U.S. Marines and sailors reportedly drank an entire Icelandic city dry during NATO’s Trident Juncture 2018 three years ago today.
The exercise, said to be the largest military exercise in decades, drew in military forces from 31 countries and sprawled from the Baltic Sea to Iceland, where some 7,000 American sailors and Marines marched into bars across the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, Stars and Stripes reported at the time.
Local blogger Eiríkur Jónsson said that owners of the bars were trying hard to serve up the American soldiers whatever they wanted but “they were fighting an overwhelming force.”
The demand for cold brews was a four-day event that dried up the beer supply in the city of Reykjavik.
Bartender Ingvar Svendsen of American Bar said, “We had to send people out of the bar to our warehouses to bring beer back as quickly as possible. Other bars ran out of beer altogether.”
As the beer supply dwindled, bar owners were looking to better-stocked bars for help, but the masses were too many and they just couldn’t keep up.
The soldiers also enjoyed some hard liquor in Iceland, but due to its high prices compared to the U.S., Svendsen said some of the liquor remained through the weekend.
Bar owners said they’d never seen anything like it.
The demand required them to call on help from a local brewery in Iceland, Ölgerð Egils Skallagrímssonar, which is referred to as the king in the North, Military Times reported.
The brewery worked overtime to send emergency shipments, ensuring the soldiers had their fill of beer before departing.
“(The Americans) were very polite and friendly, and caused no problems at all. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. It was fun for us too, having them here,” Svendsen said.
The city of 120,000 was able to rest once the service members departed back to Trident Juncture duty.
Trident Juncture is the largest NATO-led exercise held since the Cold War, involving more than 40,000 military service members, 150 aircraft, 70 ships and 10,000 vehicles from 31 countries.
The exercise lasted just more than a week and concluded on Nov. 7.