Sweden has introduced a legally binding contract that, if breached, allows friends to take each other to court for cancelling or rearranging a planned beer.
The Beer Contract, called ‘Ölavtalet’ in Swedish, has been created by Swedish beer brand Norrlands Guld, under it’s alcohol free beer (0,5 ABV) Norrlands Guld Alkoholfri, to boost social get-togethers, encouraging friends to stick to their plans and make time for each other. Two friends can create the agreement in minutes, picking a date, time, and place to meet. Both parties then sign The Beer Contract electronically (via Sweden’s electronic citizen identification solution, Mobile BankID). Friends who have signed the contract are after that expected to fulfill their obligations under the contract and get together for a drink. If you commit a breach of contract by cancelling or simply not showing up, you will face
a fine of 500 Swedish Krona (£40 or $50).
Charlotte Liljewall, from Norrlands Guld, says ”Trying to plan a simple get together with a friend can be tricky. Just because you agree to grab a beer doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. To put an end to this half-hearted behaviour, and get more Swedes to meet as agreed, we’ve created a digital tool that helps turn empty words into action with a contract that guarantees a beer will take place. We want the contract to transform ‘maybe we’ll grab a beer’ into a legally binding ‘yes’”. It should be noted that even though this is a ‘Beer Contract’, beer doesn’t have to be consumed to fulfill the contractual obligations. The contract works for any drink, whether hot, cold, soft or alcoholic - so if a Swede has a friend who always bails on coffee dates, this is also the contract for them.