Happy Beer Day! Iceland marks 30th anniversary of end of ban

The drink was outlawed in Iceland for 74 years, while all other booze was completely legal

Thirty years ago, a sobering dry spell in Iceland’s history came to an end.

On Friday, the country celebrates the anniversary of the lifting of a decades-long ban on beer with — what else? — a nationwide Beer Day.

The drink was outlawed in Iceland for 74 years, while all other booze was completely legal. The alcoholic anomaly finally ended on March 1, 1989.

The beer ban was a holdover from the country’s prohibition era, which started in 1915 when the population voted in a referendum to outlaw all alcoholic drinks.

READ MORE: B.C. locations listed among top beer cities in Canada

Prohibition was repealed in another national referendum in 1933. But the majority vote was tight and to appease a powerful temperance movement, Iceland’s parliament decided beer would remain illegal.

Egill Bjarnason, The Associated Press

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