Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Beer Pairing at Dario's Brasserie Featuring Infusion Brewing Company

Dario's has announced their spring beer pairing dinner and this time it will featuring local beer from Infusion Brewing Company.
Join us for the April Beer Pairing, Wednesday, April 30th at 6:00
Belgian beers are known as some of the finest, oldest, and most prestigious beers in the world. That being said we do not, however, want to miss out on the exceptional craft beers being brewed right here in Omaha.  Infusion brewing in Benson has been crafting excellent beers since their doors opened.  Start off your Spring season in style with the Brasserie on Wednesday, April 30th for an intimate night of meticulous pairings.  Dario will be preparing four Spring themed courses, each one perfectly pairing with four Infusion beers.  Featuring; a Belgian Wit, Vanilla Blonde, Joel Porter and Butcher Block Brown.
One of the brew masters from Infusion will be on hand to guide you through each beer and explain Dario's pairing choices. The dinner will be held on Wednesday, April 30th at 6 p.m., and will cost $55 per person. Seating is limited, so place your reservation today by calling (402) 933-0799.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Craft Brewers Conference 2014 Recap

Nick and I returned from Denver last weekend after nearly a week in Denver experiencing all that Denver and most importantly the Craft Brewers Conference has to offer.  This was the first trip to this conference for both of us and it did not disappoint.

The conference attracted more than 7000 people from all over the country and the world.  The global aspect of this conference truly surprised and impressed me.  It was fantastic hearing and seeing the different cultures from all over interact all over town and talk about craft beer and how to make it better for everyone and give more and more people access to it.

We arrived in Denver Wednesday morning and attended our first session on how to finance a brewery, from crowd funding to the traditional sorts, the place was packed as expected, with nearly 2000 new breweries in planning or opening in the next couple years.  It was a good session and a good way to kick it off for us.

Lincoln Brewhouse manufacture A.B.E.

We then headed upstairs to grab some lunch and in order to do that we had to go through the BrewExpo.  Talk about a kid in a candy store, the amount of cool big and shiny stainless things was hard to avoid and leave but we had another session to attend before we spent more time on the BrewExpo floor.

Once we were done with our second session we couldn't wait to get back to the BrewExpo floor and see what all is out there in the brew world to spend ungodly amounts of money on.  I think this was my favorite part, looking at the new stuff that breweries have at their fingertips.  Full brewhouses, canning lines and bottling lines littered the aisles as well as many other booths.

The other cool part was we ran into a number of people and brewers from Nebraska, the state was well represented at the conference.  I would say that the people made the conference for me, wherever we went we ran into great people.

Wednesday night we made our way to a Dogfish Head party at the Ogden Theater.  They had some great bands playing and free Dogfish Head beer on tap.  We hung out with Jeremy Kirby, former head brewer at Gottberg and current head brewer at Sunken City.  If you know Jeremy you know that was a good time. We even managed to run into a Zipline Brewer enjoying the festivities right in front of us.

Thursday was more of the same with sessions and expo visits during the day and a party at The Fillmore sponsored by Left Hand and Lagunitas.  We once again ran into Jeremy and his wife but also had the pleasure of catching up with Brian from The Roaming Pint.  I think Brian may have been stalking us because we ran into him everywhere.  It was a pleasure getting to know Brian better and can't wait to hang out with him again.

Brian from The Roaming Pint

Friday was a few breweries and a couple sessions and then came the World Beer Cup Gala and Awards Ceremony.  This is billed as the one place you may see a brewer in a tie on purpose.  We have been to the GABF award ceremony a few times and it is pretty cool to see, but getting to see all these international brewers there and winning awards was fun.  It was cool seeing an American brewery win Bronze in German Style Pilsner and really cool seeing a Japanese brewery win Silver in American Style Amber.  It shows that American craft beer has made the leap across the ponds and being brewed with quality and vice versa.  Our favorites were a couple brewers from Brazil that won in the picture above.  These guys were so excited you would have thought Brazil just won the World Cup.  They won Gold with a Belgian Style Dubbel and Silver with a Quad, think about that, pretty cool!

I had such a great time that I look forward to hopefully making it to Portland next year.  If you are a brewer or brewery I would say this is a can't miss deal, if for no other reason than the connections you can make with vendors and other brewers.  There was great times had and a ton of learning as well.

