Looksk like NE is going to be getting a new brewery. Zac is a master brewer and I cannot wait to try his beer. He is the reason Upstream is so good.
So who is brewing for Upstream now if Zac is on his own, well, Zac has been training his replacement, Mike Hall, who came from Oskar Blues in Colorado and comes with great potential and proven success. He was the creator of Ten Fidy, the latest canned beer from Oskar Blues, a Russian Imperial Stout. So he should fit in just fine.
Zac is almost on his own now and has been brewing test batches of beer for his first release. He is going to release a Pre-Prohibition Lager right out of the gate. He said he wanted to make an American Lager like it was when it had flavor. I applaud that effort and a good solid American Lager is a great thing and a great gateway beer for the non-geeks. It should be available at Whole Foods and Beertopia mid to late December.
His brewing operations are going to be at the Schilling Bridge Brewery and Winery [ed: Pawnee City, south of Omaha]. So the question is, is this a contract brewing deal? No it is not. Zac will be the brewer and will manage his beer all the way through the process. Schilling had excess capacity and Zac has worked out an arrangement to take advantage of that until he can build his own place.
After the Lager is released we will have to wait until Spring 2009 for the release of an IPA that Zac told me will blow our minds. I personally canâ€™t wait for that! Then a few other beers will follow that are aging as we speak. His collaboration brew, Concentrated Evil, will have been aged over a year on oak and should be released in the Fall of 2009. He also wanted to remind everyone that an Ebenezer, that has been Oak aged in Cabernet barrels, will be released this month, so be on the lookout for that.