Norway is known for being very expensive, and in addition to the general expensiveness of the country, all alcohol is highly taxed. This has lead to some of the highest costs of beer in the entire world, so exactly how much should you expect to pay for a beer in Norway in 2022?
You should expect to pay around 30 NOK for a single can of 0.5L beer in a grocery store, or around 90 NOK for the same beer at a bar, restaurant or café. Specialty beer like IPAs or imported beer typically cost around 10 – 15 NOK more than regular Norwegian pilsner.
That said, there are always variations and exceptions, so let’s take a closer look at the cost of buying a beer in Norway.
What you can expect to pay for a beer in Norway in 2022
|Price in NOK||$USD equivalent (approximate)|
|0.3 L regular beer at grocery store||25 NOK||$2.5|
|0.5 L regular beer at grocery store||25 – 30 NOK||$2.5 – $3|
|0.3 L regular beer at a bar or cafés||50 – 75 NOK||$5 – $7.5|
|0.5 L regular beer at a bar or cafés||80 – 100 NOK||$8 – $10|
|0.3 L specialty or imported beer at grocery store||30 – 40 NOK||$3 – $4|
|0.5 L specialty or imported beer at grocery store||40 – 50 NOK||$4 – $5|
The table above is made by collecting information from several different bars and restaurants (yes, I had a lot of fun doing research for this article). All prices used for grocery stores are from Rema 1000 and Oda, so they will be slightly higher in the more expensive grocery stores such as Meny or Joker.
You can easily see from the table that you should buy 0.5L cans if you want the most bang for your buck. Bottles with 0.3L are generally unproportionally expensive in Norway, and are mostly used for specialty beer that charges a premium anyway.
Prices will be higher in certain places and times
The prices in this article is based on averages from pretty much regular bars and restaurants, and beer will be much more expensive if you buy it from a fine dining restaurant like Under or from the bar at the opera in Oslo. However, most regular restaurants without international fame will sell beer for around 90 – 110 NOK.
Generally prices tend to stay lower in the daytime, then have a price increase at around 22.00 or 23.00 in the evening. A beer can increase its price with 10 – 20 NOK for 0.5 unit at this point in the night, so it will be more expensive to drink late in the night.
Nightclubs will also usually be a bit more expensive, so don’t be surprised if a single beer will cost you over 100 NOK.
Why is beer so expensive in Norway?
The reason why beer is so expensive in Norway is mainly due to heavy taxation. Regular beer is taxed at 22.4 NOK per liter, in addition to the other taxes such as VAT at 25 %.
This means that if you pay 30 NOK for a 0.5L can of beer, you first have to remove the 25 % VAT to get the real price at 22.5 NOK. Then we have to subtract the 11.2 (half of 22.4) NOK for the alcohol fee. This leaves you with a price of 11.3 NOK for the beer after all taxes have been removed.
So in other words, when you buy a beer for 30 NOK in Norway, 18.7 NOK goes directly to the government, while only 11.3 NOK goes towards the grocery store and beer producer.
As you can imagine, just over 11 NOK does not really leave a lot of profit margin for the grocery stores, so it’s clear that the high price point has do to with the taxation.
But why the high tax?
Research has concluded that a higher tax on products like beer, tobacco and other unhealthy goods lead to a lower overall consumption. This is the reason why the government has taxed it so high, and they firmly believe that this saves many lives that would otherwise be lost to alcohol.
There is no political movement to reduce the tax, so Norwegians have learnt to accept it for what it is. So this means that you simply need to pay the high price for a beer in Norway when you are visiting, or simply drink something else without alcohol in it if you want to save money.