Brian Koch is the owner of North Portland’s Lombard House pub, and like many others he is grappling with a pandemic, a pivot to delivery, and worldwide protests of an unjust system that have implications far more important than beer and bars.
In early 2020, Ninkasi Brewing will open their first restaurant – dubbed the Ninkasi Better Living Room. Though they have operated a small tasting room for years, this will be the first full brewpub for the Eugene brewery and will be located on their campus in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood. Heading up the food program will be Executive Chef Andrew Hroza who will focus on locally sourced food of the Willamette Valley in a unique dining experience.
More from a press release:
“This isn’t your typical brewpub,” said Chef Hroza. “Craft beer drinkers are looking for their palettes to be challenged. They want interesting flavors, so our menu will offer that.” Hroza is currently building partnerships with local producers to craft his unique flavors. “Ninkasi’s love of producing high-quality beer really shows. I’m building relationships with people who are just as excited about their craft.” The menu is currently under development, but Chef Hroza describes his style as “elegant rustic” and will play off the “Better Living Room” theme with food reminiscent of home entertainment-style dishes, but elevated.
Before the grand opening of the Ninkasi Better Living Room, Hroza will be showcasing his cuisine in several local pop-up dinners around Eugene. The first will take place at Party Downtown on Tuesday, December 10th. More details on reservations and additional pop-up dates will be announced soon.
Le Cordon Blue-trained Chef Andrew Hroza joins Ninkasi after opening Warpigs for Three Floyd’s and Mikkeller in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. Prior to Warpigs, Hroza served as Executive Chef for Goose Island Brewing for nearly a decade. His restaurants have received numerous recognitions, including The White Guide’s“Best New Brewpub/Restaurant” for Warpigs in 2015, where he received a consecutive 4-star rating from Politikan Copenhagen. Hroza is dedicated to zero waste in his kitchen, having established a whole animal program during his stint as Chef Liaison for Slow Foods Chicago and reduced Mikkeller restaurants’ carbon footprint during his time in Copenhagen.
Chief Experience Officer Sarah Johnson promises the dining experience will reflect the unique food Chef Andrew Hroza is envisioning. “We’re inviting people into our space, our living room,” said Johnson. “For the past 13 years, we’ve brought our experience to people around the region. We’re excited to welcome our community into our own, unique space.”
The Ninkasi Better Living Room will open in early 2020 (exact date TBA) on the ground floor of the Ninkasi Admin Building at 155 Blair Blvd. Eugene, OR 97402. This new experience will replace the current Ninkasi Tasting Room, located just one block away.
About Ninkasi Brewing Company Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore. Ninkasi’s Flagship beers are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Nevada; Oregon; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’sBeer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.