Looks like getting people to pay a bar tab has always been an issue
When a female tavern keeper gives you a beer ...
Another newly translated document is the oldest known copy of the law code of Ur-Nammu, a Mesopotamian king who ruled at Ur about 4,000 years ago. He developed a set of laws centuries before Hammurabi's more famous code from 1780 B.C., which includes the "an eye for an eye" rule.
In some ways, Ur Nammu's code is more advanced. For instance, it prescribes a fine for someone who takes out another person's vision, rather than an eye for an eye. Scholars are already aware of much of the code from later versions.
However, the fact that this is the earliest known edition allows researchers to compare it with later copies and see how it evolved. For instance, the copy sheds light on one of the oddest rules governing what you should pay a "female tavern-keeper" who gives you a jar of beer. [10 Intoxicating Beer Facts]
Apparently, if you have the female keeper put the beer on your tab during the summer, she will have the right to extract a tax from you, of unknown amount, in winter.
"If a female tavern-keeper gives [in] summer one beer-jar to someone on credit its nigdiri-tax will be [...] in win[ter]..." (Translation by Miguel Civil)
The lesson? If you live in ancient Mesopotamia don't put the beer on your tab.
The quoted text is from this Yahoo article. Some things never change.
from the original article, it doesn't sound like paying a tab it sounds more like, if you buy a beer in the summer, the barkeep is entitled to some of your money in the winter when all the beer is gone.