Cheers Brewers Association, well done!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nebraska Malt Raising Funds To Enter Malting Industry

From Nebraska Malt's Indiegogo fundraising page:

Nebraska Malt is the culmination of a dream to bring Nebraska agriculture to the forefront of the brewing world.  Born and raised in Lincoln, NE our founder had few interactions with rural Nebraska growing up.  However working for the state enabled him to travel and to meet people across Nebraska, people who work hard to grow our food here locally and worldwide.

After leaving government work, Brian and a few friends started Blue Blood Brewing Company.  The problem is no matter how much great beer they brew, they are not able to really highlight the great agricultural tradition of our state.  Blue Blood Brewing Company uses thousands of pounds of grain each week, none of which is grown in Nebraska.  Adding in the other 15 and growing breweries in the state, as well as craft distilleries, the amount of grain from out of state used each week is in the tens of thousands of pounds!

It is time for this to change.  It is time for barley, wheat, and other grains from Nebraska to have a home in Nebraska craft beer and spirits.  Nothing is better than local products, and it is time for Nebraska to have its rich agricultural history a part of local craft beer and spirits!

This campaign will help Nebraska Malt bring local agriculture to Nebraska brewers and distillers, and eventually introduce Nebraska malts to the entire country.  Raised funds will be used to create equipment, grow barley, and begin malting in August 2014.

Proudly, this business will be owned and operated by friends and family, bringing the passion and support needed to give justice to Nebraska agriculture.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday Tapping @ Jake's (Lincoln & Omaha) Beer Quest winning Wee Heavy‏

From Jake's Cigars & Spirits:

This Friday (3/21) at both Lincoln & Omaha Jake's locations will be a very special tapping party for the most recent Empyrean Beer Quest winning beer, a Scottish Wee Heavy,  brewed by Empyrean Brewing Company and winning homebrewer Casey Diekmann.

For those who have never heard of Beer Quest, it is an Empyrean Brewing Company quarterly event which starts with 21 homebrewers going head to head in a private competition judged by certified beer judges, with the top 10 beers moving on to the Beer Quest public event.  Brewers in this final round serve their beer and speak with the public about what processes and techniques they used to make their beer unique.  The public's job is to try each one of the beers and rank the brewers in order of favorite. The winner of the public tasting is crowned the winning brewer, and is awarded the opportunity to brew the winning recipe on Empyrean's big brewery system.

Brewery description: "Second time Beer Quest winner and Lincoln homebrewer Casey Diekmann crafted this delicious ale that won the public’s favor at our February Beer Quest.  Scottish Ales run the gamut from low-alcohol session beers to high-octane Export and heavy “Scotch” ales.  This beer is much bigger in flavor and strength than Burning Skye, but not quite as heavy as a Scotch ale."

5:30 pm Jake's Omaha (62nd & Maple)
5:00 pm Jake's Lincoln (14th & P St.)

Modern Monks Brewery to Launch Sale of Canned Beer

From the Modern Monks Brewery:

Local craft brewery Modern Monks is pleased to announce the sale of their canned beer. Modern Monks currently has beer on tap at various Lincoln establishments and is the exclusive brewer for Misty’s Restaurants in Lincoln. Customers can expect to find cans of three different styles of beer available in local retailers on Friday, March 21st.

Modern Monks will kick-off their inaugural canned brews with the sale of six-packs in three styles including; Monkadelic, an American Pale Ale, Fried Tuck, a Robust Porter and Dublin Size, an Irish Ale. Each style will be available in 12-ounce cans. Modern Monks six-packs will be available locally at select Hy-Vee Grocery Stores, N-Street Liquor, The Still, Moran’s Liquor Works and Meier’s Cork and Bottle. N-Street Liquor will host a tasting on Friday, March 21st from 4-7pm and The Still will host a tasting on April 3rd from 5-8 pm. Customers can sample the three canned brews for sale. “We couldn’t be more excited to be able to offer cans of our product,” said Dave Oenbring a founding member of Modern Monks. Oenbring also noted that growlers of other Modern Monks brews are still for sale at Misty’s Restaurants.

Founded in 2007 Modern Monks has a loyal following and continues to grow and produce new styles of beer each year. In 2013 Modern Monks rolled out a gluten-free beer that is available at the downtown Misty’s location. Stay tuned to the Modern Monks website and find the Modern Monks on Facebook for more information about upcoming tastings and special events.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Free State Brewing Launches Nebraska Distribution

Press release from Free State Brewing…


LAWRENCE, Kansas. – One of the pioneers of Midwest craft brewing will be branching out into the Omaha and Lincoln scene later this month. Free State Brewing Company, the original Kansas craft brewery just celebrated their 25th anniversary in February, and has joined with Quality Brands to distribute their array of flagship, seasonal and specialty beers in Nebraska.

