Omaha’s new hotspot, Bearded Brewer Artisan Ales, has the Omaha beer community buzzing. The mastermind behind all the offerings is head brewer Kirk Hearon. You can’t miss his beard and determined, always-thinking mind. If you ask him about his concoctions, he will humbly describe what they are made of, and how they came about. What you likely won’t hear about though, is the 20+ years of preparation that went into each beer that ultimately created Bearded Brewer.
Kirk and his business partner, Brandon Knudsen, have been friends since high school and have always discussed how to launch the business which will take Kirk’s creations to the masses. Brandon and his wife, Camrin, founded Ziggi’s Coffee in Colorado and grew it into the coffee empire it is today. Using their vast business knowledge from Ziggi’s Coffee, they hope to do the same with Bearded Brewer. Kirk’s wife, Alyssa, is also very involved in the business making the venture a family affair for both Kirk and Brandon – something Kirk values and believes strengthens the foundation of the business. Kirk says of Brandon and Camrin, “Both of them are highly experienced when it comes to their customer market. Not only that, they’re in this because they want to see this succeed. They are very open-minded, and I couldn’t ask for better partners. They are highly successful, but highly caring about the success of the business. It is great for me to know they both believe in the product that I’m putting out; they believe that this will be successful, and they believe in us.”
Kirk started on a ‘Mr. Beer’ kit back in the day but quickly found that most of his friends did not enjoy the beer as much as he did, so he began creating his own brews. Kirk realized how easy it was to buy grains and yeast then invent his own creation– his friends were also bigger fans of his creations. Kirk strives to make people happy and although he says it’s fun creating the beer, the most exciting part of the process is seeing customers’ reactions to the finished product.
Kirk doesn’t stop with just one lineup of great offerings, saying: “One of the unique things about Bearded Brewer is we don’t want to put ourselves in a category where we’re always offering the same thing. We like to be aggressive; we like to be experimental. We don’t have a goal of how many beers we’re going to make in a year – our goal is to make a great product and continue to be creative. Some of the more popular beers may stay around, but if I have 14 beers on tap, 10 will usually be new.”
That outlook is what keeps Bearded Brewer focused on the ‘now’. They are focused on creating products, getting better every day, and creating a service atmosphere. At Bearded Brewer, customers can enjoy a great beer, get great service and have a great time.
When it comes to Core Bank, Kirk says the process has been great: “I decided to make a beer called the Core Beer. It’s a Kolsch, so it’s easygoing. We felt our experience with Core was easygoing, so we had to make a beer to go with it.”
Check out Bearded Brewer Artisan Ales at 18039 R Plaza #108, Omaha, NE 68135, and give that Core Beer a try!