By Alexis Abel
Last February, I toured Lucky Bucket Brewery and Sòlas Distillery in La Vista. Since then, Lucky Bucket has celebrated its two-year anniversary and expanded both its operation and its national product distribution. A lot can change in six months.
To help celebrate their continued success, Lucky Bucket is inviting beer enthusiasts to join them for a backyard party this coming Friday, August 12 at their second annual Beer-BQ. Zac Triemert, Lucky Bucket’s master brewer and one of its owners, said this year’s Beer-BQ is for everyone that enjoys beer—in any of its myriad varieties.
Since they started making beer in 2008, Triemert has focused on making beer that is accessible to all types of beer drinkers. They consider the first beer they ever brewed, Lucky Bucket Lager, a crossover beer (or, according to Triemert, a “gateway drug”) into the world of craft beer.
“It’s a non-scary way for people to give it [craft beer] a go,” Triemert said. “There are misconceptions about craft beer—that it’s dark or heavy. We like to show people that there is more to craft beer.”
In addition to Lucky Bucket Lager, the brewery’s commercial releases include Lucky Bucket IPA, a well-balanced, West Coast-style IPA, and Certified Evil, a barrel-aged Belgian Strong Ale with flavors of molasses and honey.
At Friday’s Beer-BQ, Lucky Bucket will launch their Single Batch Beer Series with the release of a new small batch brew, Children of the Corn. In response to the watered-down corn brews that permeate the macro-beer market, Lucky Bucket wanted to create their own version of a corn beer, in part to celebrate Nebraska roots. Children of the Corn is a Red Ale, with a rich color and flavor from caramel hops, and a sweet, corny flavor on the front end. Only about 30 kegs of Children of the Corn have been produced, and after its debut on Friday, it may be available, until it runs out, at select craft beer bars in Nebraska.
Lucky Bucket will continue their Single Batch Beer Series through the end of 2011, with their Oktoberfest, a pumpkin beer and an as-yet-to-be-determined winter brew.
The Single Batch Series, Triemert said, is a way for the brewery to stay true to its roots. “We are a team of people who are passionate about beer, and this series is a fun way to bring the team together. We want to always provide as much diversity as we can for fans of Lucky Bucket.”
In the two years since they’ve been producing beer, Lucky Bucket has tripled their production capacity and increased their distribution to six states: Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Tennessee. Triemert was pleased to learn that Lucky Bucket IPA is the number one selling beer at Whole Foods in Nashville, Tenn. They also recently installed a new bottling line from Germany that allows them to bottle their beer five times faster than before, spitting out 250 cases of beer per hour.
In Lincoln, Lucky Bucket is available on tap at the Watering Hole, 1321 O Street, and in the bottle at many more bars, including Duffy’s, 1412 O Street, and O’Rourke’s Tavern, 1329 O Street.
The 2nd Annual Lucky Bucket Beer-BQ is Friday, August 12 at the brewery, 11941 Centennial Road, starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 per person and include three drinks tickets, 1 meal ticket, and a night of entertainment from the LB Backyard Games and a live DJ. The event also features a showcase of local homebrewers, who will be sampling their latest brews. Tickets will be on sale today and Thursday as part of the Omaha World Herald’s Daily Deal or through etix.com. The event is only open to people 21+, and only advance tickets will be honored. No tickets will be sold at the door the day of the event.
Lucky Bucket is also the sole beer provider for the Lucky Bucket Blues Festival on Saturday, August 20 at Sumtur Amphitheatre in Papillion. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. with music from the Lucky Bucket Blues Band and other local and national acts, including headliner Here Come the Mummies. Tickets can be purchased at sumtur.org.