No beer after 6PM!
No beer after 6PM!
It’s time to tell something about Swedish alcohol rules. If you had seen the night life with crowded bar and happy drinking and drunk people you wouldn’t say that the government is trying hard to keep Swedish people from drinking too much… The price of a beer is 8€ (you could have four in Germany…) and a virgin cocktail was 3,50€ instead of 11€ for the “grown up” cocktail, and I’m not exaggerating!! (Germany is crazy in the opposite way, on the famous Oktoberfest beer is cheaper than the same amount of water!). In Sweden, it’s strictly forbidden to drink any alcohol outside of the bar, not even at the entrance, the bar owner could lose his license! You cannot buy alcohol in bars to take home and you can’t buy alcohol after 6 o’clock in the evening in the shop. So better be rich, creative or well organized to fill the meantime before official night time. It became little tradition for people that didn’t win in the lotto to have a pre-party at home, find a good balance drinking enough not to spend too much arriving at the bar late at night, and not drinking too much to find the way to the bar… And if you thought that before 6PM you can buy beer in a normal supermarket, you are dreaming! There is a shop called “SYSTEMBOLAGET”, it’s the store created by the government to sell a controlled amount of alcohol in controlled hours to uncontrolled prices…
But the variety of alcohol is quite impressive, the beer department for example offers a great assortment not only of every imaginable foreign beer label, but beer from every single brewery in whole Sweden, and there are a lot… As it is a “non profit” shop by the government, they organize you every possible drink from all over the world: say that you would like to try the beer they brew on the mount Everest, they will find a way to deliver it and you will drink it a few days later. That’s an amazing point and explains that this Systembolaget (despite it’s very uninspiring name) was elected as the most liked store among all Swedish inhabitants!