Free State’s founder, Chuck Magerl noted craft beer has become a focus in the region’s marketplace. “Consumers are making the leap from craft to local craft. Beer drinkers have been gravitating to local brands. We feel like 25 years as a local brewery is a good start, but just a start,” added Magerl. Since bottled Free State beer was introduced several years ago, it has been sold throughout the state of Kansas, and in major markets in Missouri.

The Nebraska rollout will see a series of samplings and special tappings hosted by Magerl, Free State brewers Steve Bradt and Geoff Deman, and beer ambassador Seth Sanchez. Featured events for the first week include:

Tuesday 25th – Beertopia Sampling 4-6
Tuesday 25th – Crescent Moon Pint Night 4 – Close
Wednesday 26th – Krug Park 5 – 9
Wednesday 26th – Sampling Hy-Vee Stony Brook

Friday 27th – Happy Hour tasting & tapping at Jake’s Cigars & Spirits 4-6
Friday 27th – Meet and Greet Tapping at The Library Pub 6:30-8:30
Friday 27th – Sampling Hy-Vee 178th Pacific

Saturday 28th – Bock Fest
Saturday 28th – Sampling Brix
Saturday 28th – Sampling Whole Foods

Brewer Steve Bradt commented “We’ve had a good time at the Nebraska and Omaha Beer Festivals in the past years, and our beers have received great response. With our rollout, we’ll be featuring most of our bottled flagships, as well as our seasonal Brinkley’s Maibock, and we’ll also be treating folks to a series of specialties including our Old Backus Barleywine and Owd Macs Imperial Stout which have garnered 100 on
Rate Beer.”

“After a long, chilly winter, we’re glad to have the south winds bringing some springtime spirit.” Magerl quipped. “And we’re glad to have the opportunity to bring some of our beers to Nebraska. Because, without beer, things do not seem to go as well*”

*From the Diary of Brother Epp, Capuchin Monastery, Munjor Kansas, 1902

Monday, March 17, 2014

Capital City Beerfest in Lincoln

We received this press release today to promote the Capital City Beerfest.  This beer fest is being put on by the same folks that put on the Capital City Ribfest and manage Pinnacle Bank Arena.  They heard a need for a festival and thought it a great opportunity to share the Pinnacle Bank Arena as well as all that is going on down in the Railyard and Haymarket.

(Lincoln, NE) – SMG-Lincoln officially announces the inaugural Capital City Beerfest at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, May 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a special VIP entry starting at 5 p.m. The event will feature over 100 domestic and imported craft beers, education seminars, local food fare prepared by area restaurants, live local music and more. Attendees will receive a commemorative sampling mug and have unlimited access to 2 ounce samples of beer.

“Capital City Beerfest will be a unique experience providing attendees the opportunity to sample craft beers while enjoying the arena’s atmosphere,” said Tom Lorenz, general manager at Pinnacle Bank Arena. “This is the perfect event for any beer lover, whether they are a connoisseur or a newcomer, as attendees will enjoy top-notch craft beer as well as have the opportunity to vote for ‘Best Local Beer,’ ‘Best Regional Beer’ and ‘Best Overall Beer.’ Our Beer Academy education sessions will offer insight into several topics.”

General admission tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door. All general admission tickets will include unlimited 2 ounce samples of craft beers, a commemorative tasting mug and access to Beer Academy sessions. The VIP ticket price is $45 and grants “Early” entry at 5 p.m. to visit the most popular booths before the general public, access to the VIP lounge that offers delicious pub food and specialty beers not available at tasting booths, a commemorative tasting mug and access to Beer Academy sessions. Designated
driver tickets are $10 and available day of show only.

All Capital City Beerfest attendees must be 21 or older with a valid ID. Children, even when accompanied by an adult, will not be allowed entry. Tickets for the 2014 Capital City Beerfest are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations, and the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office. Designated Driver tickets will be available day of show only at the Ticket Office.

WHAT: Capital City Beerfest
WHEN: Saturday, May 3, 2014
TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Early VIP Entrance @ 5:00 pm)
VENUE: Pinnacle Bank Arena
ADMISSION: $20 Advance/$30 Day-of-Show; $45 VIP Ticket; $10 Designated Driver tickets available day of show only.

Tickets can be purchased at Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office, online at, all Ticketmaster locations or charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000. Tickets subject to applicable service charges. No service charge applies at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office. All dates, acts, and ticket prices subject to change without notice. The event is open to persons 21 years and older. For complete details, go to