International Student Blog

Get Involved: Bergen Ølfestival 2015

This year, I’m excited to be volunteering for BØ (Bergen Ølfestival). BØ is Norway’s largest beer fest. Volunteering is a great opportunity for international – or any students – and volunteering for Ølfestival has its own set of benefits. So today I want to share my top 3 reasons to join me and volunteer for BØ! And if you don’t already know, Øl means beer and Mat means food – an important Norsk lesson!





Map of brewery stalls. Image:

1. Taste and learn about Norwegian beers

  • This year’s festival features all 35 Norwegian microbreweries:


IMG_38467 Mountain Brewery
Aass Brewery
Amundsen Bryggeri
Austmann Brewery
Balder Brygg
Baran Brewery
Berentsens Brygghus
Bryggerhuset Veholt
Drone Potion
Ego Brygghus
Mountain Brewery
Færder microbrewery
Grim & Gryt
Grünerløkka Brygghus
Borg Breweries
Kinn Brewery
Klostergården microbrewery
Lervig Aktiebryggeri
Lindheim Ølkompani
Little Brother Brewery
Lysefjord microbrewery
Mack Brewery
Namdal brewery
Northern & Co 
Nøgne Ø
Nøisom Craft Beer
Qvart Ølkompani
Schouskjelleren microbrewery
St. Hallvards Brewery
Voss Brewery
Ægir Brewery

A taster at Voss Brewery Image: Stand Hiestand


  • There are also beer-related classes including a brewing demonstration.
  • A homebrew competition (winner is announced at the festival) with the theme “Beer to Norwegian food” – or beer pairing with Norwegian foods.
  • And stands featuring beer and cuisine-related products.

Of course you can experience this all by getting a ticket, but if you choose to volunteer you get to attend the BØ after-party, where free food and beer abound as a thank you for your volunteer-efforts. Additionally, you can get into the Øl and Matfests (see below for a link to more Mat-fo — that’s info about Matfest) for free at times you are not at work. For the full programme of activities, click here – but it is in Norsk.

pingvinen_180x180pxOne of the fine restaurants providing food at BØ. Image:

2. Eat food!

  • As mentioned above, get into Matfest for free when you’re not working where you can explore local specialities.
  • There is also free food provided for BØ volunteers during the shifts Friday and Saturday (by 3 of Bergen’s finest restaurants) as well as at the after-party.


Video from


3. Meet new friends

  • Volunteering at the Ølfestival is a great way to make other volunteer-friends, both international and Norwegian.
  • You might also meet some new buddies perusing the beer and food stalls, the lectures, or even the event stage.



Maybe this guy will be your new pal? Image:


Ready to volunteer?

  • To be a volunteer you must be available to work for 10 hours
  • There are a variety of different opportunities for shifts, either at the festival itself or helping to set up or take down the festival
  • For more information check out their page for Ølfestival Volunteers.
  • Email questions to:




Not into volunteering and just want to go to BØ?

  • BØ will take place at Bergenhus Fortress  – popular concert venue sometimes known as, “Bergens venue.”
  • Tickets can be booked online –
  • Admission costs kr 50 advanced, kr 60 at the door (+ fees), admission covers both BØ and Bergen Matfest 
  • You must be 18 years or older to buy beer at Bergen Ølfestival.


The Beerfest.Signs of last year’s beerfest. Image: Stand Hiestand

Buying Beer at BØ:

  • To consume beer at BØ you must buy the “starter kit” that includes one taster glass and 3 beer vouchers for kr 100. Beer in BØ served only in these tasters.
  • Then you can buy 4 beer vouchers for kr 100.
  • One beer voucher generally gets you one beer serving (about 1 dl), but some more expensive beers may cost 2 tickets for 1 serving.
  • There will some food sales inside the courtyard, where three of the city’s best restaurants are preparing menus that pair well with different varieties of beer. Also, you can head over to the Bergen Matfest section of the festival, however, keep in mind these are separated and you can’t bring your beers with you – so plan ahead!


Friday: 13.00 to 21.00
Saturday: from 12.00 to 20.00

To read more about my love for Norwegian microbrews, click here.


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