Søren Eriksen was studying sea urchins at the University of Auckland when he discovered that there is only one thing cooler than studying sea urchins...making beer. After brewing beer from a kit he received from his wife, Eriksen began working at Renaissance Brewing Company, which later became the start of 8 Wired.Describing himself as a nomadic Danish brewer, Eriksen named his company after No. 8 wire, the duct tape of New Zealand. The image is also incorporated into the logo, and is a symbol of Kiwi ingenuity. 8 Wired brews show new and innovative takes on an age old tradition. Despite the distance they traveled to get to us, we were impressed with the four distinct styles we tasted.
Pouring a hazy amber, the Saison Sauvin displayed a light, fluffy head and fine carbonation. The fruity aroma of the Nelson Sauvin hops came through in the nose, along with floral notes. A sip of this light, dry, carbonated brew makes you feel like you are out reaping the harvest.
The hops come straight off the vine for this IPA (wet hopping). The IPA was similar in color to the Saison, but clearer, with minimal head. The tropical fruit punch aroma was complemented by earthy, post-storm fresh scents. The hops proved their worth as bittering agents, nicely balancing the sweetness.
6.5 % ABV
An abundant tan head atop a porter the color of molasses. As the name promises, the nose brings us fireside to a lamb barbecue (okay, maybe knowing that the ratio of sheep to people is 5 to 1 in New Zealand made us go immediately to lamb). The smoke took a back seat in the taste, giving way to the prominent dark malt sweetness.
Black, roasted, chocolatey - all words that describe a delicious stout. This brew's root beer-like appearance and hints of vanilla made it feel like we should put a scoop of ice cream on top. While we didn't do that, we did enjoy the creamy sweetness in the nose and the taste. At 10% ABV, this stout was surprisingly light in body making for a highly drinkable dark brew.