hough the Nebraska’s brewing industry declined along with the national trend in the mid-20th century due to the rise of major national macrobreweries, it experienced a revival again in the mid-2000s with the boom of the craft beer industry and today houses dozens of microbreweries, nanobreweries, brewpubs, and combination brewery and winery or distillery companies.
© 5168 Brewing
5168 Brewing was opened by Charlie Yin, the owner of Lincoln’s LOCAL Beer Patio and Kitchen, in collaboration with award-winning brewmaster Brian Hoesing. The brewery strives to reflect the eclectic tastes of its owners, applying principles of passion, pride, and excellence to crafting its own brews and working in collaboration with other local breweries. Its flagship beers are always available at its Lincoln tap room, including its New Beginnings West Coast IPA, Hawaiian Porter, Kangaroo Dropkick Double IPA, and 88 Asian-style Lager. A full brewpub menu is also offered, including artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, craft burgers, upscale pub bites, and housemade chili.
5730 Hidcote Dr, Lincoln, NE 68516, Phone: 402-875-5588
2.Backswing Brewing Co.
© Backswing Brewing Co.
Backswing Brewing Co. is dedicated to crafting golf-themed beers, opened by three friends who shared a love of great golfing and great beer. It offers a public tap room facility in Lincoln that is open Wednesdays through Sundays for pints, tastings, and to-go sales. Flagship beers brewed by the company include its Backswing English-style IPA, its first beer released with the company’s opening, along with its German-style Backswing Wheat Ale and English-style Backswing Brown Ale. Public tours of the brewery are offered by reservation for small groups of visitors ages 21 and older, elaborating on the brewery’s production history and beer-making process.
500 W South St #8, Lincoln, NE 68522, Phone: 402-515-4263
3.Blue Blood Brewing Co.
© Blue Blood Brewing Co.
Blue Blood Brewing Co. was founded in 2011 by three retired Lincoln Police Department officers and strives to bring its owners’ law enforcement experience to the beer-making process by honoring the right to kick back with a few beers between friends. The brewery moved to its current 12,000-square-foot brewhouse and tap room space in 2016, which is located above the Robber’s Cave sandstone cave tunnel facility, carved as lagering taverns by the city’s first brewery in the 19th century. Year-round brews include its Kompagnon Kolsch, Wicked Snout Farmhouse Ale, All Hopped Up IPA, and McKinney’s Irish Pub Ale, while specialty brews include a 10-Series of higher ABV beers, named for police radio communication 10 codes. The brewery serves a full menu of gastropub fare for lunch and dinner seven days a week, including weekend brunch offerings, and hosts live acoustic music sessions with nationally-known musicians at its Robber’s Cave facility.
925 Robbers Cave Rd, Lincoln, NE 68502, Phone: 402-477-2337
4.Boiler Brewing Company
© Boiler Brewing Company
Boiler Brewing Company is located in downtown Lincoln within the city’s historic Grand Manse building, opened in 2016 by Tim Thomssen and Thad Aerts. Thomssen, the company’s brewmaster, has received an impressive list of awards for his homebrewing efforts, including a 2014 Grand Champion award at the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing. Brews on tap at the company’s tap room include its Mangoapricotpeach Sorbet and Blackberry Mimosa Goses, Black Currant Mead, Tanner Bananer’s Velvet Elvis Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Stout, and That! New England IPA. Cider offerings are also tapped, along with a non-alcoholic carbonated nitro cold brew offering. Tap room food is served by nearby chophouse Single Barrel, including shareable plates and full entrees. Tours are offered on the first Sunday of each month, and a live jazz music series is presented periodically.
