Belly up to the Bar with kulturCHOCK!

The foreigner in Sweden cannot help but be impressed with Systembolaget, the state-run chain of liquor stores, where buying a bottle of wine is like going to the pharmacist. Our guess is that the humiliation of waiting in line to purchase a little comfort on a Friday night is one of the top pet peeves of immigrants.

Plain and simple, Sweden has an alcohol problem. The problem is that it is so damn hard to get. In Minnesota, the liquor stores are open an extra two hours on Friday and Saturday night to accomodate increased demand. Sounds logical, right? Not in Sweden, no sir! The idea is to nip off customer service right at 6 on a Friday night, and sell none at all on Saturday. This entails, for those of us who are poor planners, a mind-numbingly long wait with a little numbered piece of paper in hand every Friday night.

As a public service for readers in Sweden or on their way there, kulturCHOCK! is happy to present this link to Systembolaget's price list, so that you can plan your purchase in advance. Heaven forbid you should waste any of your time waiting around actually thinking about what to buy!. Readers in America can check the prices to obtain valuable cocktail-party conversation topics, as in "do you have any idea what a bottle of Beefeater costs in Sweden?"

In addition, the value-conscious reader will not want to miss the important APK Index (Alkohol Per Krona). This handy chart shows you how to get the most bang for the buck, er, krona when visiting Systembolaget.

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