The Nordic countries with the exception of Denmark, have a long common history when it comes to regulating alcohol sales and consumption. During the past few decades, however, Finland seems to have diverted from this tradition and has liberalized its alcohol policy system more than the other alcohol monopoly countries.
The most recent change in Finnish alcohol policy occurred at the beginning of 2018, when a new alcohol law came into force. According to the new legislation:
Retail stores can sell all kinds of alcoholic beverages that contain up to 5.5% alcohol by volume.
Independent breweries and microbreweries can apply for license to sell craft beer up to 12 % alcohol by volume.
Restaurants and bars can advertise Happy Hour discounts.
Opening hours are deregulated for restaurants and bars and the serving hours are prolonged to 4 a.m. with a one hour drink up time.
In the presentation the background, process and possible effects of the new alcohol legislation will be discussed. In addition differences and similarities between Finland and Sweden will be addressed as well as next steps for the development of Finnish alcohol policy in the future.