Ø for Awesome

February 20th, 2012

A Dane, a Norwegian, and an American walk into a brewery. The result is no joke but there is a punchline involved.

Last November Hashigo Zake got three brewers together at Renaissance in Blenheim to produce a collaboration beer. Søren Erikson, the Dane behind 8 Wired Brewing, Andy Deuchars, the American brewer at Renaissance, and Kjetil Jikiun, the brewer at Norways’s Nøgne Ø, together brewed a strong, dark, hoppy ale they have called Ø for Awesome.

As Søren explains in the video below (made by Hashigo Zake’s Dylan Jauslin, bartender and videographer extraordinaire), “O for Awesome” is a phrase immortalised by the kiwi boxer, David Tua, on Celebrity Wheel of Forture in the 90s. There begins the punchline. Adding extra pun to the punchline, ‘Ø’ happens to be the Norwegian word for beer1. Awesomeness all around.

The beer has spent some time maturing nicely and will be launched at Hashigo Zake at 5pm on Tuesday night, February 21. Tuesday is also the eve of the anniversary of the February earthquake in Christchurch last year so the proceeds from the first two kegs will be donated to the Red Cross. A few bottle of the Garage Project/Nøgne Ø collaboration, Summer Sommer, will be auctioned off on the night too.

I was at Renaissance on brew day to document the process. Breweries are generally very busy places. The is a lot of downtime while brewing and usually this time is put to good use by the brewers. Fermenters are cleaned, beer is filtered, coffee is made. During collaborations though, it seems that this time is used to exchange information and chat about beer and brewing. This means I ended up with a lot of photos of brewers talking. Below are some of my favourites. Far too many more images are in the gallery.

L-R: Søren Erikson, Kjetil Jikiun, and Andy Deuchars. November 23, 2011, Wellington.

Søren tests a sample from a barrel of his Flanders Red sour ale.

Søren relaxing on his barrel farm.

Following up on my last post, if you would like to purchase prints then approximate prices are below. All prices include GST. I will have some prints at Hashigo Zake with me on Tuesday if you’d like to check them out in person.

Size Unframed Framed
6×4 $5.00
A4/8×10 $57.50 $161.00
A3 $78.20 $218.50

  1. After spending time in Denmark, where the word for beer is øl, I formed the hypothesis that the level of cultural sophistication of any nation is inversely proportional to the length of the nation’s word for ‘beer’. Hence I would be rather excited to visit Norway. 

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