If you had to guess what a “Systembolaget” was, you might expect it to be a hip chair in Ikea’s living room section. And while you’d be right on the Swedish part, the word actually signifies a line of government-run Swedish liquor stores, ones who halted the sale of Iron Maiden’s “Trooper” beer this week.
The English heavy metal band co-designed the batch of “Trooper” beer that came under fire for its packaging. Its label—which normally features their skeleton mascot Eddie with a Union Jack flag in hand—was banned under Swedish law” which does not allow “elements of war, weapons or aggression to be featured on alcoholic product[s].”
Quickly creating an exclusive Swedish label with a close-up of Eddie’s face, the group left no indication that the conflict had left a sour taste in their mouth.
The band released a statement saying that, “Trooper Premium British Beer should be available in Bottles in Sweden toward the end of June and delivered via orders at Systembolaget nationwide. Trooper will be also listed at restaurants and pubs all over Sweden.”
If the hoopla here is strictly over packaging, however, perhaps the bigger upset is the 4.7 percent ABV on the label. Sounds a little soft rock to us, Iron Maiden.