Raise a Toast to Ninkasi, Mesopotamian Goddess of Beer and Brewing

Today we're taking a look at the ancient Sumerian goddess of and , Ninkasi. Ninkasi is thought to have been worshiped as early as the first millennium BCE, and was known by the variant name Kurunn?tu. This name derived from a term used to refer to a type of high quality beer.

Ninkasi was associated with both positive and negative consequences of the consumption of beer. In 2006, two friends—Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge—founded a brewery in Oregon that they named after this ancient goddess. They called it Ninkasi Brewing Company.

At first, their brewery only produced Total Domination , but production increased dramatically over the years. In 2011, they produced 56,000 of beer; by 2013, that number had increased to 86,000 barrels!

The Hymn to Ninkasi is a poem found on clay tablet dating back to around 1800 BC. As translated by Miguel Civil, the poem is both a song of praise for Ninkasi and an instructional guide for brewing beer. It contins one of the oldest recipes for brewing beer still known today!

In conclusion, Ninkasi has been revered for centuries for her role in brewing beer and bringing pleasure to those who consume it. The -day brewery founded in her honor continues her legacy today. If you ever get the chance to try some Ninkasi Brewing Company beers or read up on The Hymn to Ninkasi poem—we highly recommend it!

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The Meaning of the Name ‘Ninkasi'

Ninkasi is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of beer and brewing. Her name derives from the Sumerian word for “lady of the root”, which likely refers to her association with barley, one of the main ingredients used in brewing beer. She was revered as a goddess who provided both joy and destruction through consumption. In some texts, she is even portrayed as a divine brewer who brings forth the sweet nectar of beer from the earth. Ninkasi's legacy has been enduring, as she is still celebrated by brewers around the world today.

Who Is the Owner of Ninkasi Brewery?

Ninkasi Brewery is owned by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, the same two individuals who founded the brewery back in 2006. Jamie Floyd is the CEO and co-founder of Ninkasi, while Nikos Ridge serves as the President and co-founder. The two have been instrumental in Ninkasi's success, growing production from 56,000 barrels in 2011 to 86,000 barrels in 2013. They continue to lead the brewery and are committed to producing high-quality for all beer lovers around the world.

The Hymn to Ninkasi

The Hymn to Ninkasi is an ancient Sumerian poem dating back to around 1800 BC. It is both a song of praise and reverence to the goddess of beer, Ninkasi, as well as a description of the process used by the Sumerians to make beer. The poem describes in detail the various stages of beer-making, including grinding grain beween two stones, kneading a mash, fermenting it into , and baking bread with it. It also praises Ninkasi's divine powers that allow her to provide nourishment and sustenance for mankind through her gift of beer. Additionally, it mentions some of the other gods who help in the brewing process. In short, The Hymn to Ninkasi offers a fascinating glimpse into the culture and religious beliefs of ancient Sumerian society.


Ninkasi was an important Mesopotamian goddess of beer and brewing, whose influence is still seen today. She was revered as a goddess of abundance and fertility and her followers celebrated her with music and poetry. Her worship dates back to at last 1800 BCE, when the Hymn to Ninkasi was written. This hymn is not only a song of praise, but also provides ancient instructions on how to brew beer. Ninkasi's legacy has been kept alive through the work of modern brewers like Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, who founded the brewery Ninkasi in 2006. By 2013 production had increased to 86,000 barrels, demonstrating the lasting impact that this ancient goddess of beer still has on our culture today.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.