Soaring suds: Norwegian Air to serve Svalbard Bryggeri beer on international flights; brewery doubling production


It’s a sobering challenge to get thousands of people buzzed while they’re high every month, but the folks at Svalbard Bryggeri are eager to get hopping to it.

Beer produced by the local brewery will be sold on all Norwegian Air international flights (including those to and from Svalbard) beginning in June, according Andreas Hegerman Riis, co-founded and brewmaster of the facility.

“It’s going to be on all their long hauls and Scandinavian trips,” he said. “Not so much domestic, but of course Svalbard flights.”

Norwegian Air’s website states beer is a free beverage option during the primary meal on long-haul international flights and available for purchase on shorter international flights (the current menu lists a can of Heineken for £4 and Peroni Nastro Azzurro for £4.50).

“I delivered nine pallets of beer (about 13,000 cans) to them yesterday,” Riis said in an interview Saturday. “They’re estimating they’ll order nine to ten thousand cans a month.”

Riis said that roughly matches the number of cans the brewery is selling now to all of its customers.

 “Also the mainland is increasing and up here it’s increasing, so we are doubling up production,” he said.

The brewery’s few employees are keeping up with the extra demand by “working our asses off,” although another brewer is expected to be hired this summer and a woman has just been hired for tours the brewery now typically offers to about 20 to 30 people daily, Riis said.

“Materials, of course, we know we have to struggle to get more stuff and just work hard to accommodate the orders,” he said.