At last some sensible words from our elected representatives. But, mostly, it was because they were forced to do it by European legislation. Even for this non-member, echoes of the principles in the Treaty of Rome actually give us some taste of freedom.
So the Health Committee in the Norwegian parliament passed the draft last week, it will be passed in the first chamber tomorrow and then in the second chamber before their summer recess. You can follow the proposal on its way through the system on Stortinget’s web pages. The draft says the revised law will enter into force form 1 July.
No one expects this to change the Norwegian alcohol market very much, at least not when you look at the big numbers. This is for the ones who want to order wine directly from the producers or beer straight from the breweries or specialist beer shops.
How will it all work out?
We’ll have to test the new system, ordering beer from online shops across Europe. It is probably sensible for a number of us to join forces, this will cut both shipping costs and any fees for paperwork.
Some wine agents claim it will be cheaper to order their beers from Spain rather than through Vinmonopolet. But wine generally has a higher price tag per unit, perhaps making it more viable.
One thing is for sure, there is no way we can get cheaper pale lagers through direct import. For me this is all about better access to craft beers. I’ll keep you informed.
Any Norwegian readers who want to join in a common order, or any European beer retailers who want some customers in Norway, please e-mail me. Any other Scandinavians with experience of web orders are also welcome to comment. Maybe direct orders from micros is the way to do it?