The great Oregonian beer baron, Ninkasi Brewing Co, is expanding its distribution into Southern California. This decision comes as a result of an incredibly successful operation for the last 7 years. Founded in 2006 by Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi started their 15BBL operation in Springfield, OR. In 2007 they moved to their current location in Eugene, OR and upgraded their brewhouse to a 55BBL capacity. Continued success has rocketed their beers into neighboring markets such as Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Washington, British Columbia, in addition to their home state of Oregon.
The Ninkasi philosophy seems to be one of sustainability and local involvement. The brewery uses locally grown hops, post consumer packaging, and local labeling. As the brewery continues to expands it keeps its focus on green sustainable practices. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly brewery to get behind, Ninkasi might be your new boo.
As Southern Californians and Angelenos, we won’t see the entire Ninkasi line-up right away, but we will see their flagships – Total Domination IPA, Believer Double Red, Tricerahops Double IPA, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout. Holiday varietals like their famously popular Double Dark Al beer SLEIGH’R are already available in bottle shops like Bev Mo, Wally’s Wines, Vendome, and Whole Foods, but we’ll likely see even more beer from Ninkasi in the coming months in non-specialty stores. In addition to buying individual flagships, you can also purchase these beers in 22oz 4 packs, perfectly packaged for gifting.
To read more about the Ninkasi expansion south, check out local superstar John Verive’s (Beer of Tomorrow / Beer Paper LA / LA Times) latest post on the LA Times Daily dish – Oregon craft brew legend Ninkasi expands, Total Domination is coming
To raise awareness about the distribution expansion and showcase their flagship beers, the Ninkasi team, along with the local beer hotspot Library Alehouse, prepared a special tasting event and invited the LA Beer Bloggers. Attendees were treated with not only great beers and Ninkasi history, but an excellent paired three-course meal spearheaded by Cicerone Alex P. Davis. Curried winter squash, cinnamon pepper-rubbed chicken, and pumpkin pudding w/ crandberry cookies were featured along side the entire Ninkasi flagship line-up. Cicerone applicants, can you guess which beers go went with each course?
Ninkasi’s team, PJ and Aaron, were quick to point out that their brewery’s roots are steeped in the love of good food. Like nearby breweries in LA, Ninkasi is host to local food trucks and food artisans hocking their wares. It is for that reason that each beer is balanced in a way that the brewers believe will best pair with a vast assortment of food. Having experienced the beers and food first hand, I can vouch for their pairing versatility. The pairing dinner was an amazingly delicious introduction into this Oregon brand.
Special Thanks to the team at Library Alehouse and Ali, PJ, and Aaron from Ninkasi for putting together this fantastic event.