Iceland loves Christmas beer, risks running out already

The Icelandic love of specially-made Christmas beers knows no bounds this year…that is until all of it has been sold.

Nearly 500,000 litres of Christmas beer have been sold in Iceland so far this year — and that does not include sales of ‘normal’, standard beers which are available year-round.

The most popular Christmas beer is once again Danish; but its Icelandic competitors are close behind.

Already by yesterday 473,000 litres had been sold since Christmas beers became available in the middle of November. At the same time last year only 355,000 litres had been sold — meaning a year-on-year increase of 30 percent. Christmas beer is scheduled to be available in Iceland until the thirteenth (and final) day of Christmas…if stocks last that long. Last Christmas’s total sales were 370,000 litres; or roughly a hundred thousand litres less than has already been sold this year, Ví reports.

According to state alcohol monopoly ÁTVR’s figures, the most sold Christmas beer is Tuborg Christmas Brew. That is followed by Víking Jólabjór. Third place beer is Kaldi Jólabjór, and Egils Jólagull is in fourth. Víking Jóla Bock and Egils Malt Jólabjór are fifth and sixth. Many other brands are also available.

The value of sales so far stands at around ISK 436 million (EUR 2.7 million) — up fifty percent from last year’s ISK 295 million.

Many individual brands’ producers or importers have now completely sold out and state alcohol shops do not have much left in reserve.

If you have yet to try Christmas beer (which is usually darker and richer tasting than normal lager) – or if you simply cannot stand the idea of Yuletide without a few bottles more – then it would seem wise to get hold of supplies now.

There is no shortage of beer overall; and the same applies to wine, liqueurs and spirits.