Tag Archives: Chad Rozniecki

Hoplicious

November 4, 2014 by and
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It is a good time to be alive if you are a craft beer lover. The state now boasts over 20 breweries, with more than half of those right here in the metro. Here’s my list of fave notables to try the next time you reach for a cold one.

Flagship IPA
Upstream Brewing Company
Loaded with hops, this India Pale Ale is a full-bodied, unfiltered ale with a gorgeous amber hue. A generous use of malt offers a mild sweetness to back the robust citrus, piney, hop flavor. Dry-hopping intensifies the wonderful aroma and complexity of this brew.
6.4% abv
Available at Upstream Brewing Company and select bars.

Cardinal Pale Ale
Nebraska Brewing Company
Copper in color with a lasting white head, this beer is the quintessential example of an American Pale Ale. It is hopped with copious amounts of Cascade for a wonderful grapefruit aroma and mellow bitterness.
6.0% abv
Available in cans at craft beer retailers.

Certified Evil
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Dark and ominous, this imperial porter is aggressively hopped and full of roasted malts. Complex, dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig, along with molasses and honey, make this a wonderful addition to a steak dinner or chocolate dessert.
9.1% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers.

Chocolate Pistachio Milk Porter
Infusion Brewing Company
Brewed with English Malt and a generous amount of cocoa powder, this beer begins with a round, full-bodied, chocolate flavor accompanied by notes of coffee and vanilla. With a sweet beginning and long cocoa finish, this porter is a wonderful dessert brew.
5.8% abv
Available on tap at Infusion Brewing Company and select bars.

Jalapeno Ale
Jaipur Brewing Company and Restaurant
A wheat beer base fermented with fresh jalapenos delivers a pleasant pepper aroma and flavor. This is the perfect accompaniment for the spicy Indian cuisine found at Jaipur.
Currently available only at Jaipur Brewing Company and Restaurant.

Brewer’s Duet – Coffee Cream Stout
Benson Brewery
Brewed in collaboration with neighbor Aroma’s Coffee Shop, this beer offers beautiful aromas of coffee and chocolate. Unlike some coffee stouts that can be astringent and bitter, this one is blended with high quality, cold-pressed coffee and brewed with added lactose milk sugar in lending a slightly sweet finish.
6.2% abv
Currently available only at Benson Brewery.

Keller German Lager
Farnam House Brewing Company
An unfiltered German-style amber lager, the cool fermentation temperature yields an extremely crisp and clean beer with a mild bitterness, perfectly balancing the caramel malt profile.  A wonderfully easy-drinking, sessionable beer that is perfect on any occasion.
5.5% abv
Currently available only at Farnam House Brewing Company.

Borgata Pilsner
Borgata
This is a crisp and clean lager with a thick white head. Subtle notes of honey, melon, and biscuit start on the nose and end with a mellow, bitter finish.
4.8% abv
Available in cans at craft beer retailers.

Nut Brown
Zipline Brewing (Lincoln)
Made with a blend of specialty dark malts, this English-Style Brown Ale is a harmonious blend of coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavors. A dark brown sugar sweetness later yields to a dry-roasted bitterness.
5.8% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers and select bars.

Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale
Empyrean Brewing Co. (Lincoln)
Inspired by Scotland’s easy-drinking, malt-forward beers, this brew has a subtle caramel sweetness and a hint of smoke. It pairs wonderfully with grilled game or barbecue.
5.3% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers and at Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill.

 

Chad Rozniecki is the Beer Specialist and Systems Implementation Manager at Brix Wine and Spirits. The professional brewer formerly owned The Lauter Tun craft beer bar in Omaha. Over the last decade he has also bartended at various craft beer bars and breweries around town.

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Just Can It!

August 27, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Chances are, in recent visits to your local grocery store, liquor store, or pub, you may have noticed a change to some of your favorite products. Shelves once lined so perfectly with that beautiful bottled nectar we call beer have started to deviate from their normal lineup and now include a plethora of various containers—most notably, cans. From some of the largest breweries to the mom-and-pop brewpub down the street, cans are popping up everywhere. But why on earth would a brewery put their product, their labor of love, in a vessel so “low class,” so “cheap,” so…aluminum? The answer is simple—because it tastes better!

Through my years in the beer industry, I have witnessed that look of confusion, doubt, and utter disgust when a guest is informed that their favorite lager is not available in their preferred container.

“But we do have it in cans,” a staff member may explain.

“Uh…no, thank you. I’ll just have something else,” they state with a sense of superiority, visibly repulsed at the notion.

It’s no wonder that many consumers turn their noses up at the thought of drinking canned beer. For decades, most beers that could be found in cans were mass-produced, mass-marketed, often watered-down domestic beers. In the even more distant past, cans did not contain the proper inner lining to protect the beer. In fact, tin cans were the norm, and lead—yes, lead—was used in the seams of these cans. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.

Though I don’t often tip my hat to the macrobreweries of this country, some of the “big guys” figured out long ago that cans are far superior to bottles. Cans are more recyclable than their glass counterparts, they weigh less and therefore require less fuel to ship, and are typically more portable than bottles. (Go Green!) And while bottles are often not allowed at pools, parks, or concerts for fear of breakage, cans are generally more acceptable.

In addition, have you ever popped open a bottle, especially an import, and it tasted a bit like cardboard or wet paper? This is called oxidation. It occurs when oxygen comes in contact with finished beer. Bottles, especially those with twist-off caps, are more prone to oxidation, whereas cans have less air in the container, which helps to prevent this type of spoilage.

While all of these aforementioned statements are valid arguments in favor of the can, there is one solid fact that cannot be refuted—cans block out light.

It’s a very common, albeit terribly unfortunate, assumption that imported green- and clear-bottled beers are supposed to have a unique ‘twang’ to them. That funky odor that stings the nostrils upon first inhale is more commonly known as a “skunked” beer. Do not be fooled. Your beer is NOT supposed to smell or taste like that. Green and clear bottles are the worst possible container for your beer, as they allow light to penetrate the container, which interacts with the acids in the hops, creating a sulfur smell—a reaction known as “light-struck.” Even artificial light sources can skunk a beer.

Needless to say, cans, on the other hand, do not allow any light to come in contact with the precious liquid they protect inside.

Still don’t believe me? I challenge you to buy a 6-pack of green- or clear-glass bottles that have been sitting under your local grocery store’s fluorescent lights, and then grab a 4-pack of the same beer sold in cans. Pour each one into a glass, take a sip, and be amazed at the difference.

Next time you find yourself shopping for your favorite brew, whether import, domestic, or craft, don’t ignore the cans. They’re good for the environment, easier to store, safer, and prevent you from getting “skunked.”

Here’s to drinking good, unadulterated beer! Na zdrowie!

Chad Rozniecki is the owner and operator of The Lauter Tun – Fine Ales and Spirits, located at 3309 Oak View Dr. #102.