This month Wellington’s Hashigo Zake has the pleasure of hosting a legend of the worldwide explosion in craft beer on a whirlwind tour of New Zealand.
Kjetil Jikiun is the founder and head brewer of the Nøgne Ø brewery in Grimstad, Norway.
In its short history Nøgne Ø has become celebrated in the world of craft beer for its distinctive output. They fearlessly blend the traditional and the innovative to produce some of the best beer in the world. They have also shown that out of a country with conflicted attitudes to alcohol consumption, high excise tax on alcohol and little tradition of great brewing, a world-class craft brewery can emerge.
In his week on New Zealand soil Kjetil will visit the Renaissance brewery in Blenheim (also the home of New Zealand’s 2011 champion brewery – 8 Wired) and Wellington’s new Garage Project brewery.
It is intended that these visits will lead to new, collaborative beers.
The social highlight will be a banquet at Wellington’s Zibibbo Restaurant that will match the restaurant’s fine food with some of the Nøgne Ø brewery’s richest beers. The banquet takes place on Sunday the 20th of November at 6pm, with pre-dinner drinks at Hashigo Zake from 5pm.
In Auckland Galbraith’s Brewery will host a tasting for media and trade on November the 24th.
Kjetil Jikiun is one of Craft Brewing’s most charismatic figures. As a frequent traveller he has been the best possible ambassador for his own beer and has been a welcome visitor (and frequent collaborator) at breweries in North America, Japan and Scotland.
The Nøgne Ø Brewery was founded in 2002 by Kjetil Jikiun and Gunnar Wiig. It is based in the town of Grimstad in South East Norway. The brewery’s name is borrowed from a poem by Henrik Ibsen and means “Naked Isle”. Ibsen had been an apprentice pharmacist in Grimstad.
Hashigo Zake, Cult Beer Bar, is Nøgne Ø’s New Zealand importer. In 2010 Hashigo Zake entered.
Nøgne Ø’s Lambic-style fruit beer called Tyttebær at the BrewNZ Beer Awards where it won a gold medal. A few months earlier Nøgne Ø was named the Champion Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards.