What will soon be the men’s room at Borgata Brewery and Distillery is currently a break room — complete with chairs and a microwave — for the workers hurrying to finish the family-owned business at 1116 Jackson St.
The urinals and stalls that will eventually be built in the restrooms at the brewery’s tasting room have all been named. That privilege was auctioned off along with several other creative incentives for those willing to contribute to the Kickstarter drive to help fund construction.
So by late November, the doors to Omaha’s newest craft brewery should be open.
Owners Zac Triemert and Holly Mulkins are putting an emphasis on all things local. Instead of putting together their own menu, they’ll serve small plates from some of their favorite Omaha restaurants, including Dante, the Jackson Street Tavern and the Grey Plume. They’ve hired a local artist to paint a mural in the brewing and distilling area. Another Omahan is designing their tap handles. And even the Kickstarter project has turned into a way for friends of the couple and fans of local craft beer to feel some ownership in the venture.
Family is important to Triemert and Mulkins, a couple in both work and life. The two hope they can eventually pass the business down to their three children.
But Mulkins and Triemert hope anyone who stops in feels as though they are family.
Thus, Mulkins said, it makes sense to share the project with others. Drinking, after all, is a social thing; so is the act of brewing. (In fact, brewing and distilling classes are also on the list of Kickstarter rewards.)
Borgata will feature a mix of barstools, tables and easy chairs, which Mulkins and Triemert hope create a feeling that’s part local taproom, part cozy living room. The couple also hope to replace the big windows at the front of the tasting room with garage doors, which can be opened when the weather is nice.
As for the beer and spirits, they plan to serve a mix of craft beers — the flagship beer will be a Pilsner, Triemert said — and single malt whiskeys. As Triemert’s own whiskey ages, he plans to serve blended single malt whiskey, which he’ll create by combining other single malt whiskeys from around the world.
Triemert and Mulkins traveled to Scotland earlier this year to get their distilling equipment, which should arrive soon, and to meet the makers of some of the spirits they’ll be using in their blends.
“The whiskey industry is booming right now,” Mulkins said.
So too is the craft beer industry, particularly in Omaha. Storz, Infusion and the Benson Brewery all opened in the past six months, and two other craft breweries — Goldenrod and Scriptown — plan to open shortly after Borgata.
The couple, who met at Lucky Bucket where Zac was a founder and head brewer and Mulkins eventually became the vice president of marketing and sales, also plan to offer occasional live music, as well as local art exhibits.
“Everything we can do locally, we’re working hard to make that happen,” Mulkins said.