Generally, prohibition should be considered as a no laughing matter. In my humble opinion, denying people, their God-given right to get drunk and make bad choices is a mortal sin, but in the case of prohibition in Iceland, it was kinda funny.
The start of prohibition in Iceland began in 1915 (to be fair there was a war on at the time) and did not end in full until March 1st, 1989. A date is now known in Iceland as Beer Day, which to Icelanders is now like St. Patrick’s day, but without everyone pretending they are Irish.
But, the story of prohibition in Iceland is nothing like that occurred in America, and in many ways, was much more amusing.
In 1922, wine was legalized, and in 1935 all hard liquor was legalized and all beer under 2.25% alcohol. Basically, really weak cheap piss beer was considered a soft-drink and hard liquor was readily available.
The rationale behind this being is that if beer were legal the Icelanders would get all crazy and act like the Danes do with their Carlsberg, and that hard liquor surely wouldn’t do this.
Kind of like making aspirin illegal, but have special stores that sell crack cocaine.
As one would expect prohibition started to lose support as the years went on and people realized it was essentially very stupid. Several bars also cottoned on to the fact that you could add vodka to a beer and thus make it less as drinking gnats piss. The law also cottoned on to people doing this and hilarity prevailed until 1989 when the whole ban was lifted.
Nowadays like most Scandinavians, Icelanders do drink a lot of beer, and it is the most popular drink in the country. They even have good craft beer.
But all ends well, and for me at least I plan to do a pub crawl on March 1st every year in solidarity with my Icelandic brothers.
Down with prohibition!