Omaha’s Beertopia has been hosting its Sunfest Craft Beer Festival for many years but this year they had something new to offer to the 700+ guests, Sprecher beer.   Since Sprecher products have only been in Omaha for a few months, Randy and Anne took this opportunity to check out the local craft beer scene.  On the surface, there isn’t much of a scene, but if you just scratch lightly, you’ll discover a few Nebraska breweries and a whole lot of craft beer aficionados. Among the best Omaha breweries we sampled  is Upstream; one of its brewpubs is located in the Old Market area downtown,  a really cool shopping/eating/bar district based in renovated warehouses.

Renovated Building in the Old Market Area

We’re told that despite the growing audience for craft beers in Omaha, only a couple of stores are dedicated to offering a broad selection of craft beers. We visited Brix on 170th St., and Beertopia on 36th and Farnam.  Brix is a gorgeous new store with everything for your party needs including a beautiful selection of beers. Beertopia also has a remarkably good selection of craft and import beers along with a knowledgeable staff.

Beer Tent at 7pm

Fun at Sunfest

Randy and Sprecher Fans

These Guys Know Beer

Beertopia is located on an unassuming corner with 3 other dedicated beer pubs: Crescent Moon, Huber House (German) and Max and Jo’s (Belgian). Coincidentally, Sunfest Craft Beer Festival took place in the parking lot behind this craft beer mecca. This was a perfect venue for the festival because like Omaha, it was unassuming yet surprisingly sophisticated.

In between introducing fest goers to Sprecher beers, answering questions, and having his photo taken with Sprecher beer fans, Randy sampled beers from nearby Nebraska breweries including Hopluia, Neraska Brewing Company (NBC), Gottlieb, a group of homebrewers and Uplands.  At the other end of the tent were notable breweries such as: Left Hand Brewing Company, Great Divide, Avery, New Belgium and more.  Contact www.beercornerusa.com for a complete list.

Of those he sampled, Randy’s favorite beer was a Dortmunder, which I believe was made by the homebrewers who also made some nice rye beers btw.  As for commercial beers, NBC’s Melange a Trois was outstanding.  Left Hand’s 400 Pound Monkey deserves praise for being a nicely balanced English IPA.  Honestly, of the 100+ beers available, many were more than respectable.  This is a festival craft beer lovers should put on their calendar because in addition to the usual suspects, several surprises are offered each year.

Thank you to our Omaha distributor DiLoranzo-Penke for involving Sprecher in this festival.  And thanks to all the great Omaha residents who love craft beer.  You do the industry proud.  More pictures can be found at the Sprecher flickr gallery, www.sprecherbrewery.com.

Sprecher Brewings and Doings

30th October 2009

The weekend is fast approaching, so we must cheer: High School playoffs; the Badgers (On Wisconsin!); and the Packers (dunh, dunh, da…Go Pack Go!).   Our friends at ESPN 540 are covering all the Homestead Highlanders Division 1 playoff games (with a little support from Sprecher) since Homestead won’t be able to play any games on their home field (paperwork snafu).  For those of you not near a radio during game time, here’s a hint:  you can get the playoff Sprecher tour special (buy 1 get 1 free) by calling 414.964.2739 and saying the magic words: “Division 1 Playoffs!” when you make your tour reservations.

Indeed, it’s Halloween weekend.  Ghosts and goblins of all ages are welcome to take the extra scary tours, full of treats; no tricks.  Sprecher is a Halloween Safe Spot again this year. P.S. It’s officially trick or treat in Glendale 1-4pm on Saturday so you can score some extra candy from the neighbors when you visit the brewery.

Football, Halloween, Fall…its time for some great beers that compliment the sports, weather, foods and smells of the season.  Recently bottled: Sprecher Dopple Bock.  If you like a smooth lager with suggestions of caramel and dark roasted malts, try this divine beverage in a snifter or wine glass.  At 8.0% ABV, this is a great beer for lingering over.  Serve it at 50-60 degrees for maximum aromatics and flavor.  Great match for steaks and stews, or after dinner dark chocolates.  Also available: Bourbon Barrel Aged Dopple Bock…total treat.

Not seen since the 90s, but back in the bottle now: Sprecher Dunkle Weizen.  Note the intriguing spelling.  That’s the only thing that’s a wee bit different.  That and the fact it’s available in a 12oz bottle in the Sprecher Gift Shop.  This is the same classic dark roasted malt ale that is the ultimate session beer for this time of year.  4.65% ABV, serve at 45-50 degrees.  Drink with good friends and great food.

Our Milwaukee

21st August 2009

Last night I went to a networking meeting for Our Milwaukee, a group of locally-owned businesses that support “buying local” whenever possible.  Milwaukee has a fascinating group of local businesses, including Alterra and Stone Creek Coffee, Rishi Tea, Gearge Watts China and Gifts, Beans & Barley, Outpost,  Sprecher and Lakefront breweries, Stan’s Bootery and many more that are listed at:  www.ourmilwaukee.net.   The hit last night was a fabulous presentation of beautiful and tasty gourmet chocolates from Indulgence Chocolatiers owned by Julie Waterman (www.indulgencechocalatiers.com).  Visit the website and you’ll have a feast for the eyes.

If you have a locally owned business or know someone in Milwaukee who does, visit the Our Milwaukee site, www.ourmilwaukee.net, to learn more about this great group of locally owned entrepreneurial businesses.

Cheers,

Anne

p.s. Randy and I will be sampling Sprecher beers in Chicago this evening and tomorrow afternoon.  Visit us at Sam’s on Macey (Sat. 1-4), Armonetti’s on N. Western St (Sat 1-4), Warehouse Liquors (5-8 tonight), and Printers Row (5-8 tonight).

