Winner: Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
Ninkasi has gone from zero to 100,000 barrels in six years, with that number expected to triple in the next eighteen months. The first batch of Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA hit the market in 2006, and since then, beer lovers have been lapping up the hoppy brew. The Brewers Association, a trade group that tracks industry trends, named Eugene-based Ninkasi the fastest growing regional brewery in the country in 2011. Total Domination along with Believer Double Red Ale, Tricerahops Double IPA and Oatis Oatmeal Stout are on tap or in bottles throughout the West. Ninkasi does not have a brewpub but visitors are welcome in its tasting room for a pint and bites from visiting food carts.
Runner-Up: Boneyard RPM IPA
In beer-soaked Bend, Boneyard got started by recycling other brewers’ cast-off equipment. Two-plus years later, the brewery can’t keep up with demand and “our numbers are crazy,” says co-owner Melodee Storey. The only place to taste its flagship brew, RPM, is from the tap, either in Boneyard’s pint-sized tasting room off Bend’s Parkway, where it recently filled a whopping 498 growlers on discount Wednesday, or in restaurants and pubs across Oregon and Washington. In spring 2013, Boneyard will open a fifty-barrel production facility in Bend’s north end, adding to its current twenty barrels.