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Artist In Residence

Art is at the hub of everything we produce. It flows through our veins and keeps us grounded and inspired. Established in June 2015, the Ninkasi Artist in Residence program enables our in-house design team to work hand-in-hand with an array of skilled artists. We open our doors for them to set-up shop at our headquarters and work with our design and marketing teams on art-centric projects.

These artists are people we admire and enjoy working with and have been hand-selected by our team. We look forward to sharing our projects with you!

Current Artist

Neal Williams is a Eugene-based illustrator and screenprinter working primarily in limited edition prints and concert posters. After spending his twenties working around music; from record store jobs to freelance music composition, Neal felt the urge to explore the visual side of music. He quickly fell in love with the gigposter scene and decided to try his hand designing flyers for his and other local bands while living in Atlanta, GA. Soon he entered the broader world of design and illustration as he developed his heavily-detailed pen-and-ink style. Today he draws mostly with pen on paper and pulls most of his screenprints by hand.

Client list includes: Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Matthews Band, Interpol, The Head and The Heart, Andrew Bird, Soundgarden, Dinosaur Jr., Low, Russian Circles, and Neurosis. Check out more of his work here


Featured Projects:

Dawn of the Red Halloween Art

Dawn of the Red Halloween Art

When we first met with our Artist in Residence Neal Williams, we said these words, “There’s a cityscape within Dawn of the Red’s packaging, and we want you to zoom in on what’s happening in that city. Use your unique style of art to complete the story behind Dawn of the Red.” 

Neal then did what Neal does and created a killer triptych to tell the story behind our killer beer to help us kick off our Halloween 2015 campaign. The artwork is featured on the homepage of our website and in-stores with Dawn of the Red displays claiming, "Your Halloween Beer is Here!". And since Neal's artwork was prime for its own graphic novel, we wrote a story to coincide with the release of the poster. You can read the full story on our blog, here!

Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh'r Label Art

Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh

The wicked stepbrother of Sleigh’r hits the town fall 2015. A burly 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and an ample helping of dark brown sugar were added to each batch, creating a sweet aroma, smooth mouthfeel and a warm finish plus all the toasted malt complexity Sleigh’r is known for. As a Rare & Delicious bottled offering, this beer is a unique find and an exciting take on our winter seasonal. The label beckoned some impressive art holing true to the rock 'n' roll nature of Sleigh'r. Neal worked with our art team to illustrate the label for this seasonal beer, featuring a headless horseman and pumpkins. 

Total Domination Advertising

Total Domination Advertising

As our first flagship, Total Domination IPA quickly became known for being a deliciously balanced IPA that pairs well with outdoor activities. We developed an ad campaign to promote the beer in the Northwest, reflecting our mountainous terrain. Neal took pen to paper and drew a Northwest landscape boasting Total Domination-capped mountains. This campaign utilizes a mix of hand-drawn illustration by Neal and commercial photography. 

Ground Control Key Art

Ground Control Key Art

Seven years after we started brewing in Oregon, we decided the sky was not the limit. One year, two rockets and countless lab hours later, we successfully launched a payload of brewer’s yeast into outer space with the help of rocket scientists. After a much awaited return to Earth, the mission of creating space beer was finally complete. In April 2015, we launched Ground Control, an Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa and fermented with an ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back. 

We knew a beer this special deserved a special treatment and set out to find the best gig poster artists in the country. Luck would have it, our research led us to Neal Williams, a Eugene-based illustrator who has done work for some of the best indie and rock bands. Our in-house design team worked hand-in-hand with Neal to develop the key artwork for the beer, influencing everything from in-store displays, to merchandise, to the packaging of the beer itself. More about this project can be found here