The Arcus story

Arcus came into being on 1 January 1996, when the company was first split off from Vinmonopolet – Norway’s state-owned wine monopoly.

The creation of Arcus ended the Norwegian state's exclusive right to produce, import and distribute wine and spirits, as the company took control of these aspects of Vinmonopolet’s activities.

Initially owned by the state, Arcus was partially privatised in 2000, saw a further divestment of shares in 2003, and become a fully privately owned enterprise on 1 January 2004.

Our roots go way back to the 1800s when aquavit – derived from the Latin aqua vitae, meaning water of life – was first shipped across the equator in oak casks. It was noticed that the voyage improved the quality of the spirit, and Arcus still continues with this Norwegian tradition – that dates right back to the days of potato stills and home-brewed spirits.

Since 2005, Arcus has evolved from a Norwegian undertaking to a Nordic institution, thanks to a series of strategic acquisitions and the expansion of our brand portfolio.