Published January 9, 2017
A man in his sixties was sentenced to pay almost 900,000 ISK in fines and legal fees after being convicted of homebrewing some 95 litres of crowberry wine. The court did not believe the man’s contentions that he was simply storing crowberry juice that accidentally became fermented.
Austurfrétt reports that the case goes back to March 2015, when police were tipped off by an anonymous source that homebrewing was going on in the man’s home. There, police found 95 litres of wine, measured as having an alcohol content of 13% to 15%.
The accused told the judge that he had picked the crowberries behind the wine in 2014, and then stored them according to an old recipe. He said it had never been his intention to make wine; rather, that the storing of the juice had gone awry, and fermented on its own.
However, this contradicts statements he made to police on the scene. At that time, he told police that he was simply homebrewing “like everyone else in this country” and found it incomprehensible that you can buy homebrewing equipment in Iceland but cannot brew alcohol with it (In point of fact, you can brew alcohol in Iceland – so long as it’s no stronger than 2.25%).
As such, he was found guilty of breaking the alcohol law, and sentenced to pay 160,000 ISK in fines, in addition to 710,000 ISK in legal fees.