129 N 10th St, Suite 8, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-261-8775
5.Bootleg Brewers and Sandhills Brewing Company
© Bootleg Brewers and Sandhills Brewing Company
Bootleg Brewers and Sandhills Brewing Company trace their roots all the way back to 1978, when owner Ron Worm began homebrewing with his father-in-law, producing a style they deemed Musketeer Beer. The product sparked a lifelong passion for homebrewing for Worm, who founded the Bootleg Brewers brew club in 2001 and officially opened Sandhills Brewing Company in 2015. Today, the company releases year-round beers such as its Cling On American Wheat, Muddy Duck English Brown Ale, Sandhills Cream Ale, and Intelligence Enhancer Oatmeal Stout. A wide variety of pub fare is served Tuesdays through Sundays, including classic sandwiches, shareable appetizers, and salmon and steak dinners.
45145 829th Rd, Taylor, NE 68879, Phone: 308-942-3440
6.Bottle Rocket Brewing Co.
© Courtesy of sonyachny - Fotolia.com
Bottle Rocket Brewing Co. was founded in 2014 by Gerald Homp, Jason Berry, and Ryan Koch, three Seward residents who dubbed themselves the Bottle Rocket Boys. The brewery’s public tap room and brewhouse facility opened to the public in 2015 within a historic 1940s grain mill building, striving to provide the Seward region with superior craft beer. Its tap room is open to the public seven days a week, offering pints and to-go sales of its most popular beers, including its Wit Willy Belgian Witbier, Stout Constitution Cream Stout, 1868 Smalltown Brown Ale, and Punk Lite Beer. Craft root beers made in house are also tapped, and food trucks are parked on site periodically. The brewery’s old mill space, loft, and beer garden may be rented for private special events.
230 S. 5th Street, Seward, NE 68434, Phone: 402-641-4314
7.Brickway Brewery and Distillery
© Brickway Brewery and Distillery
Brickway Brewery and Distillery is operated by brewmaster Zac Triemert, a local leader in Omaha’s brewing and distilling industry. It offers a public tap room facility within the city’s historic Old Market District and operates as the state’s first combination brewery and distillery facility since before the Prohibition era. A wide variety of session beers and hop-forward ales are produced by the brewery, from classic styles such as hefeweizens and India pale lagers to unique brews such as its Drone Fleur Belgian Tripel, Bella Diva Imperial Chocolate Stout, and 10th Sanctum Barleywine. Small-batch brews experiment with unique flavors such as jalapeno, pineapple, and lemongrass. Craft spirits are also sold, including the company’s Honestly American Single-Malt Whiskey and Mostly Honest Bourbon. Upscale gastropub fare is served at lunch and dinner, including Philadelphia-style pretzels, beer cheese soup, and bahn mi sandwiches.
1116 Jackson St, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-933-2613
8.Code Beer Company
© Code Beer Company
Code Beer Company is a Lincoln-based brewery located at the corner of N Street and Antelope Valley parkway, renovating a century-old historic building into a 15 bbl brewhouse and tap room facility. The brewery is open to the public seven days a week and showcases taps of 11 of its craft ales, including flagship year-round brews, seasonal specialties, and experimental one-offs. The company brews a wide variety of classic styles, including lighter blonde and cream ales, hop-heavy pale ales and IPAs, fruit-forward sour goses, and porters and stouts with coffee and chocolate notes. Many brews showcase locally-sourced ingredients, such as the company’s Neb Hop Red Ale, brewed with hops grown at Plattsmouth’s Midwest Hop Producers. Food trucks are hosted on site periodically, with guests welcome to bring in their own food.
200 S Antelope Valley Pkwy, Lincoln, NE 68510, Phone: 402-318-5888
9.Farnam House Brewing Company
© Farnam House Brewing Company
Farnam House Brewing Company is an Omaha brewpub that is helmed by brewmasters Phil Doerr and Tony Thomas and head chefs Carlos Cuevas and Austin LaMarche, striving to offer traditional European brews paired with upscale gastropub offerings. It brews a wide variety of beers in house, including a standard lineup of styles such as farmhouse ales, German lagers, bocks, and sour ales, with at least one rotating wild ale on tap at all times. Seasonal beers highlight unique styles such as märzens, grätzers, krieks, and holiday-spiced tripels. Lunch and dinner farm-to-table fare options highlight pretzels, pizza crusts, and other ingredients crafted from spent brewing grains. Local delivery is offered through the Skip the Dishes delivery service, and weekly special events are available, including trivia nights and reverse happy hours.
