116 years after the last bottle was filled at Sundes distillery in 1900, aquavit farmer Svein Berfjord brought the tradition back to Inderøy and today runs Inderøy distillery from Berg Farm in Inderøy.
Cask-aged aquavit from Inderøy
The monopoly scheme for the production of spirits was abolished in 2005, which opened opportunities for other than just Arcus to make and sell aquavit. Arcus is the company under the Vinmonopolet that had a monopoly on producing alcoholic beverages in Norway. In recent years, the focus on short-travelled, local and traditional food and drink has led to a new flourishing of small-scale aquavit production.
Kjersti and Svein Berfjord at Berg Farm in Inderøy focus on farm tourism and have their own country farm store, farm butchery and restaurant. In 2015, they established Inderøy Distilleryt and the farm’s Inderøy caraway is now processed into cask-aged aquavit. They delivered the first bottles to the local Vinmonopol in 2016 – 116 years after the last local aquavit was distilled at Sundnes Brenneri.
Caraway grown on Berg farm is one of the most important ingredients in the Inderøy aquavit. Svein observed that fruit farmers in the south and west had started making apple spirits and then got the idea to process the caraway he grows on the farm. There are eight / nine growers on Inderøy who produce almost all the caraway in Norway. Most Norwegian aquavit is probably produced with Inderøy caraway. They have been selling the caraway for many years to another large aquavit producer, Arcus. Thus, the idea of building a separate distillery was born. Svein jokingly says that from the time he started distilling in March 2015, he did not drive a car until April 2016.
In addition to home-grown caraway, Berfjord has also used local junipers. Star anise, coriander, fennel and other widely used aquavit spices are of course also included.
Aged in old sherry casks
Aquavit must be matured in casks – a minimum of 12 months in 1000 liter casks and a minimum of 6 months in 500 liter casks. Svein has a 500 liter cask, but he wanted to do more than the minimum requirement. Therefore, the first aquavit Svein produced – Akevitt no 1 – spent 9 months in old sherry casks (Oloroso and PX) which he bought from the Spanish sherry house Fernando de Castilla.
After aging in casks, the aquavit is pumped up into a milk tank, then cold-stabilized and filtered before being hoisted into another tank and ready for bottling.
The Golden Aquavit (Den Gyldne Akevitt) – the first aquavit where all the raw materials are Norwegian
Svein started by using only classic spices in the aquavits. But besides Inderøy caraway produced on the farm, the other spices were not particularly short-travelled or local. Anise seeds from Syria, star anise from China, fennel from Germany, coriander from Turkey and citrus from the Mediterranean countries. Thus, the idea of replacing these spices with something that grows locally was born. Since then, he has taken many walks in Inderøy and picked from the rich local flora. He has then distilled everything from dandelion to spruce shoots to give the aquavits a very special and local addition.
The Golden Aquavit is a result of this process. It is the first aquavit where all the raw materials are Norwegian. All seeds and herbs have been harvested along the Golden Road. In the aquavit you will find, among other things, Inderøy caraway, watercress, mead, dandelion and spruce shoots. The aquavit is also sweetened with Inderøy honey. After that, it has been stored for 12 months in used Oloroso casks.
Svein now produces several types of aquavit
See an overview of the different aquavits produced by Svein
The aquavits are on the Vinmonopolet’s additional selection, which means that all of Vinmonopolet’s stores across the country can order in the aquavit.
Join the aquavit farmer in the cask house
You will be served aquavit history, get to know more about the production and casket aging, in addition to tasting the different aquavits.