Day 06 : Systembolaget

23Jan16

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As a Malayalee, alcohol monopoly by state is not something new. In Kerala, it is a common sight after 6pm to see long queues of men after work jostling their fellow queuer, at their favorite Kerala State Beverage Corporation (KSBC) outlet, in an attempt to reach the cashiers behind armored cages to purchase their favorite elixir. Hence when I moved to Bangalore it was a pleasant surprise to see private liquor marts where you can walk in to pick up your bottle. I was of the opinion that the same should be done in Kerala, till I saw the best of both done in Stockholm.

Systembolaget is the government-owned store chain allowed to sell liquor in Sweden. This was why I wasn’t allowed to buy liquor from the airport duty-free while entering Sweden. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It is the only retail store allowed to sell alcoholic beverages that contain more than 3.5% alcohol by volume.
  • It has as its stated mission ‘to minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without profit motive’.
  • The minimum drinking age is 20 years and it is common to be asked to show your proof of age if you look young. Take it as a compliment.
  • All products are taxed on alcohol content, not on price, and that all products are sold with the same profit margin. Hence cheaper liquors are more expensive while single malts are cheaper when compared to Bangalore airport duty free.
  • Shop timing:
    Monday to Friday  – 10:00 to 19:00
    Saturday – 10:00 to 15:00
    Sunday – Holiday
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One Response to “Day 06 : Systembolaget”


  1. 1 Day 06 : O’Learys Sports Pub | averagej0e

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