3558 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68131, Phone: 402-401-6086
10.Infusion Brewing Company
© Infusion Brewing Company
Infusion Brewing Company is located within Omaha’s historic Benson neighborhood within the former 1917 Olson’s Meat Market building. The brewery was opened by Crescent Moon owner Bill Baburek and is a member of the Exit 442 Business Community local brewer’s association. Its tap room and production brewery showcases a wide variety of the brewery’s handcrafted ales, including its flagship Key Lime Vanilla Bean Blonde Ale, Metz Jubilee Beer, Strawberry Kiwi Kettle Sour, Mango Habanero Wit, South Pacific Pineapple IPA, and Joel Porter. Seasonal ales and collaborations are also tapped weekly, with many ales available in distribution throughout Nebraska. Brewery tours are offered on weekends for groups of up to 15, with advance reservations recommended.
6115 Maple Street, Omaha, NE 68104, Phone: 402-916-9998
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Jaipur Restaurant is a casual Indian dining restaurant that is known for its high-quality, made-from-scratch menu items. The restaurant is located in Omaha’s Rockbrook Village neighborhood and has been voted as one of the city’s most romantic dining spots by a number of local publications. Its lunch and dinner menu highlights a wide variety of classic and contemporary Indian and Asian cuisine favorites, including tandoori chicken, beef and salmon dishes, tikki naan, mulligatawny soup, and ahi-grade sushi. Its onsite brewing company also provides a number of unique beers for guests to enjoy, including its popular jalapeno ale, raspberry ale, nut brown ale, and classic IPA.
10922 Elm St, Omaha, NE 68144, Phone: 402-392-7331
12.Kinkaider Brewing Company
© Kinkaider Brewing Company
Kinkaider Brewing Company was founded by homebrewers Nate Bell, Dan Hodges, and Barry Fox, who opened the company’s public tap room and brewhouse in December of 2014. Today, the Broken Bow company focuses on crafting unique small-batch beers using locally-sourced ingredients such as corn, hops, jalapenos, and pumpkins. It offers two tap rooms in Broken Bow and Grand Island, the second opened to the public in 2017. To date, the brewery has produced more than 30 unique ales, including its 4-County Pale Ale, Batch Fifty Barleywine, Devil's Gap Jalapeno Ale, Dunes Or Die Pale Ale, Frame The Butcher IPA, and Ghost Wolf Chocolate Pumpkin Porter. Gastropub fare is served at both of its locations, including shareable flatbreads, bar appetizers, and craft burgers.
43860 Paulsen Rd, Broken Bow, Nebraska, 68822-7120, Phone: 308-872-8348
13.Kros Strain Brewing
© Kros Strain Brewing
Kros Strain Brewing was opened in 2017 by its namesake founders, homebrewers and longtime friends Bobby Kros and Scott Strain. The La Vista brewery offers a public brewhouse and tap room within a renovated garage facility, which offers large-screen televisions, upbeat music, and ample seating for visitors. Popular brews tapped year-round at the company include its Fairy Nectar IPA, Supajuice Double IPA, Helles Creek German Lager, and Dark Paradise Amber Ale. Six-packs of the company’s flagship beers are available in distribution throughout Nebraska, with pints and to-go sales of seasonal and experimental brews also available on site. Brewery tours are offered periodically depending on brewer availability.
