Boutique brewery quits Blenheim

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:11 15/08/2014
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LAST ORDERS: 8 Wired brewer Soren Eriksen is moving his business to Warkworth

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The brewer of craft beer 8 Wired, Soren Eriksen, is moving his business out of Marlborough to just north of Auckland.

Eriksen and his family moved north last year in what was initially a temporary move for family reasons, but he confirmed yesterday the move had become permanent and he was setting up a brewery in Warkworth.

The exact timing for the company's departure from Marlborough wasn't clear, Eriksen said.

"We have a lot of barrels down there that are a bit tricky to move. We'll keep them there for a while."

8 Wired has more than 200 barrels filled with different beer styles, housed in a warehouse in Riverlands, on the outskirts of Blenheim.

Eriksen said there was no solid time frame for moving the barrels to Warkworth.

He couldn't have the barrels up in the new brewery, as it was not big enough, he said.

"It takes up too much space. I need to find a permanent home for them, I have no leads on that yet."

8 Wired had one staff member in Blenheim who was maintaining the barrels until they were ready to shift.

"We're still up in the air on that one. If he wants to come up, I would be happy for him to come. He's a very valuable member of our staff. We will see how things tidy up with the barrel programme."

Eriksen said it was sad to move his brewing company from Blenheim. "All good things come to an end I guess."

The move was for family reasons. Before deciding to build the Warkworth brewery, he and wife Monique evaluated where they wanted to be for the next 10 to 20 years and the family aspect played a big role in that, he said.

"We don't have family in the South Island and we have two little children now. It is nice to be close to nana and the cousins. It makes life a lot easier in that respect.

"We liked being in Blenheim. We'll always have our roots in Blenheim, it's where we got started."

With a master's degree in biochemistry, Eriksen began his brewing career in 2008 as an employee of Brian Thiel and Andy Deuchars at Blenheim's Renaissance Brewing Company. Later he began brewing beers under his own brand, 8 Wired.

At the time he declared his intention "to produce mind-blowing beers that will wow craft beer lovers, excite fellow beer geeks and educate the misguided who still believe that beer is just beer."

And so it proved: a succession of award-winning beers followed and 8 Wired won the champion brewery of New Zealand award in 2011.

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- The Marlborough Express

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