Finland's parliament on Friday voted to approve the sale of stronger alcohol in grocery stores. Currently supermarkets in the Nordic country are only allowed to sell beer up to 4.7% alcohol by volume. From March this limit will be lifted to 5.5% in alcohol strength
53% of all members of parliament , who were present at the vote, were in favor of the new legislation. Seven MPs, including Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, were missing.
The new law also provides Alko, the state- owned alcohol retailer, to extend its opening hours to 9 pm on weekdays. Restaurants are now allowed to remain open till 4 am without a separate application and to serve alcohol on the terrace in the night.
Finally, small breweries are allowed now to sell their beers on-site, a move that could further push craft brewing in Finland.
According to a study by the National Institute of Health and Welfare beer sales could increase as much as 6% because of the new legislation. (inside.beer, 12.1.2017).