Just over ten years ago, husband and wife duo, Monique and Soren Eriksen started popular beer brand 8-Wired. Soren had become a keen homebrewer for many years, and was wanting to build a brew pub somewhere in the upper North Island. However, after some real-life commercial brewing experience, they decided it would be too big a task to start a brewery from scratch, particularly during the time of the GFC.
“Instead, we started out contract brewing at Renaissance Brewing in Blenheim where I also worked as a brewer,” said Soren.
“When there was spare capacity they let me use it for our own beers. Eventually, they ran out of capacity and we built our own brewery in Warkworth in 2015.”
8-Wired beers have a very large barrel ageing programme, in fact, it is one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, the team makes a range of specialised barrel aged beers from sour Lambic beer to big imperial stouts.
“How we make our range of beers is definitely a focal point for us. Other than that, we have been on the forefront of brewing trends for the past 10 years and, in all modesty, we’re pioneers in sour beers on the NZ brewing scene.”
Over the last year one of the brand’s highlights has been opening up Barrelworks in Matakana. This is a dedicated space for its barrel ageing programme and also houses its tap room.
“This space was always the plan when we moved to the area six years ago, but we only managed to find the right space last year.”
The business recently ramped up its online sales, and although they have had an e-commerce site for a while, it was one of the keys to success during New Zealand’s lockdown due to Covid-19. “This channel has been a huge focus for us over the last few months with most of our hospitality customers forced to close and export sales slowed. With only supermarkets still operating, their focus being first and foremost on essentials, the online sales helped to patch this gap.”
Across the space of a year, the brand often releases over 20 new beers and create new and exciting brews for its customers.
“Hazy IPA’s are all the rage at the moment and probably will continue to be a popular choice for customers. On top of that, fruited sour beers, big dessert-like stouts (pastry stouts) are trending and even lighter lagers are looking to make a comeback.”