Based on the island of Hunsøya in Vennesla, Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri delivers world-class craft drinks of exceptional taste and quality. Fresh from a gold medal win at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this dedicated brewery and distillery is on a roll – and showing no signs of slowing down.

Hunsfos Bryggeri was established in 2014 by a team of beer enthusiasts eager to create local craft beer of excellent quality. Within a few years, their award-winning beer was sold internationally. However, trouble was on the horizon in a way no one could have expected. As Norway shut down during the pandemic, the brewery’s beer sales dried up. The team weighed their options and knew they had to think outside the box. With plenty of time on their hands to plan and experiment, they applied for a licence to distil spirits from the premises with the aim of diversifying the product line. Before long, an exciting new venture was born.

Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri: Award-winning artisanal beer and liquor from Vennesla

Photos: Hunsfos Bryggeri

Immediate success with award-winning gin

After extensive internal testing, the team developed its first liquor product – Nordic River Citrus Flavoured Gin. The speciality gin was produced in 120 litres per batch to ensure optimal quality and flavour. “We sent our first locally produced Nordic River Citrus Flavoured Gin to the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2022,” says CEO Gjøran Thomassen. “We were overjoyed when our product won a gold medal just a month after we completed our first official batch!”

Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri: Award-winning artisanal beer and liquor from Vennesla

Photo: Vennesla Tidende

Two years on, the team has added several exciting liquor offerings to its varied line of products. Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri have once again won the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2024, this time for the fresh raspberry gin with no artificial ingredients. “Our Nordic River Raspberry Gin has been very well received. Its balanced sweetness and freshness have impressed competition judges and consumers alike,” says Thomassen.

While the dedicated team’s gin offerings have won awards and accolades, the pure vodka containing only Norwegian ingredients and the small-batch, barrel-aged aquavit have also been well-received. The liquor from Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is based on curiosity, creativity and attention to detail, as well as a deep appreciation of fresh, high-quality ingredients and Nordic distilling traditions.

Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri: Award-winning artisanal beer and liquor from Vennesla

Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri

Tight-knit team with a passion for craft drinks

Working under the motto “it’s not just a product, it’s a state of art”, the team behind Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is eager to share the love and passion for exceptional drinks. Since the start, their work has been focused on quality and craft. “Our goal is to create high-quality products that will provide a wonderful and exciting taste experience, with distinctive characteristics that will inspire greater curiosity and interest in artisanal drinks,” says Thomassen.

The resourceful team is working in surroundings that are well-suited to the entrepreneurial spirit. Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri is based in the old mill house of the historic Hunsfos Fabrikker, a former paper mill on the island of Hunsøya in Vennesla, located in the south of Norway. The team is keen to keep the industrial past alive and has integrated elements of the old mill into the modern brewery and distillery in an effort to preserve the local history, culture and values. “The locals that worked here for generations earned a reputation for excellent craftsmanship, and we’re happy to be able to produce drinks on the same premises,” says Thomassen. “We want our products to reflect the hard work and precision required to achieve that kind of craftsmanship, and we want to feel proud of what we produce.”

The brewery and distillery opens its doors for guided tours as well as tastings where the handcrafted beer and liquor can be sampled. In addition to tasting the award-winning drinks, the tours and tastings are giving people the opportunity to learn about the area’s interesting history and the fascinating production processes. Visitors can purchase products to take home from the shop and a new outdoor area has just been unveiled. Beyond the focus on locally-crafted drinks, the venue also plays host to a range of exciting cultural events and concerts.

“This isn’t just a job for us, it’s a lifestyle,” adds Thomassen. “We’re continually experimenting with new products and our latest is a limited-edition whiskey which will be aged in oak barrels for several years. It’s been exciting, and we feel that our journey is just getting started!”

Hunsfos Bryggeri og Destilleri: Award-winning artisanal beer and liquor from Vennesla

Photo: Hunsfos Bryggeri

Instagram: @hunsfosbryggeri

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