Mum slammed as a ‘Karen’ for shaming non-alcoholic bottle shop for letting her 15-year-old daughter sample products

  • A mum has been labelled a Karen after complaining about alcohol-free bottle-o
  • The woman said her 15-year-old daughter was given samples of beer and wine
  • But people said it is alcohol free – so they don’t know why she was so upset

A mum has been slammed as a ‘Karen’ for shaming an alcohol-free bottle shop for offering her 15-year-old daughter samples.

The Sydney mum feared the alcohol-free versions of wine, beer and spirits being offered to her teenager would give her a craving for the stronger stuff – but she was in the minority with her opinion.

‘I love that there is a non-alcoholic bottle shop at the mall,’ she began.

‘(But) it doesn’t sit well with me that kids can go in there and buy beer and champagne, even of it is alcohol free,’ she said.

The post, which has since been deleted, created a stir with dozens of people slamming the mum as a ‘Karen’.

‘It isn’t alcoholic, there is no need for it to be 18,’ one woman said.

‘My 15-year-old son likes ginger beer, does that mean he will become an alcoholic?’ asked another.

‘I have no problem with this, Karen,’ added a third. ‘It’s better than drinking which many at that age are doing illegally…and regularly.’

Others said she shouldn’t slam small businesses online – especially those that had done nothing wrong and legally within their rights to serve those of any age.

Alcohol-free distilleries serving fancy cocktails have also become increasingly popular as many people look to ditch alcohol

Alcohol-free distilleries serving fancy cocktails have also become increasingly popular as many people look to ditch alcohol 

‘I am pretty sure Woolworths and Coles sell non-alcoholic beer and champagne. In a standard aisle, it is accessible at any age and not alcohol,’ added another.


Do you think children should be allowed to buy alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits?

  • Yes, it is alcohol free. 0 votes
  • No, it is a gateway. 0 votes
  • Once they are old enough, like 16. 0 votes

But some agreed with the mum and said while it isn’t a legal necessity both Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s keep an eye on alcohol-free beverage purchases.

‘In my experience whilst it is sold in the same aisle as soft drink if you are going through a self-serve checkout it needs to be approved by an attendant,’ one woman said.

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She added that when she buys the non-alcoholic wine from the supermarket online there is an 18+ popup.

Some refused to pick a side and said it is a situation for ‘house rules’.

The mother was furious when she found out her daughter had sampled the drinks (stock image)

The mother was furious when she found out her daughter had sampled the drinks (stock image) 

Is it legal to serve alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits to kids under 18? 

It is not against the law – however some store holders may have their own rules regarding this and refuse to sell to minors.

However each state have different regulations.


It is recognised that current legislation can impose barriers to the sale of products such as alcohol-free beer by unlicensed premises.

As such, Liquor & Gaming NSW will take a flexible, risk-based approach to enforcing the liquor laws surrounding the sale and supply of these products. Regulatory action is unlikely to be taken in respect to their promotion and sale within unlicensed environments, where they do not contain more than the 1.15% ABV threshold considered to be ‘liquor’ under the Liquor Act 2007. However, Liquor & Gaming NSW will continue to respond to community complaints and may take action in exceptional circumstances, including where any business acts irresponsibly when promoting or selling them.

These products should never be promoted in ways that could be considered to have special appeal to minors or pose significant risk to public safety and community wellbeing.


The products don’t contain alcohol therefore can be enjoyed by anyone under the age of 18 in any setting in the Northern Territory.

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The Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation does not regulate the service of non-alcoholic drinks.


Does not recognise the drinks under their liquor laws, therefore can be enjoyed by minors.


Minors can drink alcohol free beverages, however are not allowed to be in licensed venues except to have a meal, under supervision of an adult.


Minors can consume alcohol-free beverages – however must be accompanied by a responsible adults in any venue selling alcohol.


A person under 18 years of age (a juvenile) may be allowed to buy non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits in a bar (such as at hotel, tavern or small bar) if their presence on the licensed premises is lawful – for example, there to have a meal or accompanied by a responsible adult.   

‘This is a discussion you should have with your child if you are not comfortable, nothing to do with the outlet,’ one man said.

‘You do you as far as house rules and leave others to sort their bits out,’ added another.

One woman told the ‘Karen’ to head to the store and chat to the owner, as the business is new, and she would be able to use the feedback.



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