Systembolaget bans beer with grenade logo

Sweden's state controlled alcohol monopoly has ruled out distributing the Welsh export 'Fubar' beer due its label featuring a hand grenade and bullet holes.

Systembolaget bans beer with grenade logo

Fubar, described as a ‘unique schizophrenic’ pale ale by its creators has already been a hit in neighboring Denmark where the Systembolaget does not exist.

Hopes to expand their Nordic customer base to Sweden were dashed by Systembolaget which told the founders of Tiny Rebel Brewery in Wales that their logo was inappropriate for Swedish shelves.

“In reviewing this label, we believe this may be contrary to the Consumer Agency’s guidelines for advertising of alcoholic beverages to consumers.

“The overall impression including weapons and bullet holes are not expected to exercise special moderation,” a spokesperson for Systembolaget wrote in an email to the Welsh brewers.

The decision has come as a surprise to co-founder of Tiny Rebel Brewery, Bradley Cummings, who told BBC Wales; “They have a very different drinking culture over there.”

He added; “Looks like Fubar won’t be heading over to Sweden any time soon. It might have been our fault for not looking at the advertising laws.

“Every country is different and we do appreciate that. It would be boring if everything country was the same.”

Earlier this year Systembolaget temporarily halted the launch of a beer from band Iron Maiden for having a skull and crossbones on its label. The drink was eventually given the green light after the original logo was altered.

A Danish beer called ‘Lust’ was also slapped with a ban for having a topless cartoon lady on the label. Sytembolaget described it as ‘sexual’ and agreed to stock the beer once the scantily clad lady was replaced by a plain black background.

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Swedes warned: Vodka won’t protect you from the coronavirus

Sweden's state-run alcohol chain Systembolaget has advised customers not to buy its spirits as a substitute for hand sanitiser.

Swedes warned: Vodka won't protect you from the coronavirus
Stockholmers queuing outside Systembolaget before Easter. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

One of the best ways of avoiding the new coronavirus and prevent its spread is to wash your hands often with soap and water, according to the Swedish Public Healh Agency.

If you don't have access to soap or running water, hand sanitiser is the next best option, but the product has been flying off the shelves as shoppers try to get their hands on a bottle.

Sweden's state-owned alcohol chain Systembolaget has been forced to put up signs in several of its stores informing customers that alcohol such as vodka and gin does not work as a substitute for hand sanitiser.

“NOT HAND SANITISER,” read the signs.

“We have had a few questions from customers and have put up signs in those stores,” said Systembolaget press officer Therese Elmgren.

“But it is not possible, just as the signs say. The percentage (of alcohol) needs to be higher.”

An alcohol concentration of at least 60 percent is needed for disinfectant to be effective in killing viruses or bacteria. Absolut Vodka, to use an example of a popular Swedish vodka brand, has an alcohol concentration of 40 percent.

However, some of the ingredients are the same, and during the coronavirus crisis Absolut has adapted parts of its manufacturing in order to produce pure alcohol which can be used for cleaning purposes, instead of vodka for consumption. This pure alcohol then needs to be mixed with gel, manufactured separately, to create usable sanitiser for the healthcare sector.