Saturday, October 2, 2010

The better monopoly

I have spent some days in Sweden enjoying smörgåsar, köttbullar, plankbiff and a beer now and then. Just like Norway, Sweden has state owned outlets selling liquor, wine and beers. In Sweden you are able to buy beers with 3.5% alcohol or less in supermarkets and shops. Beers with a higher alcohol content must be bought at the alcohol monopoly shops, Systembolaget.

There are advantages with monopoly outlets like Systembolaget in Sweden, Vinmonopolet in Norway and Alko in Finland. The stores have a varied selection in beers compared to ordinary shops. Most Systembolaget outlets can offer several shelves with beers of different styles, nationalities and strengths - both from large and small breweries. Name an international brand, and you will probably find it at Systembolaget. In addition to this, there are several local, Swedish beers and some craft beers.

I am fond of lager beers, and at Systembolaget I found a very tasty American lager. I have never seen Brooklyn lager in Norwegian stores, but it is supposed to be found in various bars in the Oslo area.

In the glass, Brooklyn lager has an amber colour and a medium sized head. There is very little carbonation, and there is a fruity aroma. In the mouth I feel citrus, malts and a hint of toffee before it has a nice and bitter finish. This is a great beer that I hope will be videly available in Norway.

Also at Systembolaget, I found many Czech lagers. One that I have enjoyed in Prague as a draught beer, is Primator's premium lager. In Sweden it is sold in 0.33 litre bottles. Primator's premium lager is a golden beer with a lot of carbonation and a big head. In the nose there is malt and some fruitiness. The fruit is also found in the mouth before caramel and toffee joins in on a half bitter finish. This is another great lager to be recommended.


  1. Hei!

    Ringnes importerer Brooklyn Lager:

    Er kun i BU, men jeg er enig i at den er en god lager.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Anonymous. This text about Systembolaget was written in October 2010, and at that time I had yet to see Brooklyn Lager at Vinmonopolet. I buy it now and then, but I feel that paying 45 NOK is expensive compared to the 16.40 SEK the Swedes pay for a bottle:

    That means that this beer costs three times more in Norway than in Sweden!