Strange rules breaking up!

A Swedish blogger (Ofiltrerat) today wrote a great short article (in Swedish) about the result of the new EG-regulations, that means it is now legal for me as a private person ordering my own beer on internet and get it home to my door, but only if the distributor or the store I buy from is located outside the country.

That simply means that I can now order my favorite beers directly, instead of going to the Systembolaget and trying to convince them to get home what I want, also great because I can buy a bottle or two of each beer instead of buying a whole package of beers (12, 24 etc), which is the rules if you want to import through Systembolaget.

Now about the unlogic result due to the new legislations.

Swedish micros have it very hard to sell beers in their own home country to a private person and with that increase the sales, simply because it is almost impossible for a small brewery to meet the demands from Systembolaget regarding amount of beers and in what speed it should be delivered, plus that you have to compete with the rest of the crappy Euro lagers we normally drink, with only one chance to be kept. Consequences based on these rules means that the brewery often has to concentrate on a single beer for a very long time, simply because of their brewing capacity and needs to concentrate on a beer style that they believe many will like. So instead of getting more beer styles from the micro brewery we get a single beer for a while at the Systembolaget and can not get it at all through your pub during that time.

But through the new legislations it is very likely and easy for a small brewer instead exporting the beer to a beer shop or similar, and then I can order it from there legally, but I can not buy it at home, except at a good pub, which is normally located in the 3 or 4 big cities in the country. So we in Stockholm or Gothenburg can have the beer at a few pubs, but the rest of the country has to live with the beer sold at the Systembolaget if the want something better than lager beers from the giants. Is that not discrimination, or what?

This is stupid and something that can not continue, what is the logic that a small brewery has to export the beer and then sell it back to the country through a legal internet site?, just because they want to expand the sales and not be dependant on a few good pubs throughout the country, but mainly to the big cities, and through that trying to survive.

I am wondering how long this will last and how long it will take the government in Sweden to understand that it is too late to stop us to buy the beers back home in a local store instead of having a monopoly selling beers.

This does not only concerns micro beers, it will be even larger when our big breweries realizes that they can export the beers and then people can buy them online, they have the resources that the small ones do not have, so I do not see how this can be stopped.

And this is great!, but it seems that it will take a while longer before things will change and Sweden will realize the stupidity (in the time of environment concerns) that a micro brewery is exporting beer with trucks to Denmark and then sold to be driven back with trucks to the beer geeks in Sweden.

I know that all countries has strange rules about selling beers (like the US, where each state seems to have their own rules), but this must be one of the most stupid rules that you can invent, and simply the result of an old system that does not work anymore.


baggen said...

It was a great thing to be able to get some of my favourite beers delivered straight to my door. Ofcouse the shipping isn't cheap (this time it was 240DKK for about 13KG) but as long as you order a decent amount of beer the cost of transport feels more and more neglible. ├ľlkonsortiet should have a webshop up and running sometime this year hopefully and i guess other will follow.

Mattias said...

Yes I am really waiting for others to start som new great sites in Denmark, Holland (much of the US beers goes through here, so I hope someone would get the idea to export from here) or Belgium.

My future plan is to buy everything from here and skip Systembolaget totally.