In a referendum on Sunday, Bavarian voters ended the dithering and doubt about smoking in their state with a decisive "yes" to banning it completely in in all public buildings. The previous strict law had been weakened by political in fighting and dubious avoidance by some pubs, as well as single room exceptions. All these have been swept away.
Over three million voters participated in the referendum, with 61 percent voting in favour of the ban. The citizens' initiative "for real protection of non-smokers" will impose a total smoking ban on all clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and beer tents from 1st August.
As someone who goes to Bavaria a lot, I welcome this and look forward even more to my trip later this year. Whether it will be welcomed quite as much in the filthy "Raucherclubs" is a different matter, but the state has already said it will enforce the law from day one. The sting in the tail is that the Association of Private Breweries announced that it will mean price rises due to the cost of enforcement, particularly in beer tents. "The citizen must pay for it through higher beer and food prices" they said.
It seems though this year's Oktoberfest will be exempt and smoking will be allowed for the last time.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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