It was a crisp fall day in Eugene, Oregon and we were sitting down with a sampler at Ninkasi Brewing. In addition to trying some new beers, we were there to meet up with one of the brewery’s partners, Aaron Wirth, who had a proposition for us. Through our postings online, he’d noticed our appreciation for craft beer and that we often would have a quality beverage available for our crew on most of our productions. Not only did he find this impressive, it spoke to the brand of the young brewery. He proposed a partnership between our two brands. Whenever we needed beer for an upcoming project, just drop him a line. And we’d do whatever we could to promote Ninkasi. We shook on it and had a deal.
That was two years ago and as you might expect it has been a perfect match. Our bond with the small brewery has grown, as has their distribution around the country. At first we had to do quite a bit of explaining about the blueish green ’N’ on our caps, t-shirts and jerseys. These days we get more compliments on our choice of beverage, especially on the trail. Just yesterday I got a ‘that’s a damn good jersey’ while sporting a Ninkasi shirt out on the singletrack. Over time we’ve sort of become ambassadors for the craft brewery, introducing people to their beer at trailheads and campgrounds.
We also usually have a case of bombers in the back of the truck that we deem as karma beers. When you’re on the road as much as we are, you inevitably end up relying on help from the good people out in the world. Broken bike chain out on a ride, directions to a ‘locals only’ singletrack, or help with stuck ropes when rappelling off a climb. Those good people are more than likely pretty stoked to try a bomber of IPA as a small token of our appreciation. It’s so awesome to watch someone’s face light up when you hand them a big bottle of good beer. We’ll sit down and send some of the best encounters to the crew at Ninkasi.
“The best was at the Oskar Blues Brewery in Boulder couple weeks ago. We’ve gotten used to getting comments and stories when people recognize the Ninkasi branding on something. I was wearing a hat and the guy pouring beer behind the bar just lit up when he saw it. He was so stoked talking about your IPA’s that we just had to leave him with one. Came back in with a Tricerahops (his fave) wrapped in a tshirt. He was washing dishes when handed it to him. He was absolutely speechless. Such a simple thing, but means so much to members of our tribe.”
“Have been doing a lot of karma beer the past month. Was shooting some aerials in Red Rocks and group of climbers were severely bummed to find our production on a climb they we’re gunning for. Found them later in the campground and left them a ‘sorry about that’ sampler. Shirts and other items have also been a huge hit. Agnes patched some guys ripped bike shorts with a Ninkasi pin. Classic!”
“Just stopped in at a small outdoor shop to pick up a $2.65 boot lace and guy working the Sunday shift noticed my Ninkasi cap. He remembered when you guys came out to Bluesapalooza last year. Whoever was working your taps at that really made an impression on him. And of course he was a big fan of the beer also. We talked for awhile about beer festivals and some of the brewers he’s met working them. Left him with a couple bombers and bit of swag. He was beyond stoked since he hadn’t run across a Ninkasi beer since.”
A huge thanks to the crew at Ninkasi from us and our team. Here’s a many more years of perpetuating a better living around the country. Cheers!