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Norway has exceptionally tight controls on the sale of beer, with beers over 4.75% only being available through government owned liquor stores and beer between 3.75% and 4.75% within the strictest selling hours in Europe-before 8pm on a weekday and 6pm on a Saturday. This zeal for regulation also flowed across to the licensing of breweries (homebrewing was outlawed) and the consequence was a consolidation to a few big brewing beasts like Carlsberg and Hansa.
A further consequence of the large bag of rules is that Norwegian beer is premium priced, so whilst very good is not always good value. The exception to this blatant generalization is the sublime beer coming from NogneØ (pronounced Nerg-ner Oh) established in 2002 by Gunnar Wiig who produces our most popular Norwegian brews.