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Beer Day (Bjórdagur) in Iceland

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Saturday, March 1st, many people in Iceland will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Beer Day (Bjórdagur). Since 1989, Icelanders have celebrated a National Beer Day. 25 years ago, the prohibition of beer was lifted in Iceland. Beer had been prohibited for 75 years.

Iceland enforced total prohibition on all alcohol from 1915 to 1922, but beer was not on the approved list until 1989 because people were afraid that the low cost of beer would cause an increase in drinking.

Interestingly, during World War II, the British and later on, the USA, had military bases in Iceland. Somehow, special permission was given to a local brewery called Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson to brew beer for those stationed with the military. However, the Icelanders still could not purchase beer until 1989.

National laws did allow a 2.2% beer during the 75-year Prohibition. The USA had total Prohibition for 13 years from 1920-1933.

During prohibition in Iceland, the Spanish traders refused to import Iceland’s fish unless Iceland would buy their wine. There is an interesting article from 1923 that I wrote about last year and you can read it HERE.

So, wherever you are ....... SKÁL!

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