Ninkasi Brewing – News Story

Ninkasi Brewing is not your typical brewery. With a strong focus on building community and promoting local musical talent with an in-house studio, Ninkasi stands out as a premier location for both beer and music. Today, ETV spoke with Ninkasi brand and experiential marketing director, James Book, and Beer is Love program manager, Emilie Hartvig, about how music and donation programs help Ninkasi Brewing stand out from the rest of the pack. Check out an EP released from the Ninkasi Studios here:

 

NINKASI STUDIOS

Ninkasi Brewing was co-founded by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge in 2006. Together they used their combination of business and brewing skills to push Ninkasi to become the fastest growing craft brewery in the United States. The brewery has expanded its operations over the years while keeping a focus on helping the community, whether through its donations program or by helping local musicians produce records with an inhouse recording studio.

James Book, Ninkasi brand and experiential marketing director with two decades of experience in the music industry, operates Ninkasi Studios and provides expertise to Ninkasi partnered artists at no charge. He said the idea for Ninkasi Brewing to include a proper studio happened organically since the brewery already supported local artists through music production, recording, album pressing sponsorships and assistance in tours and bookings.

“In the early days of the company our former CEO and I intended to build a studio and then Total Domination IPA exploded in popularity in the NW,” Book said. “As marketing director at that time, I continued to sponsor bands with production time and pressing etc. and they organically would spread the word about us on tour. Bars and their fans took interested in the story and we made new account partners and new customers as result.”

The music produced at Ninkasi Studios is a mix of local, regional, national, and international talent. Book said Ninkasi has close partnerships with various artists and they call them first when looking for bands or solo artists to appear at new beer launch party tours and other events.

“We work the most closely with bands from SoCal, Washington and Oregon, naturally, but we have enjoyed working with others from further away including the amazing Gayle Skidmore who now lives in The Netherlands,” Book said.

The equipment in the studio includes the essentials of what any proper recording studio should have, from mics, a collection of restored vintage and modern instruments, and amps with a digital audio workstation running Pro Tools. Book said they work primarily “in the box.”

“Plus, it’s inside a brewery so the artists tend to appreciate that detail. No beer for the drummer until the drum tracks are laid!” Book said.

The first original musical offering to come out of Ninkasi Studios was the “Dawn of the Red Compilation EP” released in September 2015. The collection included music from Vokab Kompany + Kraddy, Sapient, Black Beast Revival, and Tyler Fortier, among others. The artists chosen for this compilation were specifically chosen based on where they were from.

 

“For the ‘Dawn of the Red Compilation,’ which was a concept record, we intentionally chose bands of completely different ‘flavor’/genres from specific target cities in line with our local strategies in those areas and asked them each to write a song called ‘Dawn of The Red,’” Book said. “They obviously asked ‘What should it be about?’ but we told them to authentically interpret it themselves and just include the phrase ‘Dawn of The Red’ in their songs’ choruses as it related to their lyrical themes. The album came out great and we pressed vinyl that the bands could sell on tour and that we could use at account promotions such as bar event giveaways and so forth.”

Ninkasi Studios has made several compilations allowing the artist to write an original song based on the name or theme of the flavor. The latest was the “Pacific Rain Compilation” base off the Pacific Rain Northwest Pale, which is crafted with lava-filtered water from the McKenzie River Watershed. The compilation features up-and-coming and established artists from the region performing Bluegrass, Roots and Americana music.

 

“Pacific Rain was a NW-centric beer release focusing on our quality of life up here,” Book said. “Given that we were also sponsoring Northwest String Summit bluegrass festival in overlap to the commemorative ‘Pacific Rain Compilation,’ we opted to make an entirely string/acoustic album in commemoration of the beer’s release where many of the artists we featured on the album also performed at the festival.”

Ninkasi Studios’ work in recording and producing indie and established artists has allowed the area of Eugene to gain more recognition as a legitimate place where talented musical artists can go to record. In turn, these bands also spread the word about Ninkasi, making the relationship beneficial for both sides.

