Svalbard Brewery: Our Visit to the Northernmost Brewery

posted in: Beer, Norway, Tours | 25

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

Going on brewery tours has become a slight obsession of ours recently. During our recent trips to San Francisco and Ireland we found fantastic breweries to visit and we can’t wait to visit more. Our recent adventure gave us the opportunity to visit the world’s northernmost brewery and this was one we certainly couldn’t miss out on!
Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway
Svalbard Brewery, or Svalbard Bryggeri, is located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. A small brewery in the arctic that’s been making some big changes. You see, Svalbard has strict rules and regulations about alcohol. The locals are even restricted to how much beer they can buy in the shop every month! So Svalbard Brewery fought for five years to be allowed to produce alcoholic beverages on Svalbard.

Now they produce beer for the local alcohol shop, restaurants and bars of Svalbard. You can’t go anywhere in town without seeing some delicious Svalbard Brewery beer on sale. In fact, the beer is so good the brewery has a contract with Norwegian Air. You can see why we were keen to try this beer while in town!

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

The beer tours only take place 3 times a week so we made sure to book to in advance. Longyearbyen is a small coal-mining town so the only way to get to the brewery is to walk. The brewery is located on the edge of town by the harbour. Like I said, Longyearbyen is a small town so it isn’t a long walk to the brewery. Just remember to wrap up in warm clothes, especially if you’re visiting in winter.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

Once we arrived at the brewery we made our way upstairs to the beer tasting room. This is a small room with a bar and seating area over looking the brewery. We sat down and got to know some of the other people on the tour while we waited for it to start. I always love this part as beer tours always have fun beer loving people on them.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

After everyone had arrived and settled down our tour began with an introduction to the incredible story of Svalbard Brewery. I won’t reveal too much now but what this pilot and former mine worker did to get his brewery up and running is incredible. It really makes you appreciate the beer after hearing this story.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

Hearing this story also made me want to try all the beers they had on offer. I had already tried a couple in town already but now I was going to try more and I couldn’t wait. In front of us we had 5 small tasting glasses ready to filled with beer. In true beer tour style we started the tasting with the most popular of the Svalbard Brewery’s beer; the pilsner.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

After the pilsner we moved on to the blonde ale and then moved on the the pale ale. While we were enjoying our beer we also got to learn more about the strict alcohol rules of Svalbard. Our guide was also kind enough to show us what her alcohol card looked like. This is the card locals use to make sure they don’t buy more beers than they are allowed. I can’t imagine a world where beer is restricted! Although, this only applies to how much beer you can buy in the shop and not the the beers enjoyed in the pubs and restaurants.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

The last beers of our tasting were the IPA and the stout. All the beers we tried were delicious so I was very happy we came on the beer tasting tour. The stout was so good I couldn’t resist ordering more when we went out for dinner after the tour.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

After we had tried all the beers we moved to the other side of the room that overlooked the brewery downstairs. We were ‘walked’ through the beer making process and our guide also shared a few fun stories about the brewery too. This definitely was one of the more entertaining brewery tours we’ve been on. It was a shame it had to come to an end!

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

As we were on the outskirts of town we couldn’t resist checking out the polar bear street sign. Danik has been to Svalbard before so knew it wasn’t too far away from the brewery. It was just a 5 minute walk further down the road. This was a fun little detour for us that we couldn’t resist.

Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

Key Information

  • Tours around Svalbard Brewery are only available on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays at 6pm
  • Price of the tour is NOK 395
  • Tours last 1.5 hours
  • It’s best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment
  • Make sure to dress warm for the walk
  • The pilsner can be ordered on Norwegian Air international flights


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Svalbard Brewery; our visit to the northernmost brewery - Svalbard, Norway

Please note that while we were guests of Svalbard Brewery, the reviews and experiences written about in this post are 100% genuine. We value our readers too much to lie to you. Our blog would be nothing without you and your continued support!

25 Responses

  1. sounds like a great time! Breweries are certainly a win with me – anywhere were you can spend an afternoon drinking is to be fair though 😉

  2. I think it’s pretty awesome that you guys have discovered your love for touring the breweries! I personally don’t drink, but I think it’s interesting to see how the local beer is influenced by the culture and vice-versa. It’s also awesome to learn about the history with the breweries.

  3. Ha! This sound like so much fun 🙂 I can’t believe they let you drink first and did the actual tour after, though! I think after a handful of glasses of beer I would have been too tired to do the tour 😉

    Happy continued travels!

