BBC has a good historical write-up on a uniquely Icelandic phenomenon. Real beer was largely off-limits until March 1st 1989.
A century ago, Iceland banned all alcoholic drinks. Within a decade, red wine had been legalised, followed by spirits in the 1930s. But full-strength beer remained off-limits until 1 March 1989. Megan Lane asks why it took so long for the amber nectar to come in from the Icelandic cold.
There’s a lot of very interesting reading in here, but here’s one of my favorite bits:
Also popular, according to Ingvarsson, was tipping brennivin (burning wine), a potato-based vodka, into non-alcoholic beer – which tasted, as he puts it, “interesting and totally disgusting”.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
The whole thing is so perplexing from an outsiders point of view that it’ll even make Utah seem like a bastion of progressive beer culture.