Beer was prohibited in Iceland until 1989.
This was too crazy a fact for me to just trust Wikipedia on. Sure enough:
Beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989. Yes, this is not a misprint. Iceland, like the USA, underwent prohibition in the early part of the 20th century. Our friends in Spain & Portugal helped resolve this situation in the 1930s when they unilaterally stated that they would accept no more Icelandic salted cod (fish & fish products are Iceland’s largest export) unless Iceland agreed to import red wine. Iceland’s response was to agree and the door was open. Iceland also had a history of producing a rough home-spirit called Brennivín (tastes like Aquavit) and the push was also made to legalize hard spirits. Somehow, beer slipped through the cracks and remained ‘prohibited’, although I am told it wasn’t especially illegal to have it, just illegal to buy or sell it.
Happily they now have a national beer day to celebrate the end of the prohibition – March 1st.