There’s an interesting suggestion in the NZ Herald that the drinking age could remain at 18, but the age for purchasing takeaway alcohol be raised to 20.
I’m adamantly against raising the drinking age to 20, but would be far more comfortable with just the takeaway purchase age being raised to 20.
Making it a crime for a 19 year old to have a drink or two in a bar is daft. But most of the problems from youth drinking is from parties where teenagers have purchased bottles of spirits etc so a higher age there is not necessarily such a bad thing.
Germany has an interesting system. You can (going off memory) buy beer and wine at one age (16 I think) but can’t buy spirits until either 18 or 20.