Monday, January 20, 2014

When Ninkasi Rules The World


Since 2006 a little upstart brewery in Eugene, Oregon has been leading a quiet revolution. Ninkasi Brewing led the charge of locally owned and sourced breweries in the Pacific Northwest and has proven that community-minded business can flourish even in hard times. They emerged out the the cacophony of the craft beer bubble, more than 75 craft breweries have opened in Oregon in the last half-decade, and most are struggling to find a piece of the market. In contrast, Ninkasi is brewing more than 95,000 barrels of beer each year and is a recognizable fixture in bars and restaurants throughout the western United States. They are the champions, and through no small effort. Jamie, the distribution guru is everywhere. You go to the tasting room in Eugene on a Friday night, he's there, go to the Country Fair, he's sitting outside your tent with friends, head up to Bellingham for a show, there he is again, working his own event, but with time to stop by and catch the gig. Nikos, though a little less visible, has shown himself to be a savvy and ambitious businessman, figuring out how to grow a business in one of the toughest economies in the nation. And, they have also been at the forefront of revitalizing the ailing Whiteaker neighborhood they call home, providing local jobs and supporting local events. They are consistent supporters of local charitable events and their tasting room and promotional concerts serve as needed and welcome opportunity for local musicians, performers, and visual artists. And Nikos and Jamie, the owners of Ninkasi, are exactly the kind of guys you want to see succeed. They are friendly and easy going and genuinely care about the community in which they live. It gives me hope for the rise of the of the American small business. And, they brew some freaking good beer. Cheers, guys.




  1. That's a beer I frequently buy and drink here in Kodiak, Alaska. I generally buy the big bottle. Patrick

  2. Patrick, I love that. I always think it's great to see a local beer when I travel. Cheers! Thanks for reading!