June 2010

Sake Beer - Nogne Beer Brewery Making Sake Yeast Beer

Posted by Beau Timken in 2010, June, Newsletter
Nogne Beer One of the best parts of being the co-founder and Director of the Mukune International Sake Brewing Program was that I had a large hand in designing our criteria for selecting interns. One of my criteria was to pick folks from other beverage worlds such as wine and beer makers. And one such beer maker jumped out at me well ahead of the others.

Kjetil P. Jikiun is the head brewer of Nøgne Ø (Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri AS Gamle Rygene Kraftstasjon Lunde 4885 Grimstad Norway - www.nogne-o.com ) and this man had THE sake spirit we were looking for! So much so he is now brewing sake (please see above article on International sakes). But he is also making beer - his real job! Kjetil is a bit of a Japanophile so he has made Japanese themed beer products in the past. But none comes close to "Red Horizon" his latest effort in beer making. Red Horizon is an ale that uses the very very popular Association #7 yeast created by our dear friends the Miyasaka family at the Masumi brewery in Nagano.

In a stellar looking red can rests a mysterious yet poignant beer that is both incredibly fascinating and down right tasty! This little beast is bottled with a 17% alcohol level that begs the question - hey man I didn't think beers could ferment that high? Well in a word they don't usually unless you load extra ingredients or you introduce some form of super yeasts ala champagne yeasts or tadah sake yeasts! You can and he does!
  • The label reads as follows: Ingredients - Grimstaad water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, and sake yeast No. 7 39oP, 75 IBU
  • The other side of the label reads: "We brewed this ale with the famous sake yeast No. 7 from Masumi Sake in Nagano, Japan. On advice from Masumi's master brewers, we fermented this ale very slowly at low temperatures to bring out No. 7's fabulously fruity character. This product is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Please enjoy chilled.
The result is tremendously flavorful Ale that is round, deep and lush. I like the words fat and fruity to describe the first sips. There is a long rolling lushness that is made all the more impactful by the superb nose on this sucker! The aroma profile is really unlike any beer that I have smelled before - fruity and garden-like with hints of honey and floral wafts.

The bummer is that there was only 0.25L in that extremely stylish bottle - I could have consumed another L or two! I think in a word this Ale is unlike any beer that I have ever have had the pleasure to taste - and trust me when I tell you that it is a pleasure. The combination of big fruity aromas and a full-bodied brew that drank velvety and semi-sweet is something I look forward to tasting again. (I'd even maybe like to warm this beer to nuru-kan levels!)

The good news is that you too will be able to try this amazing B(eer) S(ake) or Seer or Bake soon. Where? At True Sake of course! It will be released as soon as the end of the summer if not before and yes we will bring it in immediately. I enjoyed this beer immensely and you will find it like no other drinking experience! Thank you to Kjetil and the Miysaka family for helping the process. And of course I am expecting Kjetil to quit focusing on beer and get his sake making up to speed

Keep up the great work Kjetil!

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