Next week, Nebraska will become the 23rd state to carry beer from Deschutes Brewing Co., an Oregon-based microbrewery that's been around for 25 years.
As far as Deschutes is concerned, this is a milestone worth celebrating.
“We just want to do it right,” said Eric Frank, an event manager for the brewery. “Craft beer is an amazing thing. It's a special thing, and it deserves a big splash.”
In this case, a big splash involves coordinating a week's worth of events at bars and restaurants in Lincoln and Omaha. The week will include beer tastings, food and beer pairings, a bicycle bar crawl and an event geared toward local home brewers, among other festivities.
Frank said Deschutes has always tried to do something special when the brewery made its way into a new state. But as craft beer has exploded in popularity, they've stepped it up a bit, and this year, Deschutes added an entire department devoted to event planning.
The Nebraska launch will kick off Tuesday with the official Deschutes launch party at the Crescent Moon Ale House at 36th and Farnam. It coincides with the bar's weekly pint night event, in which patrons receive a commemorative glass when they purchase their first pint and then can purchase additional pints at a discount. Deschutes brews on special include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Chainbreaker White IPA, Jubelale, Nitro Jubelale, Hop Trip, Armory XPA and something top secret. In addition, the brewery's barrel-shaped mobile bar will be in the Crescent Moon parking lot. Events there run from 4-10 p.m.
On Wednesday, the Deschutes crew will head over to the Nebraska Brewing Company, 7474 Towne Center Parkway, where they'll cater to the home brewing crowd. The head brewers from Deschutes and Nebraska Brewing Company will answer brewers' questions and discuss tricks of the trade. They'll also serve beers paired with small plates prepared by the Nebraska Brewing Company's chef. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $20 and available at eventbrite.com.
Thursday, the party will move to Lincoln with a bicycle bar crawl starting at 6:45 p.m. at Moran's liquor store at 33rd and A Streets and hitting Cycle Works, Dempsey's Burger Pub and Doc's place before ending at Yia Yias.
Friday, the gang will be at the Single Barrel in Lincoln, 130 N. 10th St., for a dinner of four small plates paired with four different Deschutes beers. The price is $21, and the dinner begins at 7 p.m.
Other tastings, meet-and-greets and other promotions will happen throughout the week, Frank said. A complete list is online at www.deschutesbrewery.com.