You can find good insight about a country's alcohol culture by digging through their app store. In the Nordic countries, independent developers have gifted their programming prowess to help their fellow countrymen navigate the government's control of alcohol in order to help import it into the country, find the best deals, or just to find the nearest store.
On this slow news day, we've gone through the app store to help our readers find apps to improve their lives.
Alcohol is damn expensive in Norway, and as a natural consequence Norwegians traveling abroad have learned to haul back as much beer and liquor as possible. But it gets complicated. At the beginning of this July, Norway put up new regulations on how much alcohol and tobacco can be brought back into the country without it being taxed.
To make sure you're obeying the quota up to the letter of the law, new app Reisekvote makes it easy to choose between valid quota combinations of booze and ciggies based on common bottle sizes. The app works offline for all those travelers without roaming plans.
What does this tell us about Norway? Alcohol is too expensive, but there's an app for that.
Category: Food & Drink
Sweden's quirk is that if you want to buy alcohol stronger than 3.5%, you've got to go to Systembolaget, the stage run monopoly. This is a bigger pain than going to your corner shop for a few beers, but the upside is uniform pricing, good data collection, and an open Systembolaget API.
Although it seems like it would be against Systembollaget's API terms, Alkohol per Krona presumably pulls information from the API and lets Swedes know what the deals are out there. The app gives a warning that it isn't working right now, so thirsty swedes might as well use APK.se.
Another Swedish app worth mentioning is Promillekoll, a nice looking app made by Systembollaget, that gives you an estimate of your alcohol percentage.
What does this say about Swedes? Swedes drive a hard bargain, and are either competitive about their alcohol percentage, or drink responsibly.
Alkoon's description tells potential downloaders:
Travelling to a party and trying desperately to find a bottle of red wine?
Problems locating nearest Alko store in an unfamiliar town?
"Alkoon" will solve all your problems. Well, at least it will help you navigate to all Alko stores in Finland.
Opening up Alkoon, a Finn gets all the facts he needs to grab a bottle of Jallu. The app gives you a simple compass pointing to the nearest Alko (Finland's hard alcohol monopoly), and tells you how much time you have to get there before it closes. It's direct and to the point, much like the Finnish people it's built for.
Other power features include a list of all the Alkos out there for those of you who prefer searching alphabetically, or a map of all the world's Alkos.
What does this tell us about Finland? Finns want short, simple information on where to get alcohol.
Category: Food and Drink
After much searching for something sillier for Denmark, the best we could come up with was the top-rated Vivino from their native Denmark. The company, which we just covered, lets users scan and rate the wine they've drank.
What does this say about Denmark? Maybe Danish alcoholic programmers are classier than the rest of the Nordics.
Know any other apps we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Beer and phone image by shutterstock.