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Recommend some beers from Nebraska

Discussion in 'US - Midwest' started by ONovoMexicano, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. I've got a friend headed to Albuquerque in a few weeks and she's promised to bring me some beers from where she lives in Nebraska. Problem is, outside of Nebraska Brewing, I don't know what to ask for. My understanding is NBC is expensive as hell, so I'm hoping to avoid that route.

    Any great Nebraska beers in cans or bottles? Any beers from neighboring states that she might be able to pick up? Perennial? Toppling Goliath? Surly?


    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Ristaccia

    Ristaccia Savant (305) Nebraska Nov 21, 2012

    Nebraska Brewing's cans are at a pretty reasonable price-point (Cardinal Pale Ale, IPA, EOS Hefeweizen, Brown Ale, all around $8.99/6pk), but I haven't had any yet to comment on quality.Their bombers have been good to very good in my opinion, but as you mentioned they're expensive (generally $20). Empyrean has been very hit-or-miss for me. I'm not at all a Lucky Bucket fan. I've been pretty impressed by a good chunk of the stuff that Infusion has done thus far (especially their Vanilla Bean Blonde), but you'd need to go with a growler.

    Peace Tree (Iowa) is generally pretty good, though I haven't been blown away by anything from them yet. Funkwerks is a good bet if you like saisons. Surly is great, but you won't find it closer than Northern Minnesota/Minneapolis or Chicago. Toppling Goliath is also great, but outside of stopping by the taproom in Decorah for bottles your friend would either need to head out to Des Moines around the time they send out a new shipment of bottles (every 1-2 weeks) as their offerings tend to move very quickly or stop by one of several bars in Des Moines for growlers. Hy-Vee stores in Council Bluffs (notably the Mall of the Bluffs location) still have some offerings that we don't get over the river in Omaha, notably Bell's, Mikkeller, Evil Twin, occasionally Fantome, etc. Iowa also recently started getting beer from Central Waters, though I wouldn't expect to see any of their barrel-aged offerings still around. Finally, we just started getting distribution from Free State Brewing this week, which might be something worth looking into.

    In terms of large brewers that I don't see NM as getting distro from with worthwhile product, you've got Founders, Boulevard (most Smokestack series releases are great), Schell's, Weyerbacher, Tallgrass, Summit, and Shmaltz.

    Sorry, that ended up being a lot longer than I intended. If you have any additional questions let me know.
    ONovoMexicano and BrettHead like this.
  3. BrettHead

    BrettHead Advocate (525) Nebraska Sep 18, 2010

    I think Ristaccia covered it all.

    I will 2nd his recommendation on the NBC cans (specifically Cardinal Pale Ale and the IPA).
    bditty187 and poopinmybutt like this.

  4. Great response, man, and no need to be sorry for covering all the bases. I appreciate the input.
  5. I'll see if I can score some cans of each. Thanks man.
  6. Zipline is making some great stuff. their NZ Ipa is solid, as is their Oatmeal porter. They bottle a couple others, but i haven't tried them.
    I would also recommend Thunderhead. Their Ipa, Cropduster, is quite good.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  7. I've been wanting to try Tallgrass brewing for awhile now. Their 8-bit pale ale sounds good and buffalo sweat stout.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  8. doner24

    doner24 Aficionado (175) Minnesota Apr 16, 2013

    Skip Nebraska and just have her stock up on Crooked Stave on the way if you are into sours.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  9. Haha. I was just in Denver. I actually skipped Crooked Stave after dropping in during an October visit. I'll possibly head up in the summer, so I'm not as hard-pressed to get their goodies.
  10. Upstream's special bottlings are usually solid if you see 'em around. They generally run around $16 or so for a 750 mL bottle. The Woodford Reserve barrel aged barleywine is exceptional in my opinion.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  11. ToddSoonerFan

    ToddSoonerFan Aficionado (185) Iowa Aug 23, 2013

    Tallgrass has some solid beers. Try the Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat and the Ethos IPA.
    Ristaccia likes this.
  12. Ristaccia

    Ristaccia Savant (305) Nebraska Nov 21, 2012

    I'm not sure that your friend will still be able to find it around, but I definitely second Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat. I'd love, love, love to see it year-round. Ethos wasn't entirely up my alley insofar as hop profile went but is also a solid brew.
  13. I am currently living in Kearney Nebraska so disregard the Wisconsin part of my profile... that being said growlers are fun... I may be in the minority but I thought the wheat beer was good at Loop Brewing in McCook, here in Kearney I lime Thunderhead's Dark Wheat and the might have their Imperial Stout on tap for growlers, and if she is going through Wichita the brewery/ pizza joint is the class of the breweries down there. I think Weston brewery north of KC makes an excellent bock beer. One final note, I will be in Albuquerque Memorial Day weekend for the beer festival on the north side of town at the casino so if she misses anything and you need a mule let me know... Hopefully I don't get too wrecked to not check out the breweries down there because my friend in Denver says there is some serious talent there...
  14. russpowell

    russpowell Poobah (1,040) Oklahoma May 24, 2005

    On a semi-side lobe. I would say all of Tallgrass' offerings are worth a go.
  15. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Savant (255) Nebraska May 25, 2005

    nebraska brewing co cardinal is my favorite in state beer.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  16. cran852

    cran852 Aficionado (130) Nebraska Mar 31, 2009

    The Modern Monks canned beer just hit the market a week ago. So far, they have an Irish Ale, a Robust Porter and an American Pale Ale. They are all pretty solid offerings. The Monks are from Lincoln.
    BrettHead and ONovoMexicano like this.
  17. Nebraska is definitely expensive but I would not pass up a bottle of Black Betty if I saw it. Worth the price if you haven't had it. Not sure when it is available in Nebraska but I've been able to pick it up in WI in the past. Not sure if they are still in WI or not. Haven't seen any bottles lately.
  18. I believe Surly sees wider distribution now in some parts of southern MN. I know Rochester gets Surly and seem to remember people from WI mentioning they had found it in MN border towns that were further south. Somebody from the region should fill this in but that is still a ways away from where it sounds like you will be.

    Surly now uses a distributor so it sees wider distribution in MN than it used to. At least that is my understand.
  19. KansasBeerLover

    KansasBeerLover Savant (320) Kansas Feb 16, 2009

    If she can stop in Kansas have her pick up anything from Free State (Lawrence) and Marshall (Oklahoma).

    I can't recommend any from Nebraska, the few that are distributed here haven't been that good.
  20. allouez86

    allouez86 Savant (340) Wisconsin Jan 24, 2009

    As a saison fan, I really liked the beers I've tried from Nebraska Brewing Co. Pricey, yes, but I've never not enjