The first of March 1st is a special day in Iceland, it is Reykjavik beer day
At the beginning of the 20th century, plenty of countries were setting up prohibition laws against beer and strong alcohol and Iceland was part of it. From 1908 various limitations have been setup, ranging from full interdiction to the authorisation of Spanish red wine. In 1935, the ban on beer was lifted but only and on wine and strong alcohol, the reason why beer was not allowed is still a mystery.
A theory states that the prohibition only applied to beer because beer was associated with Denmark and Iceland was struggling to gain independence from Denmark, so it wasn’t seen as a particularly patriotic drink. Iceland still got its independence in 1944 though.
A few decades later, the discussion in the Icelandic parliament seems pretty ludicrous. Some MPs thought that allowing beer would cause people to start drinking younger and people would be drinking beer at all hours of the day, resulting in them getting drunk at work. One MP even raised her concerns that beer would replace coffee as the nation’s drink of choice. Despite their concerns, on March 1st, 1989, the prohibition on beer was lifted. Needless to say, most Icelanders still drink more coffee than beer and the age when people start drinking has actually gone up since the eighties, not down. Iceland has built up an impressive tradition of beer brewing in the years since 1989 and craft breweries all over the country are making quality brews of all types.
March 1st has become an unofficial holiday known as Reykjavik beer day which, it should come as no surprise, is celebrated by drinking lots of beer. The team behind reykjavik bar tour will, of course partake in this celebration and that’s why it is the perfect day to join us on a night of adventures on a pub crawl to celebrate the day beer became legal again in Iceland