10411 Portal Rd #102, La Vista, NE 68128, Phone: 402-779-7990
14.Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
© Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. was established in 2008 by Brian MaGee and Jason Payne, named in reference to the early brewing industry practice of filling take-home buckets of beer at local tap houses, common before the implementation of widespread bottling distribution. Since 2010, the brewery has expanded its operations twice, including the opening of its sister distillery facility, Sòlas Distillery, which produces single-malt whiskeys, premium vodkas, and classic rums. Year-round brews available at its La Vista tap room include its Certified Evil American Imperial Porter, Heartland Wheat Lager, and classic IPA and pre-Prohibition lager variants. Seasonal favorites include an annual Oktoberfest beer, while a Conspiracy Series offers specialty limited-batch experimental brews.
11941 Centennial Rd, La Vista, NE 68128, Phone: 402-763-8868
15.Pint Nine Brewing Company
© Pint Nine Brewing Company
Pint Nine Brewing Company was opened in 2017 by Jimi Watson and Denny Hynek, named in reference to the traditional European pint-and-nine-ounce bottling size of imported beers. The brewery aims to produce high-quality ales available for purchase in pints, crowlers, or fill-to-order cans, with hopes of beginning statewide distribution within the next several years. Year-round brews available include the company’s Oso Cafe Hazelnut Coffee Brown Ale, Ryce Rye Rice Ale with Mexican lager yeast, and classic IPA, session red ale, and pale ale styles. Specialty and seasonal brews include variants such as its Pink Peppercorn Wit and Hot Burst Blonde. Food trucks are hosted on site most Friday evenings, with visitors welcome to bring in their own food or order delivery from a number of local restaurants.
10411 Portal Rd #104, Papillion, NE 68128, Phone: 402-359-1418
16.Prairie Pride Brewing Co.
© Prairie Pride Brewing Co.
Prairie Pride Brewing Co. is located within Grand Island’s Railside District and was opened by Alex Briner, Amos Anson, Phil Cahoy, Jay Mack, and Brad Shearer. The brewery strives to craft ales that offer bold, unique flavors paying tribute to the state’s frontier history, creating a community gathering place environment in its tap room. Year-round brews available on tap and for sale include the brewery’s Barn Burn Amber Ale, Firm Grip Brown Ale, Islander Porter, Lean Tooth Smash, Oat Sower Porter, and Pale Chief IPA. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food or order delivery from local establishments such as The Wave Pizza Co.
115 E South Front St #1, Grand Island, NE 68801, Phone: 308-850-5375
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17.SchillingBridge Winery and Micro Brewery
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SchillingBridge Winery and Micro Brewery is the nation’s first combined farm winery and microbrewery, operated by Mike and Sharon Schilling. The Pawnee City company utilizes high-quality local and imported ingredients to produce its unique beers, including its Duggan’s Wheat Ale, 70 SchillingBridge Scottish Ale, Lemon-Lime Lager, Zulu American Pale Ale, and Sandy Andy Blonde Ale. Wines may also be sampled at its tasting room, which allows visitors to chat with the company’s brewmaster and vintner about the beer and wine-making process. The company also produces its signature SchillingBridge Hard Cider, with plans to delve further into the world of craft ciders in the future. On Friday and Saturday evenings, fine dining is offered as a pair to wines and beers, including the company’s signature overnight-roasted prime rib entrees.
62193 710th Rd, Pawnee City, NE 68420, Phone: 402-852-2400
18.Scratchtown Brewing Company
© Scratchtown Brewing Company
Scratchtown Brewing Company opened to the public in 2013, founded by couples Mike and Julie Klimek, Michelle and Jade Stunkel, and Christina and Caleb Pollard. The Ord brewery strives to be the Nebraska Sandhills’ finest craft brewery, crafting premium ales and lagers with simple, locally-produced ingredients, including pure water sourced from the region’s Ogalala aquifer. It is best known for its Black Eye Imperial Porter, which has become one of the Midwest’s most-coveted craft beers and has won a number of regional awards. Other year-round flagship brews offered by the company include its Sandhills Gold Bohemian Ale, Sideburns Milk Stout, Popcorn Daze Cream Ale, Son of Sam Black Saison, and Sargent Highway Local Pale Ale.