  4. Its always interesting to learn how things are made. Though I don’t drink at all, a trip to a brewery would be fun. Now that you’ve piqued my curiosity, I’m off to read some more about beer traditions across the world.

  5. I’ve been to a handful of breweries in South Africa and Taiwan, but sadly there were no tours involved. Basically we just browsed around and ordered some beers to enjoy in the gardens. But having an actual tour and learning about the process sure sounds like a whole lotta fun!

  6. We too have been doing more brewery tours in every city we have visited. We really tend to enjoy them and it helps us decide on which style we like more. We both like pilsners, wheats, and blondes. I think it would also be cool to go to this brewery since it is so far north and they have a cool story.

  7. Danila Caputo

    After our recent trip to Prague I’ve learnt that I’m definitely good with some light beer, and because hubby would love a beer tour I’d definitely add it to our itinerary if we ever go to Longyearbyen!

  8. That’s a good tip to book ahead of time- most brewery tours I’ve done are sort of a drop-in thing, so it’s important to note that this one is only open a few times per week!

  9. You had me a northernmost brewery – I’m in! 🙂 I’d love to say I’ve been to a brewery that far north. That’s helpful to know they only have a few tours a week so I don’t go on a day they’re not touring.

  10. This looks like such a cool spot. I’m more of a cider lover but I know Ryan would go crazy for it (and even the alcohol punch card system is kinda fun in a weird sort of way).

  11. Alcohol Card – that is something new I have heard of. Is it only for the locals? Is it to restrict consumption or to leave something for the tourists who come to Svalbard?

  12. Interesting tour. I’ve always heard of wine tours but not much of beer tours. Looks like you guys had fun! I see the glasses almost empty. 🙂

  13. It’s funny how cities which make beers prohibit it. Like I’m always confused? but God to read restriction has been reduced. How do they expect the beer makers to sell? I don’t do much of beer but I’d not mind a tour of the Svalbard building and see the hardwork the brewers put into making the perfect types of beers.

  14. One of the best things to do in a new place is get to know their brew scene – it’s always an education 🙂 But I had no idea beer was restricted there! Learning even more new things. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I don’t drink beer but if I would, this would definitely be my things. I love wine tastings and I’m sure I would love this too. Very interesting place, thanks for sharing!

  16. POLAR BEARS CROSSING??!! YIKES! Anyway, it sounds like the people who started this brewery had some passion and put a lot of heart and soul into it. No wonder people love the taste. Fascinating that they can only purchase a certain amount of beer, but can drink more at the pub I guess so that helps LOL! We have a lot of cool breweries here in San Francisco as you know but this seems like a fantastic experience!

  17. Oh I need to save this one, my husband loves tasting great beers when we travel, and visiting breweries around the world. Fun to find the northernmost one in the world! And it looks like they focus on the kind of craft beer he enjoys too.

  18. I would have to visit the brewery as well. We do love a good beer tour…like you. It’s a good thing you have to walk, since you are trying so many beers. Someday I’ll get to Svalbard.

  19. I love experiencing the drink scene when I’m visiting a new place! It’s always super fun and educational, of course! You can learn a lot about a new place that way, I find! This brewery sounds divine to experience, despite the challenge it faces 🙂

  20. The Svalbard Brewery seems to make some really high quality of beer and the fact that Norwegian Air gets its supplies from here is sure proof of the fact. The entrepreneurs who started this Brewery must have fought against all odds to reach where they are today, looking to the restrictions in the area on beer.

  21. Svalbard is high on my to do list – I’d really love to get there as it looks like such a wonderful but unusual location. I love that they have a brewery – I bet that helped warm you up! And how unusual to have an alcohol card – did they explain why they have such a system?

  22. I’ve visited a brewery a few years back when I was in Denmark. And although I don’t drink beer, I loved to watch the entire process. But this one looks much more attractive given its location 🙂 Thanks for sharing this

  23. We like going to breweries and jumping on a tour when we can too. You guys look so cozy in your puffy winter coats! Sounds like they have quite the story; it’s always fun to hear where the owners came from and how they got started. My latest beer of choice is IPA’s and Double IPA’s, although they are the ones with the higher alcohol content so I’m not sure I should stick with them! LOL

  24. Brewery tour is a new obsession for everyone these days 🙂
    I am sure you had a gala time at world’s northern most brewery. You have inspired me to visit a brewery soon as yet to experience this.

  25. A brewery in the arctic! What a cool experience…ha ha ha get it? 😉 I don’t love beer but I know my husband and I would enjoy this experience regardless!

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