Farms now able to sell their cider

Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale on his way out of the farm shop set up at Egge Gård in Lier. At left, cider producer Marius Egge. PHOTO: Landbruksdepartementet

After years of trying, farms producing alcoholic beverages from, for example, apples and pears can now sell them on location instead of having to distribute them through the state wine and liquor monopoly Vinmonopolet. Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale was the first customer at the farm Egge Gård in Lier. “The change in the alcohol law […]

Norway ‘closes’ for holiday weekend


As Norwegians headed into an unusually long holiday weekend on Friday, many were stocking up in advance. The country’s state-run liquor stores (Vinmonopolet) were due to close at 6pm on Friday , for example, and won’t re-open until Wednesday morning. Business was expected to be especially brisk before Norway started shutting down for not only the annual pinse (Whitsund) […]

Vinmonopolet loses some holidays

Sales of wine and liquor are so politically charged in Norway that the issue of extended opening hours for the state liquor monopoly Vinmonopolet was a matter of debate in Parliament this week. It resulted in the state-controlled retailer being allowed to open on several days when it’s traditionally been closed. It will still be closed […]

Battle looms over liquor monopoly

Sales of tax-(duty-) free products at Norwegian airports constitute the single biggest threat to the state wine and liquor monopoly's control over sales of alcoholic beverages in Norway, according to the monopoly's own management. Ironically enough, they're unhappy that sales at Vinmonopolet have declined, even though the purpose of the monopoply is to restrict sales of alcohol. Instead, they fear, Norwegians are simply buying much more of their alcoholic beverages at airport duty-free shops or over the border in Sweden. PHOTO: Oslo Lufthavn AS

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s new conservative government has recently uncorked a series of proposals to ease tight restrictions on wine and liquor sales in the country. The state-sanctioned monopoly on sales of alcohol, Vinmonopolet, feels threatened, and opposition politicians are already fighting to maintain the monopoly’s control over access to highly taxed wine and liquor, and […]

Strike threatened at Vinmonopolet

Norway's state-controlled stores selling alcoholic beverages reflect restrictive policies but retain support among the public, not least for their large selection, information and customer service. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Workers at Norway’s state-run liquor chain Vinmonopolet have threatened to go on strike in response to a government proposal to open the stores during some holiday periods. As they headed into collective bargaining negotiations on Monday, staff said they would not give away extra holidays written into their agreement including Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Saturday, Whitsund […]

‘Gammel Dansk’ becomes ‘norsk’

Gammel Dansk, the venerable Danish liquor, and the Danish Aalborg line of aquavit are both about to be produced in Norway instead of Denmark. Norwegian spirits producer Arcus-Gruppen has taken over Aalborg Spritfabrikker in Aalborg, and is moving production to its distillery at Gjelleråsen just north of Oslo. “Now we intend to create growth for […]

‘End of an era’ for Vinmonopolet

Norway’s state wine and liquor monopoly, Vinmonopolet, was ending an era this week by phasing out the last of its retail outlets where customers had to place their orders from behind a counter. For decades, that was the norm when buying wine, liquor and even strong beer in Norway. Customers weren’t allowed to wander through […]

New wine shop aims to be world’s best

Until 1999, customers had to purchase all their wine and liquor from behind a counter. No longer. PHOTO: Vinmonopolet

So much for talk of hard times in Norway. The state-run liquor retailer, aptly called Vinmonopolet, has greatly expanded one of its high-grossing outlets in downtown Oslo and claims it will boast one of the best selections of wines in the world. Customers spent millions on opening day. Vinmonopolet re-opened its expanded store in Oslo’s […]

More support for strict alcohol laws

You’d never guess it after seeing the crowds in Strømstad, the Swedish border town where booze costs much less than in Norway, but a new survey indicates that more Norwegians now support their country’s strict laws regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages. A solid majority still thinks alcohol is too expensive, however, while another survey […]