Why alcohol monopoly in Sweden?
October 18, 2011 4:40 PM


Ever since 1955 the only chain of stores in Sweden where you can buy alcohol exceeding 3,5% in alcoholic strength is Systembolaget. And it is definitely important to plan ahead if you want to buy alcohol in Sweden. Because Systembolaget has quite limited open hours.

Why alcohol monopoly in Sweden? Systembolaget in Lyckeby.
For instance here in Lyckeby, where I live, Systembolaget is usually only open between 10am - 6 or 7pm during weekdays and 10am - 3pm on Saturdays. Always closed on Sundays all over Sweden.

Also you must be at least 20 years old to be able to buy alcoholic beverages exceeding 3,5% at Systembolaget. Even though the legal drinking age in Sweden is 18. And you are allowed to drink and buy all sorts of alcohol at pubs and restaurants from the age of 18. So a bit conflicting age rules I think.

Anyway, the initial idea for monopolizing the sale of alcohol in Sweden came about in the mid 1800s. The goal was to try and decrease the extensive use of liquor at this time. Which was a common cause for health and social problems in Sweden in the 1800s. So really, the very first attempt of alcohol monopoly in Sweden started in the mid 1800s. And it was a successful attempt. But it was not until 1955 that local companies came together and created the national company Systembolaget. A company and concept that has survived to this day.

So this is why we have alcohol monopoly in Sweden today. However, if it still works as intended. Well, that is an entirely different question...

Source: systembolaget.se

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