Management Changes on Tap at Ninkasi


Per Nielsen is Ninkasi’s new VP of Sales

The executive shuffle continues at Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing.

The company today named current director of business development Per Nielsen as its new vice president of sales. The announcement comes more than one year after Ninkasi parted ways with former national sales director Marty Ochs.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to integrate Per’s experience in leading a sales organization to Ninkasi,” Ninkasi CEO and co-founder Nikos Ridge said in a press statement. “As we continue to develop our teams and add value to our wholesalers, retail customers, and Ninkasi fans, we look forward to building an even stronger sales team under Per’s leadership.”

Nielsen, who began his career in the beer industry with Carlsberg in 1987, held a variety of sales and business development positions with Anheuser-Busch InBev prior to joining Ninkasi last May.

In his short time as the business development manager with Ninkasi, Nielsen helped select distributor partners in three new states and open multiple new markets in California.

“He’s had a heavy hand in that,” communications director Ali AAsum told Brewbound. “Now it’s about leading our market management teams and giving them support.”

Nielsen will continue to spearhead new market entries, AAsum said, and the business development role will not be backfilled.

Ninkasi also confirmed that current chief operating officer Jessica Jones will depart the company next week. Jones is reportedly staying in beer and will be involved in a new, unnamed craft venture. Ninkasi is currently searching for her replacement.

These changes come on the heels of an announcement that Ninkasi would realign its distribution network in the Pacific Northwest, leaving two Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned wholesaler to partner up with a pair of independent distributors.

Ninkasi sold 95,700 barrels of beer in 2014, missing its original production forecast of 115,000 barrels.