This week, "Nebraska Makes Delicious Beer" profiles Bottle Rocket Brewing in Seward, Nebraska, a short drive from Lincoln.
This series began last summer, and you can always find all of the breweries covered in Nebraska here.
While my wife and I are investors in Blue Blood Brewing here in Lincoln, the idea of this series is to profile the breweries, not critique them.
Bottle Rocket’s story is a little different than many. Co-founder and President Gerald Homp saw a place in the Seward market for a craft brewery. From there, Homp contacted friend and successful entrepreneur Jason Berry about starting the brewery.
The men looked around town and found the Seward stalwart, The Flower Mill, was going to be closing after twenty years, and the location was perfect. Once paperwork was filed with the city, the wheels were in motion.
However, there was one major part missing, the brewer. Homp and Berry researched and interviewed different brewers. When they met with Ryan Koch, they knew they’d found their man. Bottle Rocket Brewing opened in October of 2015.
Currently, Bottle Rocket is working on expanding their location significantly, including a large, 2,500 square foot event space.
Bottle Rocket is located at 230 S. 5th Street in Seward. The tap room is open Wednesday from 3:00 - 9:00 pm, Thursday and Friday from 3:00 - 11:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am - 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 - 8:00 pm. They rent the brewery out for events on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Bottle Rocket uses a one barrel brewhouse, with one and two barrel fermenters. They are a very small batch brewery. There are pretzels available in the taproom, but because they don’t serve food, you can bring your own or have food delivered.
Bottle Rocket’s beers are only available on-site, with off-sale in kegs and 64 ounce growlers.
Bottle Rocket has five beers that they call their cornerstone beers that are available all the time. They also have taps that will rotate through seasonal and experimental flavors.
- Punk Lite American Pale Ale
- 1868 Smalltown English-Style Brown Ale
- WIT Willy Belgian White Ale
- Stout Constitution Cream Stout
- Wicked Spark Wheat Pale Ale
Also available the day we visited:
- M-80 Medium Pale Ale
- Blueberry Wheat Ale
Thoughts on the Beer
All of Bottle Rocket’s beers are light and well-balanced.
The Punk Lite has a nice floral hops note that is light and well-balanced, nice hops bitterness on the finish. M-80 has a piny hops character, and was described as between an American and India pale ale, which is accurate as the hops is not overwhelming.
The Blueberry Wheat isn’t overpowering in the blueberry flavor, but rather balances nicely with the yeast notes. WIT Willy has hints of fruit flavor that complements the typical, wheat yeast front end.
Browns and Stouts tend to be malty flavors, and sometimes overwhelmingly so. The Stout Constitution has prominent smoky and chocolate flavors, with the chocolate lingering on the tongue, and the brown had great flavor that was not overcome by malt notes.