Mexico City residents may have to slake their thirsts with warm beer after a local lawmaker introduced a motion on Wednesday to ban the sale of the cold beverage in convenience stores.
The motion – met with incredulity on social media – would modify Mexico City’s commerce laws to ban selling beer or beverages of 7% or less alcohol content, which are “refrigerated or in different conditions than the ambient temperature.”
Stores would also be required to post signs warning patrons of stiff penalties for public drinking. Mexico City’s ubiquitous mom-and-pop stores often sell cold beer in big bottles – previously promoted as family-sized – and provide plastic cups, which people use to consume the product on-site.
The motion’s author Lourdes Paz Reyes posited the new rules would rid the city of so-called “chelerías,” which sell litres of beer in seedy settings for low prices.
Many Mexicans reacted with ridicule to the prospect of buying warm beer, especially given the frequently high temperatures. The hashtag #ConLasCervezasNo (Don’t mess with our beers) trended on Twitter.
“It’s incredible that our lawmakers think of so many stupidities without previously resolving the true and serious problems in CDMX and all of Mexico,” railed one tweet.
“If they want to disincentive the consumption of alcohol, would it not be preferable to increase the corresponding tax?” asked another tweet.
Some proponents of banning cold beer sales complain the country is awash in cheap alcohol– and say convenience stores will still sell hard liquor of questionable quality for rock bottom prices. Mexico’s consumer watchdog has warned 45% of the bottled spirits sold in the country are adulterated.
Public drinking poses problems, too. The 2018 national victimisation and public security perceptions survey found 75.8% of Mexico City residents (and 66.4% nationwide) listed “consuming alcohol in the street” as the main source of “criminal and antisocial behaviour” in their neighbourhood.