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Fermentation Goddess' War On Swill Told In Spirited Collaboration

Margaret Bull

Mediocre, mass-produced beer, beware! The rise of craft is being told in comic book form. Two heavyweights from Oregon’s microbrew and graphic novel industries jointly produced the work. 

Titled Legend of Ninkasi: The Rise of Craft the comic tells the story of a medieval village named Eugenia. Locals are subjected to a tyrannical brewmeister’s whims…namely that his beer – named “Bludweisen”…be the only one sold in taverns. But the Goddess of Fermentation, Ninkasi, and her dinosaur steed, Tricerahops…keg – I mean, beg-  to differ.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
The cover of Ninkasi: The Rise of Craft by Dark Horse Comics. The Goddess of Fermentation appears aloft on her trusty steed, Tricerahops.

Ninkasi Brewing co-founder Jamie Floyd helped develop the story. He says this is part of a larger comics-based campaign that started roughly two years ago.  The physical book itself was done last year for a planned "Ninkasicon" event, but the pandemic changed that rollout.

“Now we’re carving out some video elements that we’re doing in-house here, that teases elements of the comic universe and also promotes our beer. A lot of real fun creativity coming out.”

Jim Gibbons of Dark Horse Comics scripted the epic ale...er, tale. He says doing the beer comic collaboration was a blast, given the Dungeons & Dragons style-setting and the opportunity to let the action move freely and quickly given the limited number of pages.   

“Because a lot of times we put in references and little jokes and all that, and I’m like, 'I don’t know if everyone’s going to get this, y’know?'

"But between me and Jamie and the Ninkasi folks, it seems like a lot of people are actually picking up on a lot of them, which is really rewarding.”

There are various cameos from the local craftbrew scene, and Easter eggs sprinkled in the writing and artwork (by Dark Horse illustrator Eduardo Francisco) that is sure to tickle beer and fantasy afficionadoes. 

We won’t spoil what happens when the Goddess Ninkasi confronts King Bludweisen…only that when there’s craft beer involved, you can be assured a hoppy ending.

Editions of the comic book are available for free, through Ninkasi Brewing's website.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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