The sale of IRON MAIDEN‘s Trooper beer was recently halted in Sweden by the country’s state-run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget due to legal concerns over the skull and crossbones motif on the label.
Independent U.K. brewer Robinsons, which created a real ale in partnership with heavy metal band IRON MAIDEN, has now released the following statement regarding the matter:
“Due to local Swedish government alcohol and marketing act which do not allow elements of war, weapons or aggression to be featured on alcoholic product, we were unable to sell Trooper beer to our fans in Sweden unless we modified the label artwork.
“As our first and foremost priority is for our Swedish fans to be able to enjoy Trooper beer, we amended the label by simply focussing purely on [IRON MAIDEN mascot] Eddie‘s face and are now very pleased to advise that the new label, currently exclusive to Sweden, has now been approved.
“Our distributor, Brands For Fans, advise that Trooper premium British beer should be available in bottles in Sweden towards the end of June and delivered via orders at Systembolaget nationwide. Trooper will be also listed at restaurants and pubs all over Sweden.
“Meanwhile, 500 ml bottles with the original Trooper label can be ordered directly from Robinsons U.K. via this web site.”
The label on the 4.8 percent-strength Trooper‘s packaging is taken fromIRON MAIDEN‘ single “The Trooper”, which was released in 1983.
“Trooper was the blindingly obvious thing to call it,” IRON MAIDEN singerBruce Dickinson recently said. “We have a tremendous piece of artwork — it’s one of the world’s most tattooed images. And it’s like Spitfire. It’s in the great tradition of British military prowess — well, military disaster in this case.”
In 2010, Systembolaget suspended sales of the U.S. beer Founders Breakfast Stout over concerns about the use of a child’s face on the bottle’s front label.
More recently, in April 2013, a brewery in Denmark was forced to change the label on its Lust beer after Systembolaget deemed the depiction of a topless women to be too sexy for Sweden.
The Trooper beer was officially launched on May 9 at Robinsons Brewery in Cheshire, with a reception attended by brewing trade representatives from both the U.K. and internationally.
As fans may have read recently, the unprecedented upfront demand for the beer meant Robinsons had to brew three times a day, six days a week for the first time ever in the brewery’s 175-year history to cope with pre-orders in excess of 300,000 pints. Robinsons were overwhelmed by the number of enquiries they’d had from all over the world and sent the band a comprehensive listing of whereabouts the interest had been — from a staggering 184 countries.
Trooper is now available to order online throughout most of Europe, andRobinsons are working to ensure it will be available to the rest of the world as soon as possible.
For updates on when Trooper is coming to a pub, bar or supermarket in your town/country, keep checking www.ironmaidenbeer.com.
Revised Trooper beer label for Swedish market:
Original Trooper beer label: