Welcome back to Sip Northwest’s Beer Hall of Fame: a twice-monthly induction into a list of essential Northwest beers that have made their mark on the field and region.
This is the final installment to the 2017 series and we are proud to have inducted the following breweries into this hall of fame: Georgetown Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Alaskan Brewing, Fremont Brewing, Chuckanut Brewery, Fort George Brewery, Sockeye Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Breakside Brewery, Double Mountain Brewery, Boneyard Beer, Odin Brewing, Bale Breaker Brewing, Schooner Exact Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Bozeman Brewing, KettleHouse Brewing, Pike Brewing, Pyramid Brewing, Payette Brewing, Maritime Pacific Brewing, Rainier Beer and now Ninkasi Brewing.
It’s a feather in the cap when other brewers reach out to you about your beer and say how much they enjoy it, how much they want to come down to your brewery and have a pint on draft. And that’s exactly what Jamie Floyd, co-founder and head brewer of Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon, found with his big double IPA, Tricerahops.
The brewery, which opened in 2006, put out its famed double IPA the following year. Named after the Sumerian goddess of fermentation, Ninkasi first brewed the Tricerahops concoction for the Great American Beer Festival. It’s original name was Hoptimus Prime, but not wanting to get sued by the movie or television producers behind the Transformers franchise, Floyd decided to name the brew after a car his friends had constructed for Burning Man, the annual art and community event in northeast Nevada.
Today the 8 percent ABV beer has become a staple in the PNW, praised by both consumer and industry. Known for its big, blown-out qualities — Floyd used to brand the beer as “double everything you love about an IPA” — it’s a giant beer that can be enjoyed as a pint or two. “When I was developing it, I was thinking a lot about drinkability and balance,” the brewer says, noting his early double IPAs were more brash and based on British recipes. However, he says he was “interested in making full-flavored beers with a lot of aroma.”
In the end, Floyd created a very pleasant big beer — perhaps something not thought possible prior — and includes eight hop varieties, from Centennial to Cascade. “With that beer, I wouldn’t change a thing and other brewers have said so also,” he adds. “They’ve told me it’s the first IPA that made them love IPAs. I really love this beer.”