Book said Ninkasi does not sell their artist’s music but they do use it internally for content and video soundtracks that are produced and they also offer the music to their non-profit partners to use as soundtrack for their promotional videos. Overall, Ninkasi Brewing is aware of the powerful combination that is beer and music can have and using it to help propel local artists in an intriguing way.

BEER IS LOVE

Floyd and Ridge have always made it a point to make donations part of their brewing culture. After donating beer to the community here and there, Ninkasi set up a donation programs called Beer is Love that offers beer donations to registered non-profit organizations.

“While the main focus of Beer is Love is to donate beer to non-profits, we also integrate an employee volunteer program,” said Beer is Love program manager, Emilie Hartvig. “If an employee wants to volunteer for a local organization, we work with them to make it happen. If there is a volunteer opportunity during the work week, we ensure that they are still able to get paid for their job while taking a couple hours out of their day to give back to a cause they care about.”

The program has worked with many types of non-profits. It recently narrowed its focus on the “Beer is Love DNA,” supporting non-profits doing work in five core categories: women, equality, recreation, the environment, and arts and music. Some of the non-profits they have worked with include McKenzie River Trust, HIV Alliance, SOMArts, Team River Runner, and Women Who Code. Beer is Love has found success in donating in progressive non-profits and it plans to continue doing more events in the future.

“We are a part of all kinds of events,” Hartvig said. “In the next couple weeks, we are donating to a concert in the park, an art exhibit opening, a local beer festival, and a small private celebration. The donations for these events range anywhere from four and a half barrel kegs to two cases.”

For anyone interested in getting involved with Beer is Love, visit the donations website at Ninkasi. To learn more about all the incredible beer and music related news going on at Ninkasi Studios, check them out at Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and their official site.

City of Beverly Hills 2017 Concerts on Canon – Local Event

The City of Beverly Hills 2017 Concerts on Canon will commence on June 8 all the way through August 31 providing a total of 13 concerts at the Beverly Hills Canon Gardens.

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Photo provided by City of Beverly Hills

The free outdoor concert will feature a host of bands throughout the month including Eric E’s Boogie-Woogie band, a 10-piece swing, jump, blues and boogie-woogie band known for playing the classic covers from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and moderns songs for everyone to enjoy, as well as other bands including The Tokens (Doo-Wop), Les Zazous (French Bistro Jazz), and the Tom Nolan Band (Motown). For the full summer lineup, see down below:

  • June 8              Eric E Ensemble – Big Band/Swing
  • June 15            The Tokens – Doo-Wop
  • June 22            Amber and Smoke – Acoustic Pop Duo
  • June 29            Act Three – Broadway Tunes
  • July 6              Rod Lightning and the Thunderbolts of Love – Classic Rock Covers
  • July 13            The Hodads – Beach Boy Covers
  • July 20             Les Zazous – French Bistro Jazz
  • July 27             Tom Nolan Band – Motown
  • August 3         Big Butter Jazz Band – New Orleans Jazz Swing
  • August 10       Leslie Paula and the Latin Soul Band – Latin Salsa
  • August 17       Stephen Wise Temple Musical Singers Salute The Summer
  • August 24       Joyce Marie – Brazilian Jazz
  • August 31       Rod Lightning and the Thunderbolts of Love – Classic Rock Covers
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Photo provided by City of Beverly Hills

Two 45-minute sets at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. will offer loads of fun an opportunity to dance the night away. Seating is available on a first-served basis and the garden’s large grassy area will allow for picnic dining or purchasing a boxed meal from a nearby restaurant.

For a night of Swing, R&B, Broadway tunes and more, be sure to check out the City of Beverly Hills 2017 Concerts on Canon, located on Canon Drive between the Montage Hotel and Bouchon Restaurant. Parking is available adjacent to Beverly Canon Gardens.

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Photo provided by City of Beverly Hills

For more information, visit www.beverlyhills.org/concertsoncanon.  To learn about other events in Beverly Hills, visit www.beverlyhills.org.

