Ninkasi Fall Releases

Fall is quickly approaching and Ninkasi is preparing to release two beers that are perfect for the season. First up, is Noir, a coffee milk stout made with cold brewed coffee and lactose, which adds a creamy mouthfeel to the beer.

Next up is Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh'r. It's an amped up version of Sleigh'r, a perennial wintertime favorite, with the addition of organic pumpkin and brown sugar. I wrote about Sleigh'r a few years ago, and think it will be the perfect canvas for a pumpkin beer. I also expect this beer will age quite well!

The autumn beer season is short, so be sure to check these out soon!  For more details, check out Ninkasi's news release below.

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NINKASI BREWING COMPANY announces NEW fall Special Release and Rare & Delicious Beers
Noir Coffee Milk Stout and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, In Bottles and On Draft This September

EUGENE, Ore.—Aug. 26, 2015—Ninkasi Brewing Company crafts up two new releases to help welcome the cooler months, capturing favorite flavors of the season. This September, craft beer drinkers will find Noir, a Coffee Milk Stout, and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, a Dark Doüble Alt Ale with pumpkin and brown sugar, in bottles and on tap.

Featuring two distinct brews of the Pacific Northwest, Ninkasi introduces Noir, a Coffee Milk Stout to its Special Release Series. “I have been brewing beers with coffee since the mid-nineties and have always loved the rich creaminess milk sugar imparts on beers and how it melds with coffee,” says Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi founding brewer and co-founder. “Last year, we collaborated on a Coffee Milk Stout with Sierra Nevada and enjoyed the beer so much, we decided to brew one of our own.” 

Brewed with rich, roasted malts and blended with smooth cold brewed coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, this beer is a satisfying take on a Milk Stout. “The cold brew process allows this beer to have a delicious coffee flavor without the added acidity,” adds Floyd. Noir can be found in 22-ounce bottles, Ninkasi’s 12-ounce Variety 12-Pack, and on draft September through December. 

For the pumpkin beer lovers, Ninkasi introduces Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r to its Rare & Delicious Series. Serving up a fall-time rendition of the brewery’s winter seasonal, this Imperial Dark Doüble Alt Ale is brewed with 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and a generous helping of dark brown sugar.

“Last year we brewed Imperial Sleigh’r and quickly realized it would be the best base for a pumpkin beer,” explains Floyd. “This beer is bigger and bolder with the addition of organic Willamette Valley-grown Pumpkin from Stahlbush Island Farms and a dose of brown sugar for caramelization to round out the flavors.” Featuring artwork by Ninkasi’s Artist in Residence, Neal Williams, Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r will be available in exclusive 22-ounce bottles and on draft starting in September.


Noir blends two signature brews of the Pacific Northwest: coffee and beer. This coffee milk stout combines roasted malts with smooth cold brewed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. A subtle sweetness from milk sugar (lactose) makes this beer reminiscent of the most satisfying cup of joe; distinctive and delectable.

  • Style: Milk Stout with Cold Brewed Coffee
  • Available: Sept. – Dec. 2015
  • ABV: 7.6%
  • IBU: 60
  • OG: 1082
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Chocolate, Crystal, Brown, Black, Rice Hulls
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, 12oz. Variety 12-Pack, Draft
  • Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia.

Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r

The wicked stepbrother of Sleigh’r hits the town this fall. A burly 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and an ample helping of dark brown sugar were added to each batch, creating a sweet aroma, smooth mouthfeel and a warm finish plus all the toasted malt complexity Sleigh’r is known for. The legend of Sleigh’r lives on!

  • Style: Imperial Dark Doüble Alt Ale with Pumpkin and Brown Sugar
  • Available: Sept. 2015 – Depletion
  • ABV: 9.0%
  • IBU: 70
  • OG: 1089
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Ingredients: Organic Pumpkin Puree, Dark Brown Sugar
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
  • Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia.

Learn more about Ninkasi’s full lineup of beers

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IRA, Lux Helles Lager, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.

For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit


Ninkasi & Maletis' Funds For Firefighters

Drink beer, support a great cause! Does it get any better than that? Ninkasi and Maletis Beverage are teaming up for an awesome fundraiser during the entire month of September. For every keg of Ninkasi beer sold in Portland and surrounding areas, Ninkasi and Maletis will donate $5 to Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43.

So how can you help support this great charity? Just order some Ninkasi beer on tap at your favorite bar, taphouse, or growler fill station during the month of September! For more details, check out the news release below.

Cheers to the firefighters who risk their lives everyday to keep us safe!

