Norway’s state meteorologists have confirmed that July was the coldest in nearly 20 years, with both the unseasonal chill and lots of rain clearly putting a damper on beer sales. Firewood vendors, however, had a great summer.
“We have had maximum bad luck,” Sanel Hasic, part-owner of the newly opened restaurant Nedre Foss Gård that has a large outdoor terrace in the center of Oslo, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “The weather decides nearly everything in this branch.”
And that meant that sales of both food and beer, which Norwegians prefer to drink outdoors in the summertime, were poor. Local breweries confirmed that sales were down 5 percent, although it could have been worse. Sales boomed in unusually warm weather last summer, “so sales fell less than we’d thought,” Nicolay Bruusgaard of the large Ringnes brewery told DN. Rival Aass Brewery in Drammen also reported a decline in beer sales this summer.
The cold weather sparked an unexpected boom in firewood sales, however, especially in the mountains and other areas where Norwegians have holiday homes. One vendor told state broadcaster NRK that he’d had his best summer in years, as holidaymakers lit fireplaces outdoors and indoors.