One of the things I was worried about when I moved from the Denver area to Omaha in 2011 was that there would be a dearth of good beer in Nebraska. Full disclosure: I have never been someone who enjoyed drinking Bud/Miller/Coors Light unless it was in a red cup that a ping pong ball had just come out of. I loved the selection that liquor stores have in Colorado.
I was pleased to find a nice selection of local beers in the Omaha area. When I moved to Lincoln, I found Blue Blood Brewing because one of my other beer-loving friends was coming to visit. Two years later, my wife and I decided to invest in the brewery. That association means that Blue Blood is the first brewery I’ll profile in this series. You can find a more in-depth intro to the series here.
Blue Blood was founded by Brian Podwinski in December of 2011. Brian is a former Lincoln police officer who was injured in a training accident that forced him to retire from the force. He’d always loved beer and decided to start a brewery. Many of the early investors and co-founders had associations with police work, and the name Blue Blood was born.
Blue Blood packages in cans. Cans keep light from spoiling the beer, and are easier to recycle and aluminum’s allowed more places than glass. While cans have gotten a bad rap because of their proliferation in the "macro" breweries, many craft brewers are beginning to use cans more often because they're easier to recycle, safer, and protect the beer better.
Blue blood is located, currently, at 500 W. South St. in Lincoln. Currently, because the brewery is moving to Robber’s Cave in Lincoln in the fall. While the date’s not locked down for sure, you can read more about the move here and here. At the new location, there will be a bar/restaurant as well as the full brewing operation.
At its current location, the brewery’s taproom, known as The Precinct, is open from 4-9 Wednesday-Friday, and 12-9 Saturday with a free tour at 2:00 on Saturdays. I am, occasionally, your tour guide into the world of Blue Blood Beer. The taproom has an outdoor patio where your canine friends are allowed. You can also purchase Capital City Cigars at The Precinct and enjoy them on the patio. Currently, the only food available at The Precinct is chips and Johnny’s Salsa for purchase, or Chex Mix, available upon request. You can bring in your own food.
There is limited off-sale of cans and and Outlaw Series bottles at The Precinct. However, you can buy new growlers or fill your Blue Blood growlers any time, with almost anything on draft.
Where does one start when listing the beers from a brewery? Well, Blue Blood brews beers across the spectrum.
The 10 Series is higher alcohol, more flavorful beers.
- Merciless Black IPA
- Brewerhood Brown Ale
- Last Call Imperial Amber Ale
- Pernicious Double IPA
The Usual Suspects line is more typical styles of craft beer, these beers are nearly always available at The Precinct, but may be rotated off seasonally.
- 6-4-3 Double Play Pilsner (This beer was originally brewed specifically for the Salt Dogs baseball team)
- Kompagnon Kolsch
- Pod’s ESB
- All Hopped Up IPA
- Happy As Ale American Pale Ale
- Wicked Snout Belgian Farmhouse Ale
- Two Gun Triticale Brown Ale (Fall Seasonal)
- Big Log Wheat (Summer Seasonal)
- Ethan’s Stout (Winter Seasonal)
The Outlaw Series of beers is the only series that is bottle-conditioned. Outlaw Series beers is barrel-aged in either wine or bourbon barrels, so the beers take on the character of the wine or bourbon. Outlaw Series beers have limited availability, and are usually only found in liquor stores.
They also often have contests among staff in a given style such as stouts around St. Patrick’s Day. The results of the contest are put on tap at The Precinct and customers decide the winner.
Blue Blood is available in bars and restaurants around Lincoln and limitedly in Omaha. You can find cans and bottles in Eastern and Central Nebraska, and Southwestern Illinois (Peoria area) for now. However, distribution is growing and so is production.
Do I like their beer? Yeah! So much I invested, as a matter of fact. The All Hopped Up has a nice flavor, not hops for the sake of hops. The Wicked Snout is a unique flavor that I’ve never tasted anywhere else. They’re not afraid to experiment with different styles and flavors. I’ve been told by people who like browns that the Two Gun is very good, but it’s not my style. There’s really something for everyone from Blue Blood.
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Look for next week’s brewery on Friday morning!