Beer adventures

Last weekend’s trek south to Omaha was for a very specific purpose — to attend the Nebraska city’s very first Beerfest. As most of you regular readers know, I’m married to a home brewer and overall beer fanatic, and there’s nothing Hubby Bryan loves more (except me, of course) than sampling a fine selection of brews.

The Omaha Beerfest featured 25 vendors offering several beer selections each along with several seminars. And all this took place under tents at the Lewis & Clark Landing on the waterfront of the Missouri River.

The tents deserve a mention because the weather was, of course, less than ideal. Yes, it did rain, and at one point there was a heck of a downpour, but we were prepared with an umbrella and somewhat weatherproof gear.

The weather wasn’t great for the organizers, but it meant that the assembled crowd was composed of truly serious beer people. And we all shared brewing ventures, adventures and mishaps while huddled under the awnings of the various booths.

We met a young couple from Kansas who are traveling the country in an RV, seeking out breweries and writing a blog along the way. (I left their card at home and will try to post the site later.) We met members of two Omaha brew clubs who gave Bryan tips on the one we’re trying to form here. We met many people who figured out we were from Minnesota via our Gophers and Twins garb and felt inclined to comment about the Twins’ so-far disappointing season.

But the highlight of Beerfest for us was a seminar presented by Lauren Salazar, sensory specialist from one of our favorite breweries — New Belgium in Fort Collins, Colo. Lauren’s seminar was on sour ales and included the tasting of a couple of unique brews from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series. She told a few charming anecdotes about how she came to get her job at the brewery, even though she trained as a geriatric social worker.

I can’t begin to relate her whole presentation. Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all and we sampled some very tasty selections, which we will no doubt be searching for in future travels.

Cheers to Lauren and New Belgium!

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