Chicago and Denver have one, though Kansas City does not. Now, for the first time, Omaha has a week dedicated to the craft of beer.
For generations, Americans' taste buds for beer in general weren't real complicated. "I'm a big beer geek." Ian Eppenbaugh doesn't hide from the fact that the most popular beers aren't high on his list. "A lot of us just enjoy good, complex beers. A lot of us aren't satisfied with the generic American macro-beer.”
So you can imagine what the Ian's of the metro are thinking when they heard about Omaha Beer Week, a celebration of the little guys, the underdogs and craft beers.
"The palate in this city has been changing quite a bit,” says Dustin Bushon of Krug Park. “I remember what people were drinking in this city five years ago and now it's completely different."
Krug Park in Benson is one of the newest craft beer havens in Omaha with 59 beers on tap, the stuff you usually don't find in a store.
"People are drinking better,” says Zac Triemert of Lucky Bucket Brewery in La Vista. “They're realizing that beer is more than just one thing." Lucky Bucket Brewery has done its share of marketing craft beer. "We're proud of that,” says Triemert. “Two million bottles in almost exactly three years." Lucky Bucket will be unveiling a wheat beer in March.
Omaha Beer Week isn't just about craft beers, it's really about the love of beer. "Craft beer people really get along,” says Chris Bettini of Crescent Moon at the corner of 36th and Farnam, aptly dubbed "beer corner USA” for the four beer establishments under one roof.
It has many beer festivals every year, but Omaha Beer Week incorporates 12 different places around town. "There's a lot to the craft, not just market share," says Bettini. Think of it this way, it's a week's worth of beer education without the degree.
Omaha Beer Week started on Friday night. Click here for a list of businesses participating in Omaha Beer Week through February 12th.