The Norwegian Brewers had, amid some controversy, a launch of their new web site this afternoon, focusing on both beer, water and soft drinks. Norwegian authorities, namely the Directorate of Health, claim that such a web site is in violation on the ban of promoting alcohol.
Norwegian Brewers dispute this, saying that they have the right to give factual information about their products, especially as long as the wine monopoly promotes wine on their web site. Their new managing director, Petter Nome, is not afraid to speak his mind.
They are, nevertheless, on good speaking terms with some of the people in power. The Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lars Peder Brekk, has, as I have mentioned previously, been very positive to micro breweries. He has called for a revision of the laws, allowing for small scale producers to sell directly to the consumer.
Mr. Brekk was therefore named Årets Ølhund 2010, literally Beer Hound of the Year. In his acceptance speech, he stressed the need to think of beer and food as a whole, often adding a glass of aquavit as well. He was particularly pleased to see micro breweries among the ones gathered for this launch. He claimed not to have found any favourite beer as yet, but hs is still searching for it.
To mark the event, a dozen producers of beer and soft drinks were gathered. I’ll come back to updates on some of them over the next few days.