Lucky Bucket Brewing is a microbrewery that opened in Omaha a few years ago. It might seem strange for a smallish Midwestern town to have a big microbrewery (that’s not a brewpub), but Omaha has a great tradition of brewing. Metz, Krug, Falstaff, and Storz all had breweries in the 18 and 1900’s in Omaha.
By far the most popular and accessible beer that Lucky Bucket makes is their “pre-prohibition lager,” perhaps a nod to the brewing traditions of Omaha’s past. It’s available on draft in a lot of bars and it’s very easy to find on the shelves. The lager competes with the big domestics for the easy-drinking crowd, and while the 6-7 dollar price tag for a six-pack can’t match the dirt-cheap price of PBR, Miller Lite, or (God forbid) Keystone Light, it’s usually among the cheapest of the American microbrews on the shelves these days.
Even though many of my friends cherish Pabst Blue Ribbon for its surprising inconsistency (each can is a different experience!) you always know what you get when you crack a Lucky Bucket.
And what you get is a simple, nutty, creamy beer. It has a dry aftertaste and doesn’t hang around very long. It’s obviously meant for easy drinking, but it has a punch of extra flavor above and beyond most watery domestics. This extra twinge of flavor makes me a bit worried; it might be too flavorful for the average Bud-head, and beer snobs might scoff at its comparatively simple flavors. But for me (I’m not a Bud-head, but neither am I a true beer snob), it fills a niche – tastier than domestics and easier than microbrews hopped-up beyond insanity.
If you’re in the area I highly recommend a tour of the Lucky Bucket facilities. The guys who brew it are enthusiastic and generous. They’ll give you abundant samples of everything fresh from the vats, enough to make your head spin. They’ll also run you through how all their beautiful brewing equipment works.
Lucky Bucket brews two other beers, an IPA and a cask-aged dark beer called Certified Evil. There’s also a sister company, Solas Distillery, that makes vodka, whiskey, and rum. I’ll have more (and more delicious) reviews of these in the future.