From the NZ Craft Beer TV journal entry, 31/1/11:
Soren, originally from Denmark, joined Renaissance as an assistant brewer back in 2008 after a successful career in Biochemistry and a love of homebrewing. As well as brewing the Renaissance beers, he also wanted to do his own thing. Using their spare capacity he developed 8 Wired Brewing and went about creating immense flavoured and incredibly drinkable beers. His flagship IPA, Hopwired is an incredible drop, it screams big, bold New Zealand hop characters with gigantic tropical fruit character and an awesome slightly dry, bitter finish. One of his latest brews, Tall Poppy is Soren’s interpretation of an India Red Ale, again a big, fruity hoppiness jumps out of the glass, well balanced by rich, caramel-like malt characters and a nice, lasting bitterness.
Maybe it’s the fact that Soren has been New Zealand Poker Champion for a couple of years in a row, but Soren isn’t afraid to take a calculated risk when it comes to his brewing prowess. Soren believes that poker is a game of skill and I can see that this approach flows through to his brewing. He is a master of flavour and has a great understanding of both brewing technology and the characters that different approaches bring to his beer.
We went through a couple of his special brews, including a big, hoppy Saison, which had a phenomenal yeast nose and blended in with the hops perfectly and also a barrel-aged imperial stout which is slowly undergoing aging in a series of American oak barrels that Soren got from Luke after he had barrel aged his stout and IPA. Soren also pulled out a 2% alcohol brew that he has been working on for a while. This was fantastic and proof that you can get great flavour, alcohol and body in a small beer.
Soren is definitely one of the definitive big-flavour brewers in New Zealand. He brings not just power in aroma and character to his brews, but also balance and drinkability. It is evident that he thinks long and hard about every move that he makes. I definitely wouldn’t want to be sitting over a poker table facing him!