On Saturday, the beer will be even more plentiful than usual in Benson.
More than 30 breweries, offering around 175 varieties of beer, are setting up tents along a half-block stretch of Military Avenue for the first ever Benson Beer Fest.
For $30 at the door (or $25 in advance) beer lovers can sample to their heart’s content from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Managers and owners at Jake’s Cigars and Spirits, Beercade, Krug Park and The Waiting Room Lounge, all in Benson, worked together to organize the event — in part as a way to draw attention to Benson’s fast-growing craft beer scene, and in part as a sort of beer public service.
“The beer world is so complicated these days,” said Matt Biggins, creative director for Jake’s and Beercade. “We’re in a great position of being able to taste beers as part of our job.”
He said that, for the uninitiated, jumping on the craft beer bandwagon can be intimidating; there are just so many different kinds to choose from. Beer Fest, he said, will allow beer novices to find a few they like, and give beer experts the opportunity to seek out new varieties.
For Beer Fest, the organizers are bringing in some of their favorites, including beers from New Belgium Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery and Wasatch Brewery, among many others. They’re also featuring local and regional brewers including Lucky Bucket, Upstream, Boulevard and Odell. More than 20 home-brewers from Omaha and Lincoln will be offering some of their best brews, too.
The event will also feature a lot of Benson pride.
Benson restaurants Lot 2, Espańa and Papa Chris’ Chicago Originals will provide food. The Brad Cordle Band, Brad Hoshaw and Matt Cox — all Benson musicians — will provide music.
“I just want it to reflect what’s happening in this neighborhood,” said Dustin Bushon, a co-owner of Krug Park.
Restaurants, music venues and craft beer bars are all among the businesses that have recently opened in Benson, and two breweries just announced plans to open in the neighborhood.
“It really does look like Benson is becoming the craft beer, and really the nightlife, capital of the city,” Biggins said.
Biggins, of course, is biased. But he also hopes the neighborhood continues to thrive.
To that end, Biggins and Bushon both are hopeful that Benson Beer Fest will be back next year, perhaps with more food, more music and, of course, more beer.
“We’re got our fingers crossed,” Biggins said.
Contact the writer: