05 June 2012

It's against the law to drink beer while standing up

That's true in Amsterdam.  Confirmation from Radio Netherlands Worldwide:
People on Amsterdam's terraces will soon be allowed to drink beer standing again, a municipal spokeswoman announced on Saturday...

The ban was originally instituted to prevent excessive noise levels. “Terraces offer limited seating. If people are allowed to drink standing, there’s an increased risk of unacceptable noise levels.” The municipality, however, rather than fining people for drinking beer standing, will from now on focus on combating high noise levels themselves, and will impose fines on anyone breaching the relevant municipal rules, the spokesperson explained. 
There's no indication whether it is also the law in Amersfoort.


  1. As far as I know this was only instituted in Amsterdam. A related rule: due to anti-smoking regulation it is forbidden to smoke inside coffeeshops. Normal for the US, but in a Dutch 'coffeeshop' they sell marijuana rather than serve coffee. The solution is to either have a separate room where employees are forbidden to work or smoke on the terrace outside. I am not sure it is allowed to smoke while standing :).
    Ah, the beauty of Dutch 'Polder-model' regulations. (by which is meant: take five parties with conflicting ideas and make them meet in the middle so that everybody is partially happy). It works a charm for

  2. The rule was intended to prevent overcrowding of terraces. The rule was silly, but the problem is real. Amsterdam terraces in front of bars are full, very full, especially during events (say a world championship soccer, or queen's day) and during nice weather. People started pre-ordering drinks while standing, and soon spilling out of the designated terraces onto the streets where they were in the way of traffic, be it vehicular or pedestrian (on shopping streets).

    So, the silly city council came up with this rule. Now, they have decided that they have other rules that allow the police to prevent overcrowding over terraces. We'll see if it helps.

    BTW, Amsterdam has plenty of other silly rules. Coffeeshops will soon be open only to residents of the Netherlands (that's actually national policy). Sorry tourists. The city council tried to ban "polluting vehicles" (Hummers, SUVs) from downtown, and when they could not they tried to charge more for parking permits (which are hundreds of euros a year anyway). Large trucks have been banned, so all deliveries have to be done by smaller "environmentally friendly" trucks, or delivery streetcars. The city has also "bought out" one of the larger real estate owners (i.e. a retiring pimp) in the red light district in an attempt to repurpose some of the infamous window hookers houses into art galleries and tea shops.

  3. No, no, you can do in Amersfoort whatever you like (as long as you don't steal our boulder).

    Amsterdam has a tendency to be a little anarchistic at times, but sometimes they behave contrary with meddlesome laws (this is due to the leftish city council who believe in a large role for the government).

  4. I always learn so much here! ☺


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