Enoc Perez – Local Event

The UTA Artist Space will be featuring a politically-based solo exhibition by New York-based artist Enoc Perez opening on May 13 until June 17.

Perez’s exhibition focuses on architectural paintings of United States Embassy buildings throughout the world based on his frustrations of the country’s recent presidential election. His intention was to question how the political landscape has narrowed our relationships with these buildings and how they have gone from hopeful sanctuaries into security bunkers. The art portrays compounds in London, Beijing, Tel Aviv, Saigon and more, all with a sense of anxiety looming from the increased political conflict the nation faces.

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US Embassy Saigon, 2017
Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 Inches

Perez was born in San Juan in 1967 and spent his family vacations as a child traveling to museums in different countries learning about the history of art. After getting his master’s degree at Hunter College, he has had his work displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London and many, many more galleries, universities and art centers around the world.

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US Embassy Tel Aviv, 2017
Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 Inches

The exhibition will be held at the UTA Artist Space, which is known for showcasing art talent from around the world and helping artists gain access new opportunities. Be sure to check out Enoc Perez from May 13 to June 17 at the UTA Artist Space, located on 670 S. Anderson Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Heatwave – Local Event

Joshua Roth, UTA Artist Space, and Cultural Counsel will be presenting “Heatwave” curated by Dylan Brant. The event’s opening reception takes place March 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The group exhibition will be on display from March 18 to April 22.

“Heatwave” will feature the work of Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, George Condo, Jonathan Horowitz,Rashid Johnson, Mike Kelley, Elad Lassry, Nate Lowman, Karen Kilimnik, Adam McEwen, Cady Noland, Rob Pruitt, Julian Schnabel, Jim Shaw, Steven Shearer, Dash Snow, Josh Smith, and Michael Williams. The artwork features collaged newsprint, silkscreen, and pen and ink to bring out the excitement and anxieties of their generation.

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Curator Dylan Brant is a New York based curator and a co-founder of Y&S, an organization dedicated to emerging contemporary artists and the co- founder of the artist run project space Entrance. He has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, Examiner, Interview Magazine, New York Observer, Out of Order, Paper Mag, Twelv Magazine, W Magazine, Wild Magazine and Vulture.

If you happen to be in L.A. this week, be sure to catch groundbreaking new art at UTA Artist Space, located on 670 S. Anderson Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion – Local Event

Multimedia artist and guitarist Billy Morrison and urban street artist Plastic Jesus are joining forces to present a one week only art exhibit titled “Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion,” which will feature 36 pieces of modern fine art. Taking place at the former Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard, it will run for one weekend only, opening Friday, Feb. 24 with a VIP reception from 7 to 11 p.m., and open to the public Saturday, Feb. 25 from noon to 9 p.m.

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Image provided by Hijinx PR

Sponsored by Gibson Brands, Inc. and Aston Martin, the event will kick things off with a VIP with a clientele that is set to include Miley Cyrus, Shepard Fairey, Billy Idol, Courtney Love, Ozzy Osbourne, David Arquette, Charlize Theron, and many more. The art is intended to show how people consume popular culture to distract themselves from the madness of the world, from social media to retail therapy to gossip magazines.

The 36 works include 12 new works by Morrison, 12 by Plastic Jesus, and an additional 12 pieces created between the pair, ranging from paintings to large-scale installation pieces. Meanwhile, co-sponsor Aston Martin will be showing off their coolest cars.

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Image provided by Hijinx PR

Billy Morrison is best known for playing guitar for Billy Idol ans is a long time collecto og contemporary art. He started to make his own pieces of art during the past several years and has had three successful art shows in Los Angeles. Plastic Jesus is inspired by world events, society, politics and the urban environment to question the compliance of culture with his own combined humor, irony and criticism. He has been featured on The Huffington Post, BBC, Time Magazine, The LA Times, the LA Weekly, MSNBC, The Daily Telegraph and more.

Be sure to catch these two artists at Tower Records on Feb. 24 and 25 for a night of deep introspection and a lot of fun!