American Troops Arrive In Iceland, Drink All The Beer

American troops in Iceland for a military exercise were apparently quite thirsty.

American troops sent to Iceland for a military exercise have apparently drunk all the beer in Reykjavik:

Several bars in downtown Reykjavík ran out of beer while serving thirsty US sailors and marines who were in port over the weekend participating in the NATO military exercises Trident Juncture. The restaurant Sæta Svínið, The American Bar and other downtown bars reportedly finished all their beer supplies serving the 6-7,000 sailors who were in town.

The local news site Vísir reports that the brewery Ölgerð Egils Skallagrímssonar, which makes the popular Gull, had to send out emergency supplies to the bars. According to the sources of Vísir the soldiers preferred local beers over imports, and were very willing to sample different micro brews as well as the more popular standard lagers.

The local blogger Eiríkur Jónsson spoke to restaurateurs who said they had never experienced a similar situation. Bar owners who ran out of beer tried to solve the issue by borrowing from bars which were better stocked, while members of the delivery team from Ölgerðin were called out to help the bar owners cope, but “they were fighting an overwhelming force,” as Eiríkur puts it.

One of the owners of Sæta Svínið told Vísir that the first soldiers came in on Wednesday, the same night as the first ships came to port, and that they stayed until Sunday when the ships left port. With most of the ships and sailors out of port downtown bar owners have managed to restock after the weekend’s assault.

This report comes via the military blog Task and Purpose, which reports that the American troops landed in Iceland last week as part of one of the largest military exercises in the North Atlantic since the end of the Cold War. The exercise consists of nearly 50,000 troops from 29 NATO countries, as well as participating forces from non-NATO members Sweden and Finland. No word on whether there was any beer left over for the Germans and Belgians. The American contingent apparently includes between 6,000 and 7,000 Marines, which were apparently the biggest contingent of American drinkers.

The lesson is clear. When the Marines are in town, make sure you’ve got enough beer.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Kathy says:

    It wasn’t the US personnel. It was the illegal caravans taking a short-cut through Iceland on their way from Honduras.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Several bars in downtown Reykjavík ran out of beer while serving thirsty US sailors and marines who were in port….

    According to the sources of Vísir the soldiers preferred local beers over imports,….

    That reporter better hope the Marines don’t get a hold of him.

    No word on whether there was any beer left over for the Germans and Belgians.

    Pretty sure the Germans and Belgians bring their own beers wherever they go. None of that weak ass Icelandic swill for them.

  3. Mister Bluster says:
  4. Mr. Prosser says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Mister Bluster: You are so right Mr. O.H. Never, ever, ever lump Marines in with soldiers. And Mr. B, the song definitely backs up Mark Twain’s line, “Heaven for climate, Hell for society.”

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    I was in Reykjavik a month ago. I mention this as often as I can so that people can properly judge me as a douche. In any event, I had a magnificent beer there – Lava Smoked Russian Imperial Stout. I mention that fact so that you can fairly add a ‘nozzle’ to the aforementioned ‘douche.’

    But I was there because seeing the aurora borealis is on my wife’s bucket list. And yes, we saw the northern lights. From a boat. That’s right, I took my wife, on or about her 62nd birthday, to see the northern lights. And may I point out that we are both over 60 and thus elderly. Can I get an “awww?” You feel bad about saying I was a douche now, don’t you?

    However I will stab the first mother—er to apply the word, ‘cute’.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Michael Reynolds:


  7. Zachriel says:

    “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. — Michelle Obama

  8. Larry Folds says:

    I doubt very seriously there were 6 to 7000 Marines in Iceland. Sailors yes, they’ll drink anything and all of it.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Marines are touchy about that.

    @Michael Reynolds: Awwww…. That is just precious.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    The article is a little bit underreported (as is expected of a funny human interest story) but if I’m reading it correctly, what they ran out of was local beer. The sailors were turning down the imports (aka Budweiser and Heineken) in favor of micro-brew fare. Now THAT is a story…

  11. Joe says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I was in Iceland last June, just before the Summer Solstice, so no aurora for me, just near constant daylight (twilight from midnight to 3). Plenty of beer, mostly Gull and Guinness. Beautiful country, though the area of Rekyavik where these bars are is kinda of a hipster hell.

  12. al Ameda says:

    Trump will probably sanction Iceland for their (I’m guessing, but like Trump I don’t actually know) onerous tariffs on American beer. Those troops should have been able to get drunk on AMERICAN beer.

  13. dazedandconfused says:

    Shocking, and awesome.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al Ameda: What sane human being would do a thing like that when they had a choice?