Published: 05 April 2012
Q: I have heard that under the Mandatory Conditions yards of ale are not banned outright. Some of the students at a nearby University want to start a Yard of Ale League at my pub. Is this legal?
A: Yards of ale are not illegal under the Mandatory Conditions, although you will have to ensure that the customer alone holds the yard, otherwise it will fall foul of the “dentists chair” condition which prohibits alcohol being dispensed directly by one person into the mouth of another.
As long as the yard is drunk in a time determined by the customer, and there is no race to get it down their neck as quickly as possible, then this would fall just on the right side of the line. However, the “Yard of Ale League” suggests that somebody is going to be at the top of that league, most probably the person who has drunk a yard the fastest. This would definitely fall foul of the Mandatory Conditions. Steer well clear.
If customers want to drink a yard of ale on their own, then so be it, but a league is well wide of the mark and you are likely to see the Authorities knocking on your door, whilst at the same time your more mature customers leaving by the same route.
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