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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Does Norwegian alcohol policy favour lower alcohol content beverages? A historical overview

A historical overview of the relation between Norwegian alcohol policy and problems caused by different alcoholic beverages during the last two centuries.

The main thesis is that the concrete shaping of Norwegian alcohol policy changes according to the beverage which is supposed to cause most harm. Traditionally, this beverage has been liquor, and the Norwegian alcohol policy has mainly been occupied with the evils of spirits. Problems following from the consumption of beer and wine have been seen as relatively modest. At times, these weaker beverages have been viewed as a temperate alternative to the stronger spirits. After WWII, the government chose a policy which tended to favour wine over liquor and beer. Wine consumption was related to a somewhat more sophisticated and cultural sphere than the rude consumption of beer and spirits.

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