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During the Month of September, $5.00 of Every Ninkasi Keg Sold in Portland and Surrounding Areas will be Donated to Portland Firefighters’ Association, Local 43

EUGENE, Ore.—Aug. 25, 2015—Ninkasi Brewing Company has teamed up with Portland-area wholesale partner, Maletis Beverage to offer a month-long give-back program in support of Portland Firefighters’ Association, Local 43, called “Funds for Firefighters.” For every Ninkasi keg sold in Portland and surrounding areas during the month of September, five dollars will be donated to support the work that Local 43 does to serve its community.

“It is an honor to be given the chance to partner with the Local 43 and to bring community together in support of the men and women who watch over us,” says Ryan Brentley, Ninkasi Portland Market Manager. 

“We are thrilled to be working with two great companies,” says Alan Ferschweiler, President of Portland Firefighters Association, Local 43. “The donations will go directly into our charitable fund which helps us to comfort families of fallen firefighters, provide children in need with warm winter coats and help our members actively participate in our communities we serve when a need arises.”

“Maletis Beverage is privileged to champion Ninkasi’s efforts in supporting Local 43; we are very proud to assist in the initiative,” adds Tim Kennedy, VP of Craft/Import and Wines Sales for Maletis Beverage.

To participate in the program, beer drinkers are encouraged to order Ninkasi on-tap during the month of September throughout the greater Portland area. Locations that serve Ninkasi can be found by visiting:

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IRA, Lux Helles Lager, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Utah; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint. 

For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit


Afternoon at the 11th Annual NAOBF

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I took our two boys to Overlook Park to attend the 11th Annual North American Organic Beer Festival. It has become an annual tradition for usand for many families. This year, I noticed what seemed to be an even larger number of families with young children. It's easy to understand why.

Overlook Park has huge, wide open spaces for kids to play. The vibe is anther reason. This is the most relaxed beer fest I've ever attended. Everyone just chills. Oh yeah, free Crater Lake Root Beer and Orange Cream Soda (new this year) are sure to lull your kiddos into a sugur-induced euphoria! This year, festival organizers placed plenty crayons, playing cards, and games in the table tent. It was great to see people enjoying those, rather than glaring at their phones.

Also new this year is the Merchant du Vin Organic Bottle Garden, where a variety of bottled Samuel Smith's and Pinkus organic beers are being served.

I tasted 15 different beers, ciders, and a braggot during my visit. I'd like to give a special shout-out to McMenamins for two of their barrel aged beers. Oaken Tower Barrel-Aged Ginger Beer from Crystal Brewery and Double Barrel-Aged Pavol the Collector (Baltic Porter) from Edgefield Brewery are exceptional! They're each just a single token, so don't miss them! You can view or download the full event program and beer list here.

The rain is now gone, and the forecast is perfect for the rest of today and tomorrow. Don't miss it! Visit the festival website for more details.

What were your favorites from NAOBF '15?

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Craft Production Volume and Brewery Growth: Trouble Brewing?

If you're a beer geek, you're well aware that the craft beer industry continues to boom across the country. New breweries continue to open at breakneck pace. Every day new taprooms, brewpubs, and growler fill stations are serving the insatiable demand. The Brewers Association recently released data that shows the extent of the growth in the craft beer market (see the end of this post for the BA definition of "craft").

Production Volume:  Total mid-year craft production volume grew to 12.2 million barrels. This represents a 15.1% increase from last year.

Brewery Count:   699 new breweries opened their doorsa whopping 23% increase from last year! This is an incredible figure, especially if you consider that the growth rate has been accelerating for the past four years. In addition, 1755 breweries are in the planning stages.

Not So Professional Analysis:  This data released by the BA shows incredible growth. But is volume growth strong enough? If you look at the data in a slightly different way, it reveals a fact that may cause concern from some brewers. According to my simple math, comparing 2015 to 2014, each brewery (on average) is making 6.4% less beer.

In addition, consider that fact that 1755 new breweries are in the planning stages. That's a huge number! If they all open, it implies a total of nearly 5,500 breweries, or a 46% increase from current levels. We don't know when (or if) these breweries will eventually open, but if we assume a flat 2015 level of production (3,263 barrels per brewer), the market would have to grow to 17.9M barrels just for each brewery to maintain production at 2015 levels.

In closing, it's important to point out that there is no average brewery. Some produce more volume, some produce less. Some make amazing beer, and othersnot so much. Can the market sustain all of these new breweries? Time will tell. Regardless, if you're a consumer, I believe this data means good things for you and your beer glass. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I'll look forward to revisiting this analysis next year...

What are you thoughts on the BA's data, or my interpretation of it? For more details, please review the BA's full press release below.

