Back at Mack’s
“Ludvig Mack wanted to start the brewery so people would have something else to drink—all that was available was wine and hard liquor,” says Pederson about this brewery founded in 1877. “Back then it was not normal to get beer that tasted good. It was sour when you got it from Hansa in Bergen or Ringnes in Oslo. In those days you couldn’t cool it down or filter it right,” he explains.
“There wasn’t suppose to be a brewery so far north,” remembers Pederson. “An old manager I worked with told me there is nothing logical about having Mack in Tromsø,” he adds. So much for that theory: up until December 10, 2000 Mack held the title for the northernmost brewery in the world.
Though Mack technically lost its claim to fame to Nordkapp Mikrobryggeri, a microbrewery further north (in Honningsvag), the new titleholder showed true brewsmanship by naming its first beer Sorry Makk (phonetic in Norwegian for Sorry Mack). Despite being northed-out, Mack is considered a more proper brewery and is still called the northernmost brewery in the world.
Fortunately, some titles are meant to change. Mack Brewery’s unofficial men’s-only club came to a close after a 44-year-long honeymoon. On a mid-summer’s night eve in 1972, women were officially welcomed to Olhallen’s, the brewery’s pub—though it wasn’t with open arms. The deal was the men finally got urinals and new bathrooms in exchange for the right for women to beer mugs at Mack’s. Now that’s getting to the bottom of things. Skal!