Finland: Parliament allows sale of stronger beers

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. (, 12.1.2017).

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