer, it becomes the perfect time to have a frank discussion about booze and its dangers. We find it ironic that we would hang out the unwelcome sign for Kidsbeer when candy cigarettes from Necco and World Candies are so widely available to America’s children. What’s the message there?

—Posted by Wendy Melillo