Jason Wilde kicks of the 2nd annual Football and Sprecher Beer mini-camp tomorrow evening at 6:00pm.  If anyone has the inside scoop, it’s Packers beat reporter and WKLH personality, Jason Wilde.  Cost: $15.  A portion of the proceeds goes to Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services.

Other Speakers: NFL and Big Ten Referee Bill Carollo (8/26), TBA (9/2), and Grilling expert Lucy Saunders (9/9).

Mini-Camp takes place at Sprecher Brewing Company, 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI.

Learn more and pre-register at: www.sprecherbrewery.com.

Check out the Thursday Trivia Night at the Highland House,  12741 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, WI.   You may learn some fun facts you didn’t know; whether you can remember them is  the real challenge.

Posted by Anne Sprecher

The 2009 U. S. Beer Open Championship results are in and Sprecher won 5 gold medals (Winter Brew, Oktoberfest, Black Bavarian, Mai Bock and Generation Porter), 2 Silver (Pipers Scotch Ale, Sprecher Light), 1 Bronze (Abbey Triple), and #2 Top Ten Brewing Company.  Check it out at: usopenbeer.com.

Tailgate Sunday

10th June 2009

Join us at the brewery on Sunday when we’ll have one of our famous summer  tailgate parties.  Enjoy some grilled sausages and dogs, play some bung hole toss, take a tour, sip some great beer and soda, and enter to win prizes.  Doors open at 11am.  Sprecher Brewery is located at 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI, just north of the city of Milwaukee.

Good News!  On March 25th, we’ll host the seminar Tasting Synergies, Dispelling Myths: Pairing Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and Sprecher Beer, Spring version.  Join this knowledgeable and engaging group of presenters — Cheese Expert Sara Hill, Culinary Expert Lucy Saunders, and Brew Master/Beer Expert Randy Sprecher — as they take you on a gustatory journey via award-winning cheeses and beers.   For more details and to purchase tickets, go to www.sprecherbrewery.com.

Meanwhile, back at the Santa Margarita Ranch where Randy and I served a lot of beer and soda to the SLO-IFF (San Luis Obispo-International Film Festival) crowd…We had a great time.  Most of these Californians had never seen or tried our products and all were pleasantly surprised by the beers and sodas.

It was Tribute to the Stunt Cowboy night.  They showed films in a big old wooden barn, and guests got to ride a very old Disneyland express train.  Little did those passengers know the train would be robbed by cowboys on horseback as it chugged along the track.  Eqaually thrilling, two of the cowboys are brothers, Robert and David Carradine.  I don’t know much about Robert’s acting resume other than he was on Bonanza, but I’ve seen David in the Kung Fu television series, Yellow Pages adds and Kill Bill.  In person he looks exactly the same, should you have wondered.

The next morning we attended a screening of Mondovino,  a documentary about Robert Mondavi’s attempt to buy up many vineyards in France and elsewhere.   I enjoyed it, but you have to have patience for a slower-paced film.

Tonight we’re going to see the dogumentary Weiner Take All!

Cheers,

Anne

Friday March 6 begins the San Luis Obispo-International Film Festival.  Opening night main event = an evening with Malcolm McDowell (best known for Clockwork Orange), receipient of the King Vidor award.  Saturday afternoon Randy and I will serve Sprecher beverages at the Santa Margarita Ranch for the Tribute to Stunt Cowboys.

Join us Sunday morning at the Sycamore Springs Spa, where we’ll offer product tastings during the Mondovino Brunch, which also includes a screening of Mondovino.

And course we’ll be at the Surf Night after party on Friday March 13th.

If you’re near the area, think about visiting some of the festival events and films.  They’ve got an incredible line-up of films, programs, activities (e.g., U-Edit a Hollywood movie, Movie in a Day Marathon), and top names in the business, including John Waters who will give a talk  (perhaps on Good Bad Taste) and also be at the pre-show reception March 14th.

Did I mention there are a lot of really good films at this event?  Shorts, documentaries, competition films, classics.  Myself,  I have too many friends with dachshunds to miss the dogumentary, Wiener Takes All, about the “surprisingly cutthroat world of competitive wiener dogs, a world that boasts healthy dachshunds and rabid owners.”

The SLO-IFF runs March 6-15.  Check it out at slofilmfest.org.

More immediately — Marquette Men’s Bball has a big game against #3 Pitt tonight.  Go Marquette!

Sprecher Brewings and Doings

28th November 2008

Happy Holiday Season to All!  Turkey day went well, although my turkey was done 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  Consequently, the dinner became another occasion when we realized that the food didn’t matter all that much.  We enjoyed some great beer though.  Recent batches of Black Bavarian have been excellent.  Randy declared his particular bottle worthy of an international gold medal.   We paired Black with a fabulous WI blue cheese, but I’m not sure of the name.  It also pairs well with Hooks Blue, another WI artisanal cheese.  Myself, I had Pipers Scotch Ale, which I think is a wonderful beer especially in the fall.

Another of my favorites — Dopple Bock.  Not too sweet, but with nice caramel malts.  A bit of burnt sugar taste intermingled with the soft roasted caramel flavors.  Tons of flavor and aromatics, especially if it’s not served too cold.  Tonight at the Mine Shaft restaurant in Hartford, WI, 22 N. Main St., Randy will tap a keg of Dopple Bock.  I’m not sure what time, exactly (6 or 7pm).  Join us for the fun.

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