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Home* News and Stories → Will Lon­gye­ar­by­en get the nort­hern­most bre­we­ry in the world?

Will Lon­gye­ar­by­en get the nort­hern­most bre­we­ry in the world?

On Sval­bard, sale and pro­duc­tion of alco­ho­lic drinks are cur­r­ent­ly regu­la­ted more strict­ly than in main­land Nor­way. Apart from bars and restau­rants, alco­ho­lic drinks are only sold by the govern­men­tal mono­po­list “Nord­po­let” in Sval­bard­bu­tik­ken in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and the­re the allo­wan­ce is limi­ted for ever­yo­ne. Locals have a card and tou­rists use their flight ticket to docu­ment purcha­ses. Pro­duc­tion of alco­ho­lic drinks is com­ple­te­ly pro­hi­bi­ted, both for com­mer­cial pur­po­ses and for pri­va­te con­sump­ti­on.

The­se regu­la­ti­ons are now under recon­si­de­ra­ti­on and it seems they might soon be histo­ry. It is four years ago that Robert Johan­sen con­ta­c­ted the Nor­we­gi­an Health Depart­ment to app­ly for the con­ces­si­on for a bre­we­ry in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. This was not pos­si­ble under given legis­la­ti­on, but for once, aut­ho­ri­ties were wel­ling (after all, it was about beer!) so this tur­ned out to start the pro­cess for a legis­la­ti­ve amend­ment.

Cur­r­ent­ly the Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties deci­de on the sus­pen­si­on of the regu­la­ti­ons, which date part­ly back as far as 1929. The Depart­ments of Health and Agri­cul­tu­re did alrea­dy signal that a chan­ge of regu­la­ti­ons is wel­co­me and that no rea­sons are seen against it. If the legis­la­ti­ve amend­ment comes, the pro­duc­tion of alco­ho­lic drinks will be made pos­si­ble as a start. Later the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve limi­ta­ti­on for the sale of alco­hol may be abolis­hed.

If ever­ything pro­ceeds as expec­ted, Robert Johan­sen wants to offer beer “made in Lon­gye­ar­by­en” as soon as sum­mer 2014. His bre­we­ry will be cal­led Sval­bard Bryg­ge­ri AS and will start with a pro­duc­tion of ca. 100.000 liters per year. Sale of rela­ted sou­ve­nirs is also plan­ned. The­re are reac­tions on the expec­ted amend­ment in Bar­ents­burg as well. The­re the Rus­si­an mining com­pa­ny Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol alrea­dy app­lied for the con­ces­si­on for a bre­we­ry – which alrea­dy exists sin­ce 2013 as part of the mining com­pa­ny.

When the brewing in Lon­gye­ar­by­en real­ly starts, Sval­bard Bryg­ge­ri will be the nort­hern­most bre­we­ry in the world. Cur­r­ent­ly Mack Bre­we­ry in Trom­sø claims this tit­le and it might keep it offi­cial­ly as with an annu­al pro­duc­tion of 100.000 liters Sval­bard Bryg­ge­ri would be a microbre­we­ry accord­ing to Nor­we­gi­an law. This term descri­bes small bre­we­ries with an annu­al pro­duc­tion lower than 600.000 liters. Several mcrobre­we­ries are cur­r­ent­ly plan­ned in Nor­way, north of Trom­sø, for examp­le in Ham­mer­fest and in the muni­ci­pa­li­ty of Gam­vik.

The Mack Bre­we­ry faces the ari­sing com­pe­ti­ti­on posi­tively but as a big bre­we­ry it clas­si­fies its­elf in ano­t­her cate­go­ry. Some years ago for finan­cial rea­sons the Mack Bre­we­ry moved its beer pro­duc­tion to Nordk­jos­botn wich is loca­ted south of Trom­sø. Mack nevertheless claims the tit­le “the world´s nort­hern­most bre­we­ry” becau­se the company´s head­quar­ter is still in Trom­sø.

Beer made in Bar­ents­burg.

Beer made in Barentsburg

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2016-12-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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