Nebraska is home to some very delicious beers. Nebraskans appreciate a good hearty beer, especially after a long day in the fields or the office. I don’t know how many breweries there are in Nebraska but each time I have a Nebraska beer I am pretty impressed. These are the few breweries I could think of:
Recently, Brent and I toured the Lucky Bucket Brewery and Distillery. Lucky Bucket sells four types of beer (lager, IPA, certified evil, and wheat) and vodka. They will soon be selling whiskey and rum as well. Apparently, whiskey has to “age” for three years so they have been working on this a while.Their vodka is distilled 23 times. The owners have a patent on this distilling process. Nebraskans are so innovative.
For the liquor!
Their beer is made from different grains (not corn and rice like typical lager beer–i.e. Miller Light). Many of the grains that they use are grown in Nebraska…woo hoo! We got to eat some of the roasted grains…which caused Brent to break out on his elbows (he is allergic to whole grains). They tasted sort of like nuts I guess. The beer making process starts by cooking the grains in hot water for a while. After that the liquid is moved over to ferment for a couple weeks. The liquor is made almost the same except it goes into this Willy Wonka type of contraption (see above) to be distilled. I should have brought something to take notes with because I know there was a lot more to it but it’s hard to remember everything when you are busy drinking beer.
I have been buying a lot of Lucky Bucket lately because I have been trying to buy local as much as possible and they sell it at HyVee. I think my favorite is their IPA but their lager is good too. I am not a huge fan of their wheat beer, it’s very citrusy which some people might enjoy. Their Certified Evil is really dark and tastes like coffee. It takes a while to get used to but it’s pretty good if you like really dark beers.
For aging the whiskey and Certified Evil
It’s definitely worth the $6 or so it cost for the one hour tour (I had a Groupon so I am not sure how much they cost). They have tours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and the beer is available all over Omaha and in a few Midwestern states.
Last Sunday the fam and I made a brief visit to South Omaha. Not only did we get to Czech out the little festival going on, we also ate some delicious Mexican food. South Omaha has always been a place for immigrants. Brent’s Czech and Polish roots all come from South Omaha. Now when you drive around you see a mostly Latino grocerias y tiendas. Although there is the occasional abandoned store front with some Eastern European name on it (I assume Czech). I love love love South Omaha. I was lucky enough to live in this area when I first moved to Omaha. I ate lots of food from taco trucks and thoroughly enjoyed the margaritas. It has become more of a little village over the years. It’s so colorful (as in lots of pink and green paint) and I love how many people are out and about shopping with their families. I love to go there because I totally feel like a tourist. Anyway, we started off our little visit by going to this little Czech festival held in an old gymnasium (if you look closely you can see these sweet gymnast paintings that were hung on the walls). There were lots of men in vests, accordions, and kolache.
We played a pop toss game. Brent lost but I won. Instead of taking the soda I opted for a mini Kit-Kat. Brent later informed me he was disappointed because he wanted some cheap root beer. Then we played a dime toss game, which is basically trying to throw a dime into a glass. If you get the dime in the glass, you get to keep that particular glass. Brent won two low-ball glasses and I won a champagne flute. I was personally very excited about the champagne flute because every time we drink champagne I break one of the glasses…I think we were down to only one flute at home. We cake-walked twice and on the way out I won a cake. We also got to meet one of the Czech-Slovak Queens and we saw how sauerkraut was made (yuck). It was really great.
Because Brent did not want to eat the Czech food (I am secretly quite happy about this), we decided to eat Mexican food. We went to my favorite place on 24th Street, El Alamo. Brent and I both used to frequent this place in our younger days. I have so many memories of this place. I had the pollo en mole with a Pacifico, Brent had the enchiladas rancheros and a margarita, and Edith just had some salsa (we just put it straight in her bottle). If you live in Omaha and have never been, I highly recommend it…it’s on 24th Street near N, right next to the Mexican Pottery store (which is also really awesome and cheap if you have never been, go!). If you haven’t been down to South 24th Street in a while or ever…make sure you go visit sometime. There are so many restaurants, bakeries, and stores. In the summer there are men walking around selling the most amazing popsicles which taste like ice cream on a stick….so delicious!
Is Lauritzen Gardens! The botanical gardens is tucked away in this little corner of Omaha near the zoo. The place feels like somewhere else….not Nebraska-y. I guess that is the beauty of the Nebraska….everyone thinks of it as flat and prairie but we actually have quite a few hills and trees too.
Brent and I are members so we get to go whenever we want! I especially love this now that I stay home with my babe. It’s good to have a free place to go to get out of the house. Brent is especially fond of the model train set that has different Omaha landmarks running through it. I am not sure when this all started but he is all of the sudden obsessed with trains and model trains…yes, I am talking about my 37 year old husband not a 7 year old boy.
On this particular day, my favorite part of the gardens was this crazy turkey. When we walked in there was a sign warning us that the turkeys are particularly aggressive this time of year. Thank God they warned us!
Due to our very warm March, all of the trees were blooming. Edith did her best to pose with us and the flowering trees and blooming flowers.
If you live in Omaha and have never been here put it on your to-do list and get there! It’s so beautiful and peaceful (unless you are being chased by a crazed turkey). Someday Edith will be able to take pictures and I will be able to post photos of both Brent and I in the same photo. Until then…here are some nice photos of Brent.