The other story about beer in Norway is connected to Hurtigruten, what used to be the coastal steamer along the Western coast of Norway, now a fleet of cruise ships doing the Bergen-Kirkenes round trip in two weeks. These ships are filled with well heeled tourists during the summer season, enjoying the fjords, the coastline and the towns.
The restaurants on board take pride in presenting the best of national cuisine, which includes buying supplies from companies along the route.
According to the newspaper Dagbladet, they have provoked Norwegian producers of fruit wine by a recent press release, stating that « Hurtigruten wants to serve the best of Norway to our guests, including both travel and taste. Without any Norwegian wine production, we had to go abroad to find wines that are appropriate for the most beautiful voyage in the world..»
I won’t go into the polemics concerning the fruit wines on offer, I have not tasted the products in question and cannot say if they are more than a novelty than a serious alternative to wines made from grapes . What caught my eye was a comment from the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lars Peder Brekk:
– It’s great that Hurtigruten say they will serve the best of Norway. They ought to present Norwegian alcohol products for foreign tourists. In addition to the cider and wine producers we have several outstanding Norwegian micro breweries.
I don’t think any member of His Majesty’s Government has mentioned micro breweries in an official capacity. Ever. So full credit to Mr. Brekk.
And I think I know one area where the reborn Norwegian Brewers association should focus – Hurtigruten, the ferries to Norway and the hotels who claim to take pride in Norwegian cooking with domestic ingredients. I don’t think they will have problems getting press coverage, either.