Beers over the limit

Photo courtesy of Nøgne Ø Beer-bottling at the Nøgne Ø brewery.

Photo courtesy of Nøgne Ø
Beer-bottling at the Nøgne Ø brewery.

Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

Present legislation permits a maximum alcohol by volume content of 4.7 percent in supermarket-vended beers. According to Norway’s Breweries and Soft Drinks Association, “a considerable amount” of those sold that are produced by smaller, independent brewers exceed this level, however.

“Tests carried out on 138 different beers show that about 60 percent are too strong, and some contain over 7 percent alcohol by volume,” they write in a statement.

Only government alcohol shop chain Vinmonopolet is currently allowed to sell shoppers alcoholic drinks that pass the stipulated 4.7 percent level.

Norwegian alcohol industry players have also turned their noses up at supermarket wine sales, and alcohol consumption in Norway is on the rise—something that bucks European trends.

At the same time, Center-Right Parties have expressed a wish to soften up alcohol policy—particularly regarding wine—amongst falling sales for the monopoly.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the Oct. 2, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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