In an era where craft beer is experiencing a huge explosion, what is the key formula to success? For Zac Triemert, president, head brewer and distiller of Brickway Brewery and Distillery, it all starts with the combination of passion and science. It is about the emotion that each person experiences in the beers you create that ignites your inspirational flame.
Since 2013, Brickway has been creating beers that inspire not only the people of Omaha but throughout the heartland. When asked about what it takes to make great beer, Triemert responded, “It is all about balance.”
If you look at the portfolio of beers that Brickway has, this is fundamental from their Pilsner to the Imperial IPA—Raja Gaj. Balance lies in making sure that our senses of sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and bitterness are cohesively engaged in the beer we are drinking. For example, Raja Gaj has a huge amount of hop flavor without an extreme amount of bitterness. Great care goes into fine-tuning the craft beer recipes to make this happen!
One of my all-time favorites, and Brickway’s current top-seller, is the Coffee Vanilla Stout. This stout gives you the bold coffee flavor blended with the sweetness of chocolate and vanilla. The beer has a wonderful smooth finish that rounds it out.
Each style of beer can have many technical challenges in order to go from good to great. This is where Triemert’s microbiologist background is a huge advantage. So what is his favorite beer to make? Wild Olivia Sour Ale. “There was a tremendous amount of research and development for this one,” he said. “We had made several versions using the same base of our Hef and Drone Fleur Belgian Tripel aged in whisky barrels for a year. Each barrel had different microorganisms that create the sour flavor. After evaluating many different combinations, we chose the one that now is being bottled.”
This time of year, beyond the normal lineup of beers, Brickway has its Marzen-styled Oktoberfest and Drone Fleur Belgin Tripel. There is never a better time than now to check out Brickway Brewery and Distillery in Omaha’s Old Market.