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CornNation Profiles Nebraska Brewing Company

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This summer's series ends with Nebraska Brewing Company, the state's largest craft brewer!

This week marks the end of this summer's regular brewery profiles. School and volleyball coaching (not to mention in-depth Husker Volleyball coverage) starts up on August 10th. Next week's piece will give a list of breweries in the state I've missed (yes, I know there've been plenty, and no, there was no real rhyme or reason to the ones I profiled aside from familiarity, and quick searches) with links to their sites. New breweries are popping up all the time around the state, making beer statewide better all the time!

We'll end the series this summer with the brewery named after our great state, Nebraska Brewing Company in Papillion.

As always, you can find all the previous pieces here. This has been an awesome series to cover, and was started because of my love of beer, which led to my wife and I investing in Blue Blood Brewing in Lincoln.

Background

The brewery was founded in 2007 by Paul and Kim Kavulak with a brewpub in Shadow Lake Town Center in Papillion. Paul began homebrewing in 1992 after being invited to a friend's house to taste his homemade beer. Paul hadn't realized you could brew at home and so that, combined with the couple's interest in craft beer, got him started brewing. Once he began brewing, opening a brewpub became his goal. Nebraska Brewing opened a stand alone brewery in January 2014 followed by the taproom in May of 2014. Their combined production between the two facilities made them the largest brewery in the state by barrels produced in 2014.

Location

Nebraska Brewing Company's brewpub is located at 7474 Towne Center Parkway in Papillion. The brewpub is open 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 11:00 am - 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm Sunday. Menus, specials, and even a link to reserve tables are available on the site.

The brewery and taproom are located at 6950 S. 108th St. in La Vista. The taproom is open from 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sunday. These are the summer hours, and may be changed when the seasons change. Brewery tours run at 5:30 and 7:30 Thursday, and 2:00 and 4:00 Saturday. The cost for the tour is $10, and includes a tour pint. Reservations are not required, but they do limit their tours to 30 people.

Availability

Nebraska Brewing Company's beer is available in 26 states, with Oklahoma coming in September to make it 27. Their beer is also available in four countries besides the United States: Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, and Denmark. You can find their beers pretty much any place in Nebraska you can find beer on draft or in cans and bottles.

The path to their widespread distribution was spurred by the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. They had just started experimenting with a barrel-aged beer, and Paul cold-called a distributor in NY state, and they took everything Paul had. Nebraska Brewing adopted the philosophy of Patrick Rue from The Bruery in California: send a little beer a lot of places. When the new brewery came online in January of 2014, they had a large network of distributors waiting for more of their beer.

Beers

Nebraska Brewing Company has a HUGE selection of beers. There are so many, in fact, that I will list them, but recommend you visit their page for descriptions.

Standard Beers

  • Ale Storm
  • EOS Hefeweizen
  • Brunette Nut Brown
  • Cardinal Pale Ale
  • India Pale Ale
  • Infinite Wit
  • HopAnomaly
  • 311 Amber Ale

Reserve Series (Barrel Aged)

  • Melange A Trois
  • Barrel Aged HopAnomaly
  • Apricot au Poivre Saison
  • Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout
  • Fat Head Barleywine
  • Sexy Betty
  • Responsibly

Seasonal Series

  • Summertime Rye
  • Farrell's Irish Red
  • Wick For Brains Pumpkin Ale

Inception Series

  • Franc Blanc
  • Ninja Gnome
  • Blanc is the New White
  • Ardent Son
  • Runnin' with the Devil
  • Brett HopAnomaly
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Brunette
  • Romancing the Cone

Verdict

Nebraska Brewing Company's Cardinal Pale Ale is probably one of the most ubiquitous of their beers. If a bar or store has just one of their beers, it's likely this one. Cardinal is an American pale ale, so the hops is more subdued than you'll find in an IPA. In the case of Cardinal, it's well-balanced and slightly citrusy, making a refreshing flavor with just a hint of bitter finish. The company's India Pale Ale is a great example of this style, hoppier than some, but still tasty, and it doesn't kick you in the face. I am, by and large, not a fan of brown ales (thus the reason that I'm less critical of beers in this series, and more into profiling the brewery! Everyone's palette is different!), but I'd drink their Brunette again. It's malty, but doesn't leave the finish that can stick in your throat.

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