Beer sales in Norway decreased by 3.2% to 243 million gallons in 2010, according to figures from the Norwegian brewery and beverage association Bryggeri- og Drikkevareforeningen released on Monday. In the same period soft drinks sales fell by 2.7% to 513 million gallons and water dropped 8.4% to 86 million gallons, while sales of cider increased by 2.6% to 7 million gallons.
Overall, it is thus a clear decline in sales of Norwegian-produced beverages. Petter Nome, Brewery and beverage association, said the reasons are complex. When it comes to beer and soft drinks, there is little doubt that the tax level in Norway leads to increased Swedish trade”, he said.
Beer in Norway
Due to government restrictions, beers above 4.75% abv are only available from licensed premises or from the state-run Vinmonopolet liquor stores. This has resulted in some foreign breweries decreasing the alcohol content in their beer in order to make them legal for supermarket retail. In addition, in some municipalities alcohol sale is further restricted, with beer only being available through licensed retailers. This practice is mostly restricted to northern and western municipalities.