Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2015 - Page 31

EUROPE’S FIRST SAKE BREWERY INTERNING WITH A CANADIAN SAKE BREWER IN NORWAY Arranging our internship with Nøgne Ø was a quite straightforward process- I simply wrote an email asking if the sake brewery took interns. To my pleasant surprise I received a very positive reply from sake brewer Brock Bennett a few days later informing that Sebastian and I were more than welcome for a visit. Brock Bennett came to sake through an interest for home brewing beer. In 2005 he decided to try home brewing sake as a challenge and to use up a large sack of Thai rice that had been around his house for too long. Despite some less than successful initial results Brock became very keen on sake brewing and turned it into a hobby. In 2009 this hobby reached a turning point, when together with a small group of participants from all over the world, he joined the very first group of the Mukune International Sake Brewing Internship at Daimon Shuzu brewery in Katano City, Osaka. The internship not only opened up a whole new world of inspiration and knowledge to the Canadian home brewer but also gave him the opportunity to meet with other sake aficionados, including Kjetil Jikiun from Nøgne Ø. After the internship Brock returned to Canada where he was hired to brew sake at the Artisan Sake Maker in Vancouver, North America’s first commercial sake microbrewery. In August 2010 Kjetil invited Brock to Norway to assist him at the sake brewery, where the very first batch of sake had been started just 6 months earlier. Since then Brock has been brewing sake at Nøgne, with the exception of 2011 when no sake was brewed due to slower than anticipated sales. Fortunately sales have been increasing since 2012 and sake at Nøgne Ø is now brewed continuously throughout the year. MUSEUM OF SAKE JOURNAL 31