Ninkasi expansion to triple beer production

Ninkasi expansion to triple beer production

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EUGENE, Ore. - Walking around Ninkasi Brewing Company's office you can't help but notice it's a bit cramped.

But not for long.

"We realized last year that projecting out a few years into the future, we would max out the facility that we're currently in," said co-founder and CEO Nikos Ridge.

On Thursday, the company broke ground on two new facilities near their Whiteaker headquarters.
"Add some more office space and some warehousing space that we are, at this point, very  much in need of," he said. "We started this process a year ago of developing some of the sites in the area that we own, to connect and expand our production capacity with our existing facility."

Ridge said by this time next year, they'll be operating with 70,000 square feet of space.

"This facility can probably do about 95,000 barrels annually," he said. "With the addition of the new facility running them both in tandem, we should be able to put out between 250,000 and 350,000 barrels."

More space also means new beers.

"We'll have a lot of resources available for the brewers to sort of expand on their creativity and for us to make more beers," said Ridge.

The expansion also provides an opportunity for the company to expand their footprint into new markets.

"Currently we're in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, San Francisco and San Jose," Ridge said. "So that Northern and Central California expansion piece will be the next step for us."

But Ninkasi is not the only brewer expanding in the Whiteaker. Springfield-based Hop Valley Brewing Company is also moving in on First Avenue.

That's in addition to new restaurants and other businesses, moving in to the ever changing neighborhood.

"Being in this neighborhood in the Whiteaker is great," said Ridge. "We've seen a lot of things open up recently. I know there's more things in motion and it's pretty exciting."

And more businesses mean more jobs in the Whiteaker, including Ninkasi.

"We'll have the capacity for 100 plus more jobs as we continue to grow over the years," he said.