Reporting Sara Pelissero
From Bloomington to brewmaster — Zac Triemert has truly created quite a name for himself. The Minnesota native went from a pre-med program in college to a job as a chemist to opening up his very own brewery. And this month, both his past and his present are colliding in a truly tasty way.
After graduating from Bloomington-Jefferson High School, Triemert headed to the University of Wisconsin for college. While studying microbiology and chemistry, it turned out that a guest speaker would forever change Triemert’s life calling.
An alumnus of the school, and now a brewmaster, came into Triemert’s classroom to talk about the other options that one could do with a degree in microbiology, like entering the brewery world.
“I saw that and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to do that,’” Triemert said.
After graduating from college, Triemert set on a path to get into the brewing industry but learned quickly that was easier said than done.
Instead Triemert worked as a chemist for Cargill for several years, which took him to Omaha, Nebraska to work as a microbiologist in one of their amino acid fermentation plants.
“While I had a fantastic job, I really wanted to live my life doing something that I was really passionate about,” he said. “So I really worked hard to get into the brewing industry.”
Triemert headed to Scotland where he earned a Master’s Degree in brewing and distilling at Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. During that time, he visited more than 50 breweries and distilleries all over Europe. When he returned to the states, he was more than ready to open his own brewing company.
Nebraska’s first-ever distillery — Solas Distillery — opened in 2008, along with Triemert’s Lucky Bucket Brewing Company.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said.
The first batch of Lucky Bucket was brewed in November of 2008 and sold a few months later in January 2009. Triemert describes it as a “beer for all beer drinkers” that’s light and easy to drink with plenty of character and flavor.
Why Lucky Bucket? Triemert said the name is a nod to their humble beginnings, making reference to the days before cans and bottles were available for transporting beer.
“Back in the day, the only way you could get beer home was to walk to your local brewery, fill up a bucket and carry it home,” he said. “So we thought, you know, that was like the original lucky bucket. So I liked it. It has history and still is fun and quirky, not obvious. It worked out well for us.”
Triemert has been spending quite a few weekends this month back in his home state, as Lucky Bucket makes its transition to our local liquor stores and bars. Triemert said it’s been great to connect with old friends and family and feel the support from his Minnesota roots.
“It’s been terrific,” he said. “We were received with open arms and given an opportunity to really, through social media, get reconnected with people and those that I went to high school with. It’s been a great reception.”
Triemert said Lucky Bucket is now available at 30 or 40 liquor stores in Minnesota and they kicked off their draft beer launch in Minneapolis last weekend.
The best way to find Lucky Bucket, Triemert said, is to simply ask for it at your local liquor store. This is one place where consumers can really dictate what’s on the shelves, he said.
The Lucky Bucket brand includes three handcrafted beers. Triemert said the pre-prohibition style lager is a great beer for anyone who considers themselves a beer drinker. The Lucky Bucket IPA has a full hop flavor — Triemert suggests really getting your nose in there to take in the rich aroma and full experience. Finally, the Certified Evil, Belgian strong ale, is what Triemert calls a “big beer” with a smooth, mellow taste that’s “like no other beer that I’ve ever had.”
All three beers are available at select liquor stores around the Twin Cities.
For more about Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, check out their website.