Category Archives: Country: New Zealand.

Review of 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing "O Is For Awesome"

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying an Imperial Amber Ale called “O Is For Awesome” produced in a collaborative effort by three different brewery’s.  8 Wired Brewing Company and the Renaissance Brewing Company both located in Blenheim, New Zealand and the Nogne O – Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S located in Grimstad, Norway.

If you have a few moments I would suggest checking out each brewery’s website:, and

From the Renaissance Brewing Company’s website, we find this commercial description.

A 3 way collaboration between Norway and New Zealand. Loosely based on a mix of our 3 flagship beers: Stonecutter Scotch Ale, Hopwired IPA and Batch #100.

Let’s sip.  Shall we?

This brew came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured a deep brown, oxblood color.  The head was light tan, smooth and creamy. The size was decent and the retention time seemed to be sufficient.  The lacing looked alright.  A few patches of foam were left on the sides of the snifter for a good while. Not a bad looking beer.

The nose smelled wonderful.  Hints of sweet caramel and toffee.  Touches of chocolate and cocoa powder as well as a solid dose of toasted wheat bread and other toasted malts.  Well suited piney hops along with a slight hickory nut type of aroma also.  Very well balanced and pleasing on the nose.  I really liked it.

The taste was very gratifying too.  It was almost exactly like the aroma.  Rich caramel and toffee malt intermingled with dry chocolate.  More toasted breads and malts.  The piney hops mix with some earthiness to create a very “round” and “smooth” flavor profile.  A very light taste of alcohol was found, however it only added to the complexity and never became distracting or obtrusive.  Again, very well balanced and very good.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Thick, sticky, dry and chewy.  Medium to low carbonation with a nice warmth from the alcohol.  A nice shot of flavor was left on the palate for a good while after each sip.

No doubt about it.  This is a great brew.  Tons of complexity was had to be pondered. It kind of reminded me of an Imperial Stout actually.  It was a bit thick and chewy for a real high drinkability rating, however if you are looking for a sipper that could be best enjoyed on a cool Fall/Winter night, this may be a brew to be tried.  I wish I had picked up another bottle and squirreled it away that’s for sure.  Have you guys ever tried the 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing “O Is For Awesome” Imperial Amber Ale?  What did you think of it?  If you would like, leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-       


Review of 8 Wired Saison Sauvin

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Saison Sauvin by 8 Wired Brewing Company located in Marlborough, New Zealand.

If I understand correctly, 8 Wired is a fairly young brewery, so I’m very eager to see what kind of beers they produce.

From the website,, I was able to find this bit of information regarding the Saison Sauvin. 

Saisons have been around for ages. Traditionally brewed by Belgian and French farmers to provide refreshment during harvest. I’m guessing that flavour wasn’t a main concern back then; the priority was to provide a beverage that was safe to drink, because water usually wasn’t. Never the less, over time they developed a beverage chrarissed by beer geeks of the modern world. The alcohol content was low, so the workers could consume enough to keep hydrated and still perform their job: To load the barn with enough barley for next years brewing season. I bet these hardworking, humble farmers never imagined, that centuries later, their style of brewing would inspire brewers from all over the world. As all our beers, this is a very modern, you might say new world, interpretation of this style. Based on the tradition we have used a French Saison yeast, which provides a plethora of funky, earthy, very “Belgian” flavours. From there we have upped the ante a fair bit by doubling the amount of malt, and thereby the alcohol, and loaded the kettle with punchy Nelson Sauvin hops. Unlike the original, this is not a beer meant to be drunk by the gallon. Moderation is the key for full enjoyment of all great beers.

Sounds good enough to me.

This beer comes in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured to a slight haze of pale orange with a white head that was sized nicely.  The texture was soft, rocky and fluffy.  The retention time was good, but the lacing looked loose and “gappy”.  It fell back into the glass fairly quickly.

The nose was very fruity, citrusy and hoppy.  Solid doses of tropical fruits.  Kiwi, mango and grapefruit.  Some noticeable peppery spice blended well with some yeast and toasted breads.  A hint of “funk” was found, but it was very, very, very light.  Although, I do really like the aroma, it was a tad misleading.  It wasn’t quite a typical Saison in my opinion.  The funk was just too mild, but I did like the stronger hop profile though.

The taste started with a slight tartness.  Spicy with, again, only a small amount of “funk”.  Like the bouquet, it was considerably hoppy and citrusy for this style.  Tropical fruits of kiwi and grapefruit along with subtle hints of white grapes and even a touch of sour lemon.  Towards the end the breads and yeast really helped “tie the room together”.  The bitterness was welcomed and manageable.  A very enjoyable taste to say the least.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a very lively and prickly carbonation.  Very dry, crisp, snappy and refreshing.  A solid dose of flavor was left covering the palate long after the sip.

We have a very nice beer here.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had a Saison quite like this.  It kind of reminded me of a Pale Ale only with more spice and yeast.  It was a very enjoyable and fun drink.  A very nice beer for the Summer season in my opinion.  Very easy to drink and worth a try.  I would like to find and try a few more from this brewery.  Even though this beverage might not have been the best beer I’ve ever had I can tell that they take great pride in releasing a sturdy product.  So, with that being said, give the 8 Wired Saison Sauvin a try and see what you think.  Be sure to let me know your opinion also.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+  

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