Happy Beer Day! - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Happy Beer Day!

Published March 3, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Axel Sigurðarsson

Today marks 25 years since the sale of beer was legalised in Iceland, RÚV reports.

The move to legalise the sale of beer in Iceland was at the time a controversial proposition and was met with great resistance from parliament. Oddly, though beer was not for sale, the sale of wine was legalised in 1921 and spirits in 1935.

“Many people believed that beer was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and people did not think of it as alcohol. People worried that beer would become a part of Iceland’s daily life and people also worried greatly, that alcoholism would rise with the arrival of beer. That [beer] would in fact increase the consumption of other alcohol,” said Helgi Gunnlaugsson, professor of Sociology at the University of Iceland.

Alas, consumption of alcohol has increased since the sale of beer was legalised but overall Icelanders still drink less alcohol than most European nations.

Happy Anniversary Beer!

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