Product Review: Ninkasi Brewing Company’s ‘Dawn of the Red’

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Welcome to my first ever beer review. When I received an email from Ninkasi Brewing Company about reviewing one of their specialty beers, of course I was on board. As of January 2014, Ninkasi has re-released their India-Style Red Ale, Dawn of the Red.

Let’s start with a bit of overview on Ninkasi Brewing Company.

Ninkasi Brewing Company was started in June of 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge. It all began with a single IPA, Total Domination IPA, in a space leased inside of a German restaurant in Springfield, Oregon. The company soon became a 15 barrel brew house set up for brewpub brewing. In 2007, the operation moved into their current location at 272 Van Buren Street in the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene, Oregon. The brewing company now features a 50 barrel brewing system that distributes beer throughout the west coast. Not only does Nanksai produce some pretty phenomenal beer, they are also very involved in their community by working with non-profit organizations, positive community gatherings and sporting events. 


Dawn of the Red:

  • India-Style Red Ale
  • 7.0% Alcohol by volume

My first impression of Dawn of the Red was that once poured, it looked similar to a hard cider. It is light in color with a mild foam that sticks to the glass. This beer does not have that overbearing, blah beer smell that most other domestic brews give off. Caramel malts and citrus hops mix well together to give this IPA a smooth, almost a fruity scent. 

The taste is best compared to that of Sierra Nevada with a smooth sweetness followed by a mild bitterness. This is a very well balanced mixture. Dawn of the Red is one of the smoothest IPAs I have ever tasted. Don’t let the smoothness fool you though, this is a strong ale. If you are not a fan of a true IPA or strong ales, this may not be the beer for you, but I personally loved it. I highly recommend Dawn of the Red to any fan of a nicely brewed, strong IPA.

If the taste alone is not enough to entice you to try it, let’s talk about how awesome the label and the name is. I mean come on, any horror or zombie fan can appreciate a great beer that is named after one of the most iconic films in horror cinema history. The artwork on the label is a mondo style that mixes heavy metal with a zombie reference that anyone can decipher. The colors are dark and somewhat muted, but the design as a whole is very eye catching.

Final scores: out of 10

  •  Taste: 10 
  • Smell: 10
  • Smoothness: 10
  • Color: 10
  • Mix: 10
  • Label: 10

If you are on the west coast and are able to go out and pick up a 6-pack of Dawn of the Dead, I strongly encourage you do so (if, of course you are of legal drinking age). Don’t worry east coasters, you can pick up Dawn of the Red at NinkasiBrewing.com/Dawn.

Below are pictures that I took to show you just how awesome this IPA is.

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If you are in the Eugene, Oregon area, Ninkasi Brewong Company is hosting a pub crawl to help promote the Dawn of the Red IPA.

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Be sure to like the Ninkasi Brewing Company Facebook Page, follow them on twitter (@NinkasiBrewing) for more information on the Pub Crawl, new brews and other special events.


*This is a sponsored review, but all opinions are 100% true and all me own. Little Blog of Horror and Ninkasi Brewing Company do not condone underage drinking. Please enjoy Dawn of the Red and any other alcoholic beverage responsibly.* 

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