Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meet the Brewer from Nøgne Ø

At the beginning of March, we participated in a clone brew experiment at Brooklyn's brew-on-premise and homebrew shop Bitter & Esters.  For this installment of their "Brew Like the Pros" series, we brewed 2 clone brews by Norway's Nøgne Ø:  their Porter and Sunturnbrew (smoked barleywine). Now the beers are ready and head brewer and founder Kjetil Jikiun is coming to town to pass judgement. Given that their slogan is "the uncompromising brewery", we're a bit nervous to see what he thinks but regardless, it was a fun experiment and the outcome will show how difficult it is to recreate a beer using the exact same ingredients.

Like many of our newer breweries, Kjetil started out as a homebrewer, having been inspired by the many flavors and styles of beer that he discovered on his travels to the US and Western Europe as a commercial airline pilot. The name Nøgne Ø is taken from a line in a Henrik Ibsen poem and means "the barren island", a reference to the rocky islands off of the shore of Grimstad, the town where the brewery is located and where Ibsen lived when he wrote the poem. The protagonist of the poem tries to run the English blockade of Norway during the Napoleonic wars, an effort thought to be against all odds.  Nøgne Ø felt that introducing the first IPA and other styles to Norway was also against all odds but they persevered and the Norwegian beer scene is all the richer for their efforts.

On Friday and Saturday, come out and try some of these uncompromising beers. 


When:  Friday, 27 April, 5 pm tapping of the beers and 7 pm dinner
Where:  Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street

What:  $45 for a family-style dinner and 8 beers or pay-as-you-go at the bar. Tickets for the dinner are very limited; purchase them at Brown Paper Tickets.  

Jimmy's No. 43 will be hosting a private dinner in their back room featuring 4 Nøgne Ø drafts and 4 bottles plus samples of the clone Porter.  Brewer Kjetil will be there to talk about the brewery, the beers, the Norwegian brewing scene as well as discussing his Porter (a 7% roasty, chocolatey porter brewed with American hops) vs. our Porter.  He'll probably also regal you with stories about his forays into sake brewing.  Dinner, 8 beers, and the brewmaster himself in attendance for $45?  Act fast if you want to attend!

If you are unable to attend the dinner or just want to drop by for a beer, the drafts will be tapped at 5 pm.  With the purchase of a Nøgne Ø beer, you'll also be able to sample the clone Porter. 

On draft:
  • Pale Ale
  • Saison
  • Porter
  • Imperial Stout
In bottles:
  • Two Captains Double IPA
  • Tiger Tripel
  • India Saison
  • Sunturnbrew 

When:  Saturday, 28 April, 2-6 pm
Where:  Swift, 34 E. 4th Street

What:  pay-as-you-go

On Saturday afternoon, join Kjetil at Swift for draft event featuring samples of the clone Porter and Sunturnbrew.

The Sunturnbrew is an 11% smoked barleywine named after the Norwegian legend that says that the sun turns on its axis every winter solstice.  After a few of these beers, you might be ready to agree.  Our clone version, Solar Flare, came in a bit smaller due to some problems with the brewing process but early reports say that it's might tasty

The beers:

  • Wit - first and only keg in NYC! 
  • India Saison - first time in NYC 
  • Tiger Tripel
  • Porter
  • Porter clone
  • Sunturnbrew
  • Solar Flare - Sunturnbrew clone

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