141 S 16th St, Ord, NE 68862, Phone: 308-728-5050
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19.Scriptown Brewing Company
© Scriptown Brewing Company
Scriptown Brewing Company is an Omaha brewery that was founded in 2012 by friends John Fahrer and Scott Stephens. The brewery specializes in producing session beers, which have lower alcohol content than most craft beers in order to allow drinkers to enjoy several pints over a single sitting without becoming too inebriated. Its Blackstone District tap room is located within a renovated warehouse facility and offers pints and to-go sales of its popular ales, including its Petal Pusher Hibiscus Ale, Yotus IPA, Nutjob Brown Ale, Muddy Mo Amber Ale, Saddle Creek Wheat, and Ups and Downs, a collaboration with local roasters Archetype Coffee. Well-behaved pets are allowed at the brewery’s seasonal outdoor patio, and public special events such as quiz nights are hosted periodically.
3922 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68131, Phone: 402-991-0506
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20.The Benson Brewery
© The Benson Brewery
The Benson Brewery is housed within a renovated movie theater building in Omaha, opened in 2013 by Ryan Miller. The brewery is one of the city’s oldest craft brewpubs, crafting unique ales on site and offering a rooftop bar and patio with views of the city’s historic downtown area. Brews offered on draft at the restaurant include its flagship Benson Blonde Ale, New Brewer Who Dis New England Pale Ale, Rough Draft Porter, Somewhere in Between IPA, and Karha-T English Mild Ale, which is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Several hard cider options are also tapped. Upscale gastropub fare includes burgers, jerk chicken dishes, and shareable appetizers available at a discount during the restaurant’s happy hour.
6059 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104, Phone: 402-934-8668
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© Thunderhead Brewing
Thunderhead Brewing was established in 1999 in Kearney by Trevor and Jenny Schaben as the city’s only brewery. Today, the company has expanded to offer two locations throughout the region, including its original Thunderhead Taproom and a beer sales location in Axtell that is open on Saturday afternoons. The company’s award-winning brews include its Golden Frau Pale Wheat Ale, Cornstalker Dunkelweizen, Leatherhead Red Ale, Your Argument is Invalid Nitro Stout, and I Concede the Point Nitro IPA. Indoor and outdoor seating spaces are offered, along with a full pub food menu focusing on artisan stone-fired pizzas. Licensed brewery merchandise and gift cards are also sold at both locations.
18 E 21st St, Kearney, NE 68847, Phone: 308-237-1558
22.Upstream Brewing Company
© Upstream Brewing Company
Upstream Brewing Company was Omaha’s original brewpub when it opened in 1996, founded by Brian Magee. The brewery has been the recipient of a number of Best of Omaha awards, including awards as the city’s top microbrewery, favorite brewpub, and best restaurant bowl of soup. Classic ales and lagers produced on site include the company’s Capitol Premium Pale Ale, O! Gold Light Lager, Firehouse Red Lager, Flagship IPA, and Dundee Export Scotch Ale. A variety of rotating cask-conditioned ales are also tapped periodically. Brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night menus are offered, featuring thin-crust pizzas, hand-cut steaks, and a variety of burgers and shareable bar appetizer plates. Three billiard tables are also offered on site for guest entertainment.
514 S 11th St, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-344-0200
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23.Vis Major Brewing
© Vis Major Brewing
Vis Major Brewing was opened by Tom and Lindsey Clements in 2017, named after the Latin term for act of God. The brewery strives to bring an artisan eye to all of its ale recipes, crafting brews that highlight nuances of complexity and taste. Its Omaha tap room is located within the city’s restored Clanton’s Foods building and offers pints and to-go sales of its year-round and seasonal beers, which focus on Belgian styles, fruit-forward ales, and regional IPA variants. Popular beers include its Kinsfolk Belgian Saison, If This Be Treason New England IPA, Wild Honey Pie Sweet Cherry and Honey Ale, and Eden Shade Apricot Ale. A full cocktail menu is also available, along with a kitchen menu highlighting specialty pizzas and bar snacks. Behind-the-scenes brewery tours are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays for participants ages 14 and older.
