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March 1st 2019 marks the thirtieth year since Iceland’s beer ban was lifted! And of course, with that comes Iceland’s National Beer Drinking Day! A day everyone around the world should be celebrating!
It’s hard to imagine a time when Iceland suffered a sobering dry spell but back in 1989 the alcoholic beverage had been banned for 74 years while all other booze remained legal. Why? Because in 1915, the population voted in a referendum to outlaw all alcoholic drinks. However, the ban was partially lifted when seven years out, Spain refused to trade Iceland’s main exports of fish unless Iceland continued to buy Spanish wines. So, out of economic necessity, lawmakers decided that while all other alcoholic drinks would become legal again, beer would remain banned since Icelanders did not seem to care for it at the time.
Then as time went on, Iceland’s thirst for beer made a return. As Icelanders begun to take more vacations abroad, the refreshing taste of beer found itself on everyone’s lips. When the ban was finally lifted, all four bars in Reykjavik at the time were packed to the brim with locals toasting and celebrating the new law. Over the few days after the ban was lifted, more than 340,000 cans of beer were bought.
Today, Icelandic beer remains one of the greatest reasons to visit this magnificent country with hundreds of different variations to choose from. Some of the finest beers come from Iceland’s microbreweries as well as larger distilleries like Ölvisholt Brugghús, a brewery in Selfoss which creates Iceland’s famous Lava Beer.
Every year on March 1st, Iceland’s Annual Beer Festival takes place in Reykjavik too which continues the celebrations of the lifted ban. The Annual Beer Festival in Iceland is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike so if you are someone who enjoys trying new beers and celebrating in style, then definitely consider booking your next holiday in Iceland during this time.
We should also mention that Iceland have their very own beer spa! The fantastic Beer Spa in Iceland lets you lie in a bathtub for 25 minutes, filled with beer, water, hops and yeast. It is believed by locals to be both cleansing for the skin and good for your health to sit in these ingredients for an extended period of time.
No matter what your reasons for visiting Iceland, whether it is to simply taste the beer, tour their breweries or celebrate in style at their Annual Beer Festival or in your own beer spa, let us help you organise your next Iceland holiday and make it one you will never forget.