Carlsberg invites travelers to Sweden to enjoy the “Last Round” at the world's first underwater bar.
Let's just get this out of the way up front: don't drink and boat.
That should be obvious, but to drive the point home it's prominently displayed above the world's first underwater bar in Sweden.
Sunken off the coast of Smögen, Sweden rests the "Last Round" bar- a saloon intended to attract imbibers while at the same time promoting safety while boating. It's quite clever, actually.
Carlsberg, the massive Danish brewery conglomerate, dropped the underwater alehouse in an effort to take social responsibility for issues around the products they sell. In doing so, the brewer is inviting people to visit Smögen and enjoy the "last round" as a metaphor for what can happen when you mix drinking and boating.
The rub is that the bar only serves non-alcoholic beer, but scuba diving and thinning your bloodstream with alcohol don't mix, either. You can free dive to grab your pint as well, as the bar sits in roughly 15 feet of water.
“As a leading brewery and distributor of alcoholic beverages, we have a responsibility for how our beverages are consumed,” said Henric Byström, communications manager at Carlsberg Sweden. “Our ambition with the underwater bar is that it will be an important reminder to abstain from alcohol at sea, and choose an alcohol-free alternative instead.”
The pub itself is fully operational with neon lights to attract float-by swimmers, a refrigerator, and a full bar with Carlsberg on tap. There's even barstools so you can take a seat and soak in the view. The original plan was to only keep it open for the month of July, but with the enormous response it's likely that Smögen will keep its tourism industry smokin' (metaphorically) as long as it can.
Like many maritime locales around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst for a huge surge in recreational boating. Sweden has experienced the same, and with that comes an increased risk of inexperienced boaters hitting the water. Likewise around the globe, the number of drowning deaths involving alcohol is staggeringly high. Inexperience and alcohol leads to accidents, so Carlsberg is stepping in to accomplish two things- 1) promote safe boating, and 2) provide a great backdrop for Swedes and foreign tourists alike to circle Smögen on their map.
In an interesting twist, Carlsberg is also arguably the global leader in non-alcoholic beer. The company has invested heavily in non-alcoholic alternatives in the last two decades, so the extent that Sweden is a large consumer of over 20 million liters of non-alcoholic beer per year (surprisingly Germany is the world leader in non-alcoholic beer consumption with over 11% of its total beer consumption being 'dry.')
If you really want a wallop of the real stuff, once you're off the water Smögen has countless options. It's a fishing town with a harbour to boot, so naturally there's a massive boardwalk where you can lollygag to your heart's content. There's a fish market, cafes, restaurants, retail stores, and of course, more than a couple above-water beer taps.
Book your trip now. Bring a swimsuit. And a floaty chair.