Today, Ninkasi Brewing opened the doors to The Better Living Room, its new restaurant and taproom space located at the brewery in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood. This new experience replaces the original Ninkasi Tasting Room that was located just one block south.
For the past few months Ninkasi Brewing has renovated the ground floor of its administrative building to convert it to this new 144 seat space now known as The Better Living Room. Inside this new spade sits two bars, over 45 taps and a full restaurant that is led by Executive Chef Andrew Hroza as he sources food from the Willamette Valley.
Taking a prominent role in The Better Living Room is Ninkasi Brewing’s new 5-barrel Pilot Brewery. Many of the taps will be pouring beer from this new brewery and one way to sample these new, innovative offerings is to visit The Better Living Room. The entire brew team at Ninkasi will rotate through a 3-month shift on the Pilot Brewery. This will allow time for recipe development and innovation. A current tap list can be found at ninkasibrewing.com/eugene-beer, and 16oz pints begin at the very affordable price of just $4.50!
“We are thrilled to invite our community into our living room,” said Chief Experience Officer Sarah Johnson, in a statement. “The Better Living Room not only showcases the talents of our brewers, culinary and hospitality teams, but is a celebration of the makers and producers of the region, from the farmers from whom we source our ingredients to the local businesses, musicians, and artists who are featured in our space.”
Sarah Johnson gained much of her extensive Food and Beverage experience at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the biggest and most diverse food and beverage operations in the United States. As Director of Food & Beverage, the resort’s resident beer expert and Certified Cicerone, Sarah innovated a comprehensive resort-wide craft beer program. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah is excited to return to her roots and lead the growth of Ninkasi in authentic hospitality.
The kitchen inside The Better Living Room is led by Executive Chef Andrew Hroza who 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. Menu items will change seasonally with locally sourced ingredients, featuring dishes such as Smoked Squash JoJo’s, Whiteaker Goulash, and The Better Burger. The full menu can be found at ninkasibrewing.com/eugene-menu.
Chef Andrew Hroza is Le Cordon Blue-trained chef that joins Ninkasi after opening Warpigs for 3 Floyds Brewing and Mikkeller in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. Prior to Warpigs, Hroza served as Executive Chef for Goose Island Brewing in Chicago for nearly a decade.
The Ninkasi Better Living Room is open daily form 11:00am-11:00pm. The Dining Room and Rocket Bar offer full menu service, while The Living Room Bar is counter service with open seating. Dock sales are now reopened at The Better Living Room for case sales, keg sales, and corny keg fills.
Ninkasi Better Living Room 155 Blair Blvd. Eugene, OR 97402
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.