Sommeren på Nøgne Ø

Vi hadde store planer denne sommeren. Litt for store, viste det seg. Her skal vi forklare hvorfor vi måtte nedjustere de ambisiøse planene våre.        

Som det fremgår av illustrasjonsbildet er vi i ferd med å sette opp et nytt bygg ved siden av Gamle Rygene Kraftstasjon. Dette bygget skal etterhvert huse hele vårt produksjonsanlegg. I de gamle lokalene skal vi etterhvert skape en destinasjon for alle som er nysgjerrige på hva vi driver med. 

Dette opplevelsessenteret skal etter planen stå klart i 2017, men vi hadde allerede denne sommeren planlagt å ta imot rekordmange gjester på bryggeriet. Omvisninger med ølsmaking og lokale småretter hver dag fra kl 13.00-15.00 hele sommeren var planen. Når vi nå nærmer oss sommeren ser vi at vi muligens har kastet oss ut på litt for dypt vann, og ser oss nødt til å gjøre noen endringer.

I løpet av juli/august skal bryggverk, maskiner og gjæringstanker flyttes fra Gamle Rygene Kraftstasjon til den nyoppførte bryggeribygningen. Da vil begge bygningene i praksis fremstå som anleggsområder, og vil følgelig ikke være egnet for daglige bryggeribesøk. Vi har derfor besluttet å stenge bryggeriet for omvisninger i perioden 10.juli til 1.september. Først og fremst grunnet sikkerhetshensyn, men også fordi det strengt tatt ikke er så mye å se på og oppleve i dette tidsrommet. 

Vi understreker at bryggeriet ikke holder stengt i denne perioden, så kom gjerne innom for en prat, en kaffekopp eller et besøk i vår butikk. 

Daglige omvisninger med ølsmaking kan avtales frem til 10 juli. Disse arrangeres fra kl 13.00 til 15.00. Påmelding på


Ultimate Umami experience


Ultimate Umami experience
presented by Taku and Nøgne Ø @ Vespa & Humla,

To mark the launch of limited release of Nøgne Ø Nigori sake from Vinmonopolet category 7 stores from 7. April, a special sake-food pairing event was held at Vespa & Humla.

As the guests entered this popular local Italian brasserie cum microbrewery, through a Japanese Noren curtain doors, they were greeted by Amazake welcome drink made from fresh Sake lees from Grimstad mixed with brown sugar and ginger. The venue was transformed into a Japanese style Izakaya for the evening.



Most of the guests were Taku’s regulars, members of the Japan-Norway society and Sub-Japan Facebook Group as well as a sushi chef from a secret location near Oslo, who have had some knowledge about Japanese food and sake.

I first came to know Chef Arne Austbø in a four-page article on Mat Fra Norge in 2012 (Nov 6 2013). He was introduced as a creative chef who makes sushi with Norwegian twist having had extensive working experience in Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, London and Copenhagen. I also noticed that he published a cookbook on sushi in 2013. To my knowledge there are three cookbooks dedicated to Sushi published by Norwegian chefs and this is one of them. (Others are from Alex Sushi and Kulinarisk Akademi) Moreover, Chef Arne has done tasting back in 2011 of Nøgne Ø sakes with his culinary friends and gave a little bit bitter critique. He was one of the graduates of the recent Sake Sommelier Course and has reviewed our sake thoroughly and gave thumbs-up this time.

Chef Arne Austbø 

Chef Arne Austbø 

We are very pleased that Taku-Nøgne Ø collaboration which was discussed since September last year finally came into fruition marking the release of special Nigori Sake.

Chef Arne was very creative in pairing:
Konbu cured sashimi (Salmon and Turbot) with local seaweeds with Sparkling sake.
Charcoal grilled chicken with red onion pickles with Junmai.
Sake lees and miso marinated grilled fatty fish kama (jaw area) with new Nigori sake
Dark chocolate with Kijoshu.

“Although the amount of food is not overwhelming, they are all tasty and rich in Umami and paired well with sake. My stomach feels satisfied and I feel very healthy as a result of this experience. I am proud of Norwegian Sake and will ask my husband to look for it when Nigori is released.” said Ms. Tone Ravndal, the wife of Mr. Anders Håan, the former President of The Japan-Norway Society.

The room was full-house and we had a very good rapport with many of the guests who showed interest in learning more about Japanese food and Sake. There was a full support of team Nøgne Ø; Martin showing his newly acquired Sake Sommelier skills mingling with the guests and Ingebjørg and alumni Adriana enjoying the sake-food pairing with rest of the guests.