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Brewers Association Reports Big Gains for Small and Independent Brewers
Mid-Year Measurements Reveals Sustained Craft Brewing Industry Growth

Boulder, CO • July 27, 2015—The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers.American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.
Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. IndependentLess than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
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About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceAHA National Homebrewers ConferenceNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

Pyramid's H7 Imperial IPA

Pyramid Brewing Co. announced that it's re-releasing H7, a small-batch Unfiltered Imperial IPA for a a limited time. His made with 7 hop varieties (Apollo, Chinook, CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, El Dorado, and Calypso).

This year has been dominated by session IPAs, so Pyramid took a different approach by releasing this big 9.5% ABV, 80 IBU beer. Pyramid kindly sent me a grenade to sample. Here are my tasting notes:

Amber in color, hazy, with a tan head that dissipates slowly, leaving sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma of mandarin orange, pine, caramel, and a hint of brown sugar. The taste starts with grapefruit and a touch of sweetness. In the middle, flavors of pine and caramel emerge along with some moderate alcohol heat. It's medium bodied and moderately carbonated. While it's quite bitter throughout, it's balanced by a solid malt backbone. It finishes with long lingering grapefruit hop bitterness.  

It's been a while since I've had an Imperial IPA, and I enjoyed H7.  It's expected to be available though the end of August, so look for it quickly before it disappears.

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Pyramid Brings Back H7 – A Hopped-Up IPA for Limited Time Only

SEATTLE, WA — Due to popular demand, brewers at Pyramid Breweries have brought back a liquid that is sure to surprise and impress craft beer enthusiasts. Pyramid’s H7 is a small-batch, limited edition Unfiltered Imperial IPA that boasts seven hop varieties and a dynamic range of flavors. With 9.5% ABV, this beer rates 80 on the IBU scale. Word is – H7 is one of Pyramid’s best beers ever, so hoppy beer fans will have to move fast since the beer is in market only through August.

“We hopped this limited edition batch every way we could think of,” said Ryan Pappe, head brewer, Pyramid Breweries. “We hopped it thrice in the boil, once in the whirlpool and twice in fermentation. From citrus to pine to tropical fruit and back again, we’re taking craft beer drinkers on a hop journey. We’re extremely excited about this beer and can’t wait for beer drinkers to give it a try.” 

IPAs are nothing new to Pyramid, as Pyramid’s Outburst Imperial Ale is 4th best-selling IPA across the Pacific Northwest. However, the new H7 liquid caters specifically to the increasing demand of Imperial IPA’s, which is growing faster than IPAs (67% vs. 25% YOY) and driving 24% of overall IPA growth.

H7 will be available on draft and in 22 oz. bottles at select bars, restaurants and retailers across the United States. The launch will be supported by a mix of consumer sampling events across Pyramid’s core markets. To find Pyramid beers, use the global pint seeker

Visit Pyramid Breweries for more information or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

About Pyramid Brewing Co.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Pyramid Breweries, Inc. began as Hart Brewing in 1984 and launched the flagship brand of Pyramid Ales. In 1996, the company was reborn as Pyramid Breweries and currently offers craft beers produced under the Pyramid family of ales and lagers. With breweries in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, Pyramid also owns Alehouses at both locations and an additional Alehouse in Walnut Creek, CA.

Pyramid brewers have earned 17 medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), including the honor of Mid-size Brewery of the Year in 2008. The brewery also has been awarded seven medals in international competition at the World Beer Cup.

For more information about Pyramid Breweries visit,

11th Annual NAOBF: August 13-16

The 11th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival will be held August 13-16 at Overlook Park in North Portland. In recent years, NAOBF has been held in late June. However, due to a change in timing of another beer fest, NAOBF organizers decided to shift the event to early August to avoid schedule conflicts. Since Portland weather is usually dicey in late June, I think August will work out much better.

While there are a ton of beer fests in town, I always look forward to NAOBF, because it's only one of two beer fests that are very family friendly. My kids always get a kick out of the free (for kids and designated drivers) Crater Lake Root beer garden. They'll be thrilled to learn that Orange Cream Soda is also being served this year. I'll be sure to add that one to my tasting list. I wonder if it's on Untappd?

On the beer front, a couple of highlights. The festival is introducing the Merchant Du Vin Organic Bottle Garden that will feature 11 organic beers and ciders from England and Germany. Also, be sure to check out the tappings of rare kegs from Pinkus Müller, the world’s first certified organic brewery, located in Münster, Germany. For more details, check out NAOBF's press release below or the festival web site.

