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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > July 2017 > Iceland


Full-strength beer has been legal in Iceland for less than 30 years. But the country’s craft beer scene has accelerated at an impressive rate

In Iceland, 1 March is known nationally as Beer Day. Why? It was on that day in 1989 that full-strength beer was legalised again after Icelanders voted in a 1915 referendum to ban all alcohol. From a standing start, the craft beer scene has accelerated at an impressive rate. There are about a dozen breweries and, remarkably, they’re not all located in the capital, where much of Iceland’s population of 330,000 live. One of the first breweries, Ölvisholt Brugghús, was founded in southern Iceland; and perhaps the best-known brewery, Einstök, is on the north coast.

Tourists should be reassured that prices are not as high as might be feared: you’ll pay less than £7.50 for a local brew if you take advantage of the happy hours offered by most Reykjavík bars. The city’s nightlife is strong, and on Beer Day the party lasts all night.

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July 2017 issue of Lonely Planet.