My appreciation goes to Mr. Brock Bennett, Toji, Master Sake Brewer, for making such elegant sake which matched very well with Norwegian seasonal ingredients. Silky texture of Nigori cut through fatty fish very well and left us with refreshing aftertaste. “Thank you” for giving us this ultimate Umai experience. I also wish to thank Chef Arne Austbø for coming up with creative and perfect Otsumami for the evening! All the photo credit goes to Ms. Asaki Abumi, a Japanese journalist resident in Oslo.

Kaori Ishii
Sales/Taste Promoter Nøgne Ø


Certified Sake Sommelier Course

Certified Sake Sommelier Course accredited by London based Sake Sommelier Academy was organized in Oslo on 28 and 29 February 2016 in close cooperation with Nøgne Ø

It was held at the basement of Alex Sushi Solli Plass, an artistic and tastefully decorated event venue with modern AV system. Participants of the course were sommeliers who are also beverage managers from leading restaurants around the country such as Alex Sushi, Nodee, Kita (Stavanger), To Rom og Kjøkken (Trondheim), and fellow brewery representative from Lervig which has just brewed beer with Japanese twist (with Yuzu), as well as a representative of Moestue, which has started importing Sake into Norwegian market and Arne Austbø, author of cook book “Sushi fra Hav til Fat” and the chef of Taku. Martin, new sales representative from Nøgne Ø also joined. After two days of intensive learning, the participants took written and practical exam and I am happy to announce that they all did exceptionally well.

They will soon receive Sake Sommelier pin and a certificate from Sake Sommelier Academy in London. Some of them will be crowned with triple (wine, beer and sake) or double (wine and sake) sommelier qualifications as a result of this.

This will open doors to participate in the London Sake Challenge which is organized by the Sake Sommelier Association once a year in August at the wine room of notable Harrods Department Store in London and it is certainly a great opportunity to taste and evaluate a large number of sakes with other fellow Sake Sommeliers from around the world and to learn, network and exchange information face-to-face.

During a two-day intensive course, participants learned the history of sake which dates more than 2000 years back, culture closely related to sake and a complex production process and how it affects the designation and types of sake. They also learned how to read sake labels, magic of serving sake at different temperatures, and quintessential “Umami” in sake which comes to the fore when paring with food. We were also very fortunate to welcome Halvor Digernes, the founder of Fuglen Cocktail Bar, to share the art of sake cocktail-making who demonstrated three distinct types of sake cocktails, two shaken and one stirred, from Nøgne Ø Namagenshu, Junmai and Sparkling sakes. He was in the middle of opening two new bars in the same week and we appreciated his dedication and passion for what he loves and what he is very good at!

Halvor making sake cocktails

Halvor making sake cocktails

Participants had the chance to taste last year’s IWC champion sake, which was sold out in Japan, (Aizuhomare’s Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo), six-year oak barrel matured sake (seimaibuai 90% Junmai) from Suehiro (which was also sold out in Japan), and Junmai Ginjo Fukuju from Kobe Shushinkan, which is said to be served at Nobel prize award dinners in Stockholm, Junmai and Junmai Ginjo sakes from Fukumitsuya, sparkling sakes from Ninki and Toyokuni, all sakes from Nøgne Ø including soon to be released Nigori (and Sparkling, Junmai, Namagenshu, Motoshibori, Kijoshu) as well as specialty sakes such as All Koji vintage sake and Yuzu sake.

They also tasted Nøgne Ø fresh sake lees topped with brown sugar and ginger and savoured Ishikari Nabe (salmon hotpot with miso and sake lees soup broth) for the first day’s lunch.
We also had a surprise visit of NHK International (Japanese version of BBC World) film crew who were making a 15 minutes documentary on Nøgne Ø, the first sake brewery in Europe as one of the episodes in “Japan meets Europe” series.

Participants came to the classroom well before the start of the lecture and they all asked very pertinent questions which in turn enriched the classroom experience. At the end of the course, we were all reminded that the more we drink “sake” the deeper our knowledge and appreciation of this magical drink develops!  Many participants expressed their appreciation for Norway spearheading the production of Sake in Europe and brewing high quality fresh sakes.

Congratulations to you all for spending your weekend learning together and Kanpai for the future of your never-ending sake related journey!

My heartfelt appreciation goes to all the participants who made this course very special, Alex sushi for hosting the course, Halvor for generously accepting to give a module on Sake Cocktails between his unbelievably busy schedule and Ms. Aino Karvo, sake sommelier from Finland, for meticulously assisting me, Sake Sommelier Academy for a thorough backstopping from London and last but not least, Nøgne Ø for making this course happen again in Norway!!!

Kaori Ishii
Sales/Taste Promotor, Nøgne Ø
Sake Educator, Sake Sommelier Association, London