History of Nøgne Ø
Nøgne Ø was founded in 2002 by Gunnar Wiig and Kjetil Jikiun, two Norwegian homebrewers. Kjetil got in touch with the American craft beer scene as he worked as a professional pilot, and he soon started to create his own recipes. The name Nøgne Ø, comes from the first verse of Henrik Ibsen’s Terje Vigen poem [på den yderste nøgne ø...] and it means naked island. Their beginnings were hard, as there was little interest in the early 2000's for craft beer in the Norwegian market, but Kjetil managed to introduce samples of their new beer when he was flying to the US. Finally, the quality of their brews got the attention of US importers, and they managed to get distributed in the US, making the international market the key of their survival and later growth. Some years later, after becoming the Norwegian largest microbrewery, Nøgne Ø was adquired by Hansa Brewing, which lead to his founder Kjetil Jikiun to leave the company, only after expressing his discomformity with the new direction of the brewery in a manifesto. Kjetil also left Norway for Greece, where he has started a new brewery called Solo Beer.
- Ratebeer Top 100 Breweries: 2006 - 2014, 2016 - 2018
Nøgne Ø Reinventing a Naked Island
Grimstad (Norway), 2017-04-05
Tom Young (Nøgne Ø), “It’s been a battle for all of us. Kjetil started the brewery, he was Nøgne Ø in person, and he is the most influential and most known brewer in Norway. His face and his appearance here at the brewery was very important for Nøgne Ø.”