Name: Ninkasi Brewing Company
Brewery Website: http://www.ninkasibrewing.com
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Distribution: Northwest US
Brewing System: 30 Bbl
If you’re from Oregon and into beer in any way then you already know about The Ninkasi (Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian goddess of brewing) Brewing Company. Self titled as the flagship brewery in Eugene, Oregon, Ninkasi was started by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge in a brewpub in 2006. Starting off with producing 1,600 barrels per year Ninkasi outgrew her britches pretty quickly. They moved the brewery out of the small brewpub and into their own building in the Historic Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene. From then on Ninkasi has yet to stop growing. Now producing over 32,000 barrels per year Nikasi is looking to remodel the brewery and increase production to 90,000 barrels.
Currently, Ninkasi’s flagship is their Total Domination IPA (6.7% ABV, 65 IBUs), which makes up about 60% of their total bottle production.
Other standards include:
- Tricerahops Double IPA: 8.8% ABV, 100+ IBUs.
- Believer Double Red: 6.9% ABV, 60 IBUs.
- Oatis Oatmeal Stout: 7.5% ABV, 45 IBUs.
- Radiant Summer Ale: 6% ABV, 40 IBUs.
- Spring Reign: 6% ABV, 38 IBUs.
- Sleigh’R: 7.2% ABV, 50 IBUs.
- Quantum Pale Ale: 5.6% ABV, 35 IBUs
- Maiden The Shade: 6.8% ABV, 72 IBUs
- Nuptiale Cream Ale: 5.7% ABV, 26 IBUs
I had the good fortune to try their 3 flagship beers: Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red and Total Domination IPA (thanks James!). Not really calling myself a “hophead” I wasn’t too sure what to expect from such hop-laden beasts such as these. Turns out I am more of a hop lover than I thought. The Tricerahops was by far the strongest of the two IPA’s. What I thought would be an explosion of bitterness and hops turned out to be a beautifully concocted recipe of flavor and bite with a citrus finish that keeps you coming back for more. The hops are very present but the entire time you never feel overwhelmed. The Believer Red Ale was one of the best red ales I’ve had the opportunity to try. Comes on strong with some really flavorful hops and then balanced perfectly by a beautifully sweet malty backbone.
To say I enjoyed these beers is an understatement. Each one was a shining example of how great craft beer can be when brewed by real enthusiasts. The only downside to trying these beers is unless I move to Oregon I doubt I’ll be tasting these again any time soon. Ninkasi currently only ships within Oregon and neighboring states. But as they grow (and growing they are) who knows how long it will be before the rest of us will be blessed by their contribution to craft beer. Cheers!