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North American Organic Brewers Festival  Celebrates 11 Years of Drinking Organic, Saving the Planet
Eco-conscious beer festival will serve up more than 60 organic drinks

PORTLAND, ORE – With a motto to “Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time,” the North American Organic Brewers Festival – the world’s only organic brewers festival – will celebrate its 11th year this August 13 through 16 at Overlook Park in North Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday and Noon to 5pm Sunday.

Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the festival will serve 63 organic beers, ciders, meads and braggots from three-dozen breweries located in the United States, Canada, Germany and England. Styles run the gamut from Ambers to Belgians to Wild Ales, with a bit of everything in-between. (A complete list of participating breweries is available at The event also offers live local music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits and a kid’s area in a beautiful park setting.

This year’s event will feature an exceedingly rare opportunity to sample draft beer from Pinkus Müller, the world’s first certified organic brewery, located in Münster, Germany. Pinkus Ur-Pils and Pinkus Münster Alt kegs will be tapped on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the festival at 4pm daily. Because of its limited supply, only tasters will be available, and it will cost two tokens for a taste.

The festival is pleased to introduce the Merchant du Vin Organic Bottle Garden, which will feature 11 bottled beers and cider from Pinkus and Samuel Smith’s of Yorkshire, England. The bottled products will be available all days of the festival in both taster and full cup options. These products will cost either double or triple tokens (triple for fruit beers).

Admission into the NAOBF is free. The purchase of a $7 reusable, compostable cornstarch cup is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full cup of beer costs four tokens and a taste costs one token; select beers, ciders and meads cost double tokens. Patrons receive an extra token with a validated Tri-Met ticket, a ticket from the Hopworks Bike Corral, or a valid ID with an Overlook neighborhood zip code (one extra token per person allowed).

The NAOBF is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. A kid’s area offers art activities, face painting and a root beer garden with complimentary Crater Lake Root Beer and Orange Cream Soda for minors (and designated drivers). 

Events generate a lot of waste, and the festival works extremely hard to minimize its footprint. Of the 2,018 lbs. of waste generated at the 2014 event, the NAOBF kept 95% from going into the landfill due to extensive composting and recycling efforts, and the event generated only 101 lbs. of garbage. This was the third year in a row that the NAOBF diverted more than 90% of its waste from the landfill. 

The NAOBF encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail; the Yellow Line Overlook Park Station is adjacent to the festival. The festival also asks its attendees to please be considerate of the Overlook neighborhood while attending the event: park politely, don’t litter, and keep the noise level down.

For more information about the NAOBF, visit The festival is on Facebook and Twitter @NAOBF, hashtag is #NAOBF15.

Blueberry Harvest at Oregon Fruit Products

Fruit beers have become extremely popular in the Northwest and beyond. Here in town, we have Portland Fruit Beer Festival, a summer event devoted to fruit beers. At the recent Oregon Brewers Festival, fruit beers were among the first to be completely tapped out. Excluding IPAs and session beers, I'd venture to guess beers made with fruit are among the hottest growth areas in craft beer.

As a homebrewer, I know that one of the challenges of brewing with fruit is timing. While breweries make beer year-round, fruit is available in its peak form once per year at harvest. If you use fresh fruit, you need to be ready to brew at the right moment. Also, depending on where you live and what you want to brew, it's hard to find the right fruit in the middle of winter! 

Oregon Fruit Products from Salem is helping breweries across the company to solve this problem. OFP is a leading supplier of aseptically packaged fruit to the brewing industry. Among the benefits of aseptic fruit is that it is preservative free, shelf stable, and ready to be used anytime of year. In mid-July, OFP invited me to tour their facility in Salem, Oregon during blueberry harvest. We started our tour at Oregon Blueberry Farms, an independent farm that supplies fruit to OFP.

After seeing how the fruit is mechanically harvested, we headed a few miles down the road to OFP's processing facility. I made a short video that shows the fruit harvesting, processing, and canning process. While mechanization is used, I was surprised to see that it's still quite a labor intensive process!

During the tour, we saw an order being filled for Tröegs Brewing from Hershey, PA. In the picture below, you'll see a huge mylar bag being filled with 275 pounds of dark cherry puree! I wonder if this will end up in a batch of Tröegs Mad Elf Ale? While that's a heaping helping of fruit, smaller breweries and brewpubs need not worrythey have smaller packages.

Beer consumers in the Northwest are spoiled with a wealth of abundance. Our great beer is the product of having access to the best and freshest ingredients. A majority of our nation's hops are grown nearby. It's also exciting to know that OFP, a local family-owned company is showcasing Oregon-grown fruit and supplying it to breweries around the world.

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