3501 Center St, Omaha, NE 68105, Phone: 402-884-4082
24.White Elm Brewing Company
© White Elm Brewing Company
White Elm Brewing Company was opened in 2016 by Kolby Wood and Matthew and Martha Lee Heyne, striving to bring the highest-quality Belgian and American ales to the Lincoln region. The brewery’s tap room is located within a strip mall facility along Highways 2 and 77 and features chic rustic-industrial decor, with a large wooden bar and tables for small groups. Popular beers include the company’s Rollo Pale Wheat Ale, LNK Common Lager, Inverted Galaxy Double IPA, and Biere de Garde. Flight tastings are available, along with a selection of board games for visitors to play while they enjoy tastings.
2717 S 8th St, Lincoln, NE 68502, Phone: 402-261-6078
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25.Zipline Brewing Co.
© Zipline Brewing Co.
Zipline Brewing Co. opened its first location in Lincoln in 2013, adding a second Lincoln location and a satellite location in Omaha’s downtown district in 2017. The brewery was founded by Tom Wilmoth, James Gallentine, and Marcus Powers and strives to create a sustainable business model that develops partnerships with a number of local community businesses, serving as a brewery representative on the Brewer’s Association’s Sustainability Subcommittee. Year-round brews available at all three locations include the company’s Alpha Modern IPA, Zipline Kolsch, Zipline Nut Brown, and Copper Altbier. Special events are hosted at all of its locations, including Bottoms Up Yoga events, bingo nights, and free movie showings.
2100 Magnum Cir #1, Lincoln, NE 68522, Phone: 402-475-1001
25 Best Nebraska Breweries
- 5168 Brewing, Photo: 5168 Brewing
- Backswing Brewing Co., Photo: Backswing Brewing Co.
- Blue Blood Brewing Co., Photo: Blue Blood Brewing Co.
- Boiler Brewing Company, Photo: Boiler Brewing Company
- Bootleg Brewers and Sandhills Brewing Company, Photo: Bootleg Brewers and Sandhills Brewing Company
- Bottle Rocket Brewing Co., Photo: Courtesy of sonyachny - Fotolia.com
- Brickway Brewery and Distillery, Photo: Brickway Brewery and Distillery
- Code Beer Company, Photo: Code Beer Company
- Farnam House Brewing Company, Photo: Farnam House Brewing Company
- Infusion Brewing Company, Photo: Infusion Brewing Company
- Jaipur Restaurant, Photo: Courtesy of kosssmosss - Fotolia.com
- Kinkaider Brewing Company, Photo: Kinkaider Brewing Company
- Kros Strain Brewing, Photo: Kros Strain Brewing
- Lucky Bucket Brewing Co., Photo: Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
- Pint Nine Brewing Company, Photo: Pint Nine Brewing Company
- Prairie Pride Brewing Co., Photo: Prairie Pride Brewing Co.
- SchillingBridge Winery and Micro Brewery, Photo: Courtesy of PhotoSpirit - Fotolia.com
- Scratchtown Brewing Company, Photo: Scratchtown Brewing Company
- Scriptown Brewing Company, Photo: Scriptown Brewing Company
- The Benson Brewery, Photo: The Benson Brewery
- Thunderhead Brewing, Photo: Thunderhead Brewing
- Upstream Brewing Company, Photo: Upstream Brewing Company
- Vis Major Brewing, Photo: Vis Major Brewing
- White Elm Brewing Company, Photo: White Elm Brewing Company
- Zipline Brewing Co., Photo: Zipline Brewing Co.
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of det-anan sunonethong - Fotolia.com