The hippest brewery in Oregon - and more Portlandia than any in town - Ninkasi just dropped a new blitz of various non-traditional marketing and packaging strategies. A series of new video commercials on each of its beers, a Ninkasi-ized version of classic boardgame Hungry Hungry Hippos, and a cool new Four Pack of 22oz bombers. What makes the four pack unique is that it comes with a Ninkasi Northwest Local MP3 Compilation download code. All of this comes on the heels of the brewery's recent rollout of 6-packs for its core lineup, and the announcement that OLCC sales numbers put them above the likes of Bridgeport Brewing. Lots more on these below...
In case you didn't know, Ninkasi is a huge supporter of local music. Marketing guy James Book even operates a small label out of his office, and the brewery sponsors a handful of those bands. Ninkasi is really doing its part to get the word out on these bands by including a code to download their MP3s. How very forward thinking of them, and more reason why Ninkasi has come up so quickly in the increasingly crowded market.
These slick new Ninkasi Four Packs feature complementary racer red and turquoise coloring and carry a nice assortment of seasonal and one-off brews, making me much more likely to purchase a package (though I got this one for free as a promo copy). In addition to flagship Total Domination IPA, the pack includes possibly my favorite Ninkasi brew, Maiden the Shade (check our review panel on it), Radiant Summer Ale, and the first ever bottling of Nuptiale Cream Ale.
Nuptiale is a beer made for Jamie Floyd's business partner Nikos Ridge's for his wedding. It has been a draft-only offering before, but it never really made its way out except for a few festivals. I'm excited to see it available in bottles. All the beers in this four pack can be bought separately except for Nuptiale, which is only available in this package. At $14.99 retail, there are not many excuses not to buy it. The new packs should be hitting shelves right now.
Ninkasi is also rolling out a series of low-budget videos on each of its beers, featuring co-owner and frontman Jamie Floyd. They can be a little cheesy, but they're fun, informative, and pretty high quality. I think these informative web videos that lots of craft breweries are rolling out are a good call and great marketing.
The concept of Ninkasi boardgames was first concocted by Ninkasi Seattle rep Joshua Russell. The games were done up in very DIY “indy” fashion (with a picture of Jamie’s face taped to the o.g. “Operation” game). That approach was then taken and refashioned and perfected by the Ninkasi crew as they obtained lots of classic games that were then repurposed and refurbished. I wonder if we will see any of these in Portland soon?