For 4 years now, the Omaha Beer Fest has been held at Aksarben’s Stinson Park. Jeff and I have been to every one of them.
Highlights this year were Blind Tiger Brewing’s Maibock, the Smoked Red Ale from West O Beer, and Benson Brewery’s Adopted Amber Ale.
The Ghostface Killah Ghost Chili beer seemed to be the most polarizing as you will see. As far as Bottles and Cans is concerned, chili beers pair best with the drain. :)
It seems (in our experience) that the event has shifted from trying new beers and styles and meeting brewers/brewery representatives, to a regular outdoor event with a lot of regular (few specialties) beers in bottles ordered from a big distributor… to add to the disappointment, beers are now poured by volunteers that don’t even know what they are pouring… in 1oz (1/2 as much as last year) increments. Ice also ran out about 3 hours in, so by 5pm the booths that hadn’t run out of beer were pouring increasingly warm beer, yuck.
There were exceptions to this, but not enough to make up for the issues in my opinion.
I was especially disheartened when I went to the Odell Brewing booth and excitedly told the guy pouring the St Lupulin that it was one of my summer favorites from my favorite brewery… “I guess I should try it at some point then.” was the answer back.
I don’t think this was Odell’s fault…