Bringing women in the community together one craft beer at a time.

Jul 29

Brews and Tunes with Ninkasi Brewing

by Riley Cowing

Ninkasi Brewing company came armed to their evening with the Crafty Ladies with four key elements – good beer, good food, good company and a new element, good music. Ninkasi, founded in Eugene, OR by Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, has

always dared to be different. Their vibrant label artwork, sending yeast for a new brew to space, and band-inspired brews prove Ninkasi’s dedication to going where no one has gone before. The Crafty Ladies sampled beer and food paired with playlists including local, bands from the brewery’s own music label, giving them a complete sensory experience with sight, taste, and sound.    

Matt Drengwitz, Colorado Marketing Director, provided attendees with five different beers, matched with their own unique playlists, encapsulating Ninkasi’s diversity. From rock to rap and lagers to an imperial blended ale, Drengwitz provided quite a representation.

1. Helles Belles | helles lager

Name inspiration: Hells Bells by ACDC 

Paired with: sliced sausage and spicy mustard

2. Ginger and Juice | ginger and apricot farmhouse ale

Name inspiration: Gin&Juice by Snoop Dogg

3. Dawn of the Red | red IPA

Name inspiration: Dawn of the Dead film tied in with rock n’ roll

Paired with: fried green tomato buns from Uncle Restaurant

4. Maiden the Shade | summer IPA

Name inspiration: Iron Maiden

5. N10 Anniversary Ale | imperial blended ale

Name inspiration: Celebrating the brewery's 10th anniversary!

Paired with: cheesecake topped with an N10 sauce


Though Ninkasi is celebrating their 10th anniversary, it is only their third year in Colorado. Drengwitz thinks the Colorado market is one that should not be taken lightly. “We felt that Oregon needed to be represented by another great brewery and I feel we got in just at the right time,” Drengwitz said. “Plus, Colorado and Oregon really do have a lot in common. [It’s a] great fit for us.” While Drengwitz does not believe Colorado’s music scene was a factor in the move, it definitely has not hurt Ninkasi’s position in the market. Ninkasi’s own James Book wanted to do something different from the beginning and eventually started to sponsor venues for some local bands. The idea took off, which led to the brewery’s own music label which supports 41 different local bands, covering an array of genres from bluegrass to punk to rap.  

Drengwitz appreciated the attentive, passionate audience of the Crafty Ladies. “Anytime you can get that many people in one room to listen to what you have to say all while drinking great beer and learning cool stuff about a brewery, it’s a no brainer,” he said.