Arcus resumes production in 160 year old craft distillery

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Arcus challenges itself. Large scale producer starts small scale distillery – where spirits were produced 160 years ago.

Arcus is a major player in liquor production, and is perhaps particularly renowned for its aquavits such as Gilde, Løiten, LINIE, Aalborg and Gammel Opland, to mention a few. Now Arcus is being challenged by a small and flexible distillery, which it owns itself.

"It’s important that Arcus is challenged, both in aquavit, gin and other categories. With this initiative there will be focus on innovative recipes and new products, and thus a challenge to ourselves,” says Erlend Stefansson, managing director of Arcus Spirits.

The story of Atlungstad Brenneri

In the mid-1800s a number of farmers in Stange joined forces to establish Atlungstad Brenneri. An important factor for the distillery was access to clean water, and the factory was therefore located at the mouth of the Fjetreåa river on Nedre Atlungstad’s land. The location next to Mjøsa was important to ease transport, which was usually by water due to poor roads.

Atlungstad Brenneri was one of the country’s leading distilleries from the start and until liquor production was discontinued in 2008. Arcus has contributed to resuming liquor production, and is now establishing a craft distillery in the same premises where spirits were produced from potatoes more than 160 years ago.

Atlungstad Håndverksdestilleri

In 2018 a new company was established, namely Atlungstad Håndverksdestilleri AS, which is owned by Arcus ASA. Atlungstad Håndverksdestilleri will be operated and headed by Rasmus Heuch, son of the grand old man of aquavit, Halvor Heuch.

“We are starting a distillery where we shall produce and provide small-scale products, in other words distinctive and interesting products in small quantities. We have already created aquavits for associations and clubs who would like their own aquavit. These are small-scale products that are far better suited for a flexible craft distillery than in Arcus’s large production system. We will continue to develop good aquavits for associations and clubs, but will expand with innovative products that will be available through Vinmonopolet,” says Rasmus Heuch.

In 2018 almost 20,000 bottles of aquavit were produced and bottled Atlungstad under the auspices of Arcus, for 25 clubs and associations.

Gjelleråsen, Norway, 2 January 2019

About Arcus 

Arcus is a leading Nordic branded consumer goods company within wine and spirits. Arcus is the worlds largest producer of aquavit, and holds strong market positions for wine and spirits across the Nordics. Vectura, a wholly owned company, supplies complete logistics solutions for the beverage industry. Arcus was spun off from the Norwegian state monopoly, Vinmonopolet, in 1996 and since then has grown from a local company to an international group with the Nordic region and Germany as its home market. The Group also exports a significant volume of spirits to other countries, of which the most important is USA. Arcus is listed on Oslo Børs.


Per Bjørkum, Group Director Communications and IR, mobile +47 922 55 777 and e-mail:

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