Many Reykjavik bars and restaurants ran out of beer in one weekend after 7,000 US soldiers descended on Iceland and its pubs.
The troops were in town to take part in the largest NATO military exercise since the Cold War, Trident Juncture 18, which is taking place in Norway throughout October and November this year. It certainly must have been thirsty work.
A significant number of the city’s bars were forced to go on emergency beer runs to satisfy the soldiers’ intake as they enjoyed drinking popular standard larger and sampling microbrews, drinking the bars dry, Iceland Magazine reports.
Struggling bar owners tried to resolve the situation by borrowing alcohol from bars which were better stocked – or maybe just less popular with the troops – but local blogger, Eiríkur Jónsson, explained staff were still ‘fighting an overwhelming force’.
Although bar and restaurant owners had a hard time producing enough beer for the soldiers, I’m sure they were left with enough money to restock after the bars cleared out, as anyone who’s been to Iceland will know it’s not a cheap place to get drunk!
A beer in the capital city typically sells for 1,000 to 1,500 ISK, which is roughly £6 – £9.70.
They probably could have pooled their money together, got a flight to England and had the same amount of beer in a Wetherspoons with the amount they all spent.
According to Iceland Magazine, one of the restaurant owners explained the first soldiers came in on Wednesday (October 24), the same night as the first ships came to port, and that they stayed until Sunday when the ships left.
Nearly 50,000 troops from 29 NATO allies are currently participating in Trident Juncture 18, backed up by 65 naval vessels, 150 aircrafts, and more than 10,000 vehicles.
According to The Globe and Mail, the exercise is meant to ensure NATO forces are trained, able to operate together, and ready to respond to any threat from any direction.
Thankfully the bars have since managed to restock for everyone arriving after the mass of troops!
Hopefully they’ll be better prepared if it ever happens again.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.