Løten is town of about 7,000 people set in fields and coniferous forests 20 km. east of the city of Hamar in Hedmark province, and near the shores of Lake Mjosa. It is chiefly celebrated as birthplace of the painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944). The region is one of the most northerly where grain crops can be grown, and was well-known in the nineteenth century for the akavit produced in several distilleries on the shores of Lake Mjosa. Within the town is one of Europe’s most striking distillery buildings, whose thirty-bay, three-storey building of 1855, with additions in 1890, 1934 and 1941, displays on the front in wrought-iron letters the chemical formula for making alcohol: C6 H10 O5 + H2O > 2C2 H2O + 2CO2. The distillery prospered with the arrival of the railway in Løten in 1862, after which its products were distributed all over Norway. The distillery has closed but its buildings remain and have been adapted as specialist shops occupied by candle makers and booksellers, amongst others.
The only remaining historic distillery working in Norway is the Atlungstad distillery on the shore of Lake Mjosa at Stange, 20 km WSW of Løten. Visitors can take tours of the distillery and in September and October they can witness the annual filling of the distillery vats.