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Ninkasi Brewing Company

BREWER: Tim Sanborn and John Schlea

INTERNATIONAL BREWERY: Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, Oregon, USA

BEER: Special Bitter (5.8% ABV)

HOST BREWERY (UK): Banks’s Brewery, Wolverhampton




Tim has lived in Eugene, in the Pacific Northwest, for 12 years, having moved from New Hampshire, and it is where his career in brewing really kicked off.

He had been home brewing for about five years when he got the opportunity to brew professionally for Steelhead Brewery, in Eugene. He spent four years there, as an assistant brewer, before moving to Ninkasi Brewing Company.

He started in the cellar at Ninkasi, before moving to the brew team, becoming the lead brewer, and his current position of managing the brewing and cellar departments, as the brewing manager.





An independent craft brewery located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company has been producing high-quality craft ales and lagers for the past 10 years.

Founded in 2006, by Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, the brewery is a culture of individuals operating under a single core purpose: to ‘perpetuate better living’.

It uses local and regionally sourced ingredients in every beer.

Named after the ancient Sumerian goddess of fermentation, Ninkasi strives to support the communities which serve its beer through its ‘Beer is Love’ donations programme, donating beer and monetary funds to non-profit bodies throughout all areas where its beer is enjoyed.





Brewed exclusively for the real-ale festival, this beer is an expression of a true Ninkasi beer.

Tim said: “We love to honour traditional styles with a Pacific Northwest twist, so Special Bitter retains all the classic notes of the style, while adding a little extra to the experience, in true Ninkasi fashion.

“We’re proud to pour this Special Bitter for the first time and share it with real-ale-drinkers!”

Ninkasi also participated in 2013, when its founding brewer, Jamie Floyd, brewed a cream ale with host brewery Caledonian, in Edinburgh.