The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) has decided to reject the application to sell Black Death beer in its stores, due to a message on the label encouraging people to “drink in peace”.
Black Death has been produced since 1989, sold in many countries around the world including the duty-free at Keflavík International Airport. Producers wanted to begin selling the beer at the state-run alcohol stores in Iceland, and applied for such late last year.
However, Vísir now reports that ÁTVR has rejected the application. Their reasoning explains that by law, the only things allowed to be on the label of a bottle of beer are statements related to the product, its ingredients or its properties. Having the message “drink in peace” is therefore not allowed.
The beer is produced by Vífilfell, but the owner of the label, Valgeir T. Sigurðsson, has filed charges with the Ministry of Finance due to the decision. A statement from Valgeir’s lawyer over the matter says that “drink in peace” is “a positive message and a reminder of the responsibility of using the product”. The statement also points out the apparent contradiction of allowing the beer Bríó to have on its label “it’s good to be bríó”.