Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Press Release:
EUGENE, Ore.—July 2, 2014This July, Ninkasi Brewing Company, a regional craft brewery located in Eugene, Ore., will continue its quest to Perpetuate Better Living anywhere mankind’s journey leads—even to space. With the first mission in the books for this summer, Ninkasi is proud to announce NSP, the Ninkasi Space Program.

In partnership with the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT), the first amateur rocketeer group to successfully launch a rocket to space in 2004, the team will do it again, 10 years later, and carrying a payload of 16 strains of brewer’s yeast above Earth’s atmosphere.

“NSP is a very serendipitous project,” explains Nikos Ridge, CEO and co-founder of Ninkasi. “I don’t think you could have planned a more perfect pairing of beer and space geekery.”

Introduced through a mutual friend, Ridge met with Bruce Lee, of CSXT, at an amateur rocket launch competition in 2013 where the idea first came about.

“As a result of meeting Nikos, CSXT is pleased to include Ninkasi as a team member for the launch,” says Bruce Lee, principle and range safety officer for CSXT. “Launching brewer’s yeast into space will be an interesting experiment – something we’ve never done before.”

With almost a year of planning, NSP will finally get off the ground this month. Ninkasi’s lab technician, Dana Garves, and RapidMade, a Portland, Ore. company specializing in 3D printing, worked hand-in-hand to design and create a payload container built specifically to safely carry the 16 yeast strains into space and back to Earth for brewing—the first to do so.

“I couldn’t contain my excitement when I first heard of NSP,” says Garves. “We spent hours researching, developing and testing what we think will ensure that the yeast travels safely and returns to us healthy enough to brew with.”

After the launch, CSXT will retrieve the payload and immediately hand off the yeast samples to Garves who will analyze the yeast on-site with a microscope used in conjunction with her smartphone.

“Since we’ll be off-the-grid for the launch, I had to figure out a way to examine the samples remotely,” explains Garves. On-site, Garves will be testing for the viability of the yeast, analyzing the number of dead and live yeast cells.

If successful, the NSP team will return to the brewery with healthy yeast, ready to make its way into a very special beer for craft beer and space aficionados alike.

“Obviously, the fact that we’ve never launched yeast into space presents many challenges in itself even with months of planning,” says Ridge. “While we have confidence in our partners and the process, this is uncharted territory on several fronts and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds on launch day.”

Ninkasi has released a microsite to help followers keep up-to-date with all NSP happenings including the July launch. To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dutch Craft Brewers To Be Welcomed to Oregon

Dutch craft brewers to be welcomed to Oregon 
at “Bridging Cities: One Beer at a Time” event on July 19

Press Release:
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Brewers Festival is hosting 11 Dutch (and one German) craft brewers to the Oregon Brewers Festival from July 23-27. To celebrate their arrival, the Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub, the Portland Dutch Society and the Portland Utrecht Network are welcoming the guest brewers on Saturday, July 19, from Noon to 3pm at the Raccoon Lodge, 7424 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway in Portland. Festivities will include a catered BBQ and beer, with music by Dutch musician Michele Van Kleef ( and PSU jazz musician Lance Vallis.  In addition, a silent auction will be held (emceed by Charles de Greef of KBOO's Holland Hour), featuring beer and merchandise donated by the visiting brewers, as well as contributions from local restaurants and arts organizations.

The “Bridging Cities: One Beer at a Time” reception is open to the public. Admission is $25 per adult and $10 for children up to 16 if purchased by July 12 at Space is limited and advance purchase is strongly advised. On July 13, adult ticket prices increase to $30. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Portland Utrecht Network’s efforts to further develop the current “Friendship City” status to a formal “Sister City” relationship, as well as help to fund future cultural exchanges. Numerous connections between the cities are being explored, such as transportation, business, sustainability, design, tourism, and craft brewing.

To learn more about the Bridging Cities reception, the Portland Dutch Society or the Portland Utrecht Network, visit Facebook/PortlandDutch or Facebook/PortlandUtrecht. For more information on the Oregon Brewers Festival, July 23-27, and the visiting brewers who will be serving their beer in a special tent during the festival from 1pm to 3:30pm daily, visit