Medium-strong beer - description of retail trade and serving

In this passage you can read a short introduction about the regulations concerning retail trade and serving of medium-strong beer. For instance you will learn the definition of medium-strong beer and the requirements of the premises.

Medium-strong beer (in Swedish folköl) is an alcoholic beverage defined in Chapter 1 Section 8 of the Alcohol Act (2010:1622). Medium-strong beer is produced by fermentation with dried or roasted malt. The alcohol content exceeds 2.25 but not 3.5 per cent by volume of alcohol. To be allowed to serve and retail medium-strong beer the municipality must be notified in advance. 

Retail with medium-strong beer

To be allowed to sell medium-strong beer to a consumer, so called retail trade, the premises must be registered as a food facility in the municipality in which the business is conducted. The shop shall be intended for the permanent sale of food, and food products shall also be sold there.

Serving of medium-strong beer

Also concerning serving of medium-strong beer, the premises must be registered as a food facility in the municipality where the business is carried out. The premises has to be suitable for permanent activities involving food and food must be served at the same time. A person with a licence to serve alcohol may also serve medium-strong beer, since the licence already complies with the Alcohol Act's rules on serving permits.

Notification to the municipality

Before starting to retail or serve medium-strong beer, notification must be made to the municipality where the retail or service is to take place. It is the person who runs the activity who is required to notify.


Retailers and those who serve medium-strong beer shall perform a special form of control, self-monitoring, over the business. For self-monitoring, a  programme must be produced. The programme shall, among other things, describe the procedures to be applied to the sale and service of medium-strong beer.

The purpose of a self-monitoring programme is to support the point of sale or catering establishment in order to ensure that the provisions of the Alcohol Act will be complied with. It provides security for both the responsible persons and their employees. A self-monitoring programme is also an important basis for the municipality in the event of a supervisory contact. The municipality can provide information on the sales regulations and on the obligation to have specific control over the sale and serving of medium-strong beer.


The Public Health Agency and the County Administrative Boards are responsible for support and councel at a national and regional level. The municipality and the Police Authority are supervisory authorities. This means that both the municipality and the police exercise supervision and check that sales and service do not violate the provisions of the Alcohol Act. The police's main task is to intervene against crime. The municipality's task is mainly to do continuous supervision. The municipality may issue a warning or a ban on selling or serving medium-strong beer if the provisions of the Alcohol Act are not complied with. The municipality may also charge a supervisory fee to the person running the sale or serving of medium-strong beer.

Self-monitoring programme for medium-strong beer sales

Those who engage in the sale of medium-strong beer shall perform self-monitoring of sales and assume responsibility for the operation having an appropriate self-monitoring programme.
The Public Health Agency has developed an example of a self-monitoring programme that is intended to be a support and help for municipalities in their supervisory role. The municipalities may have their own forms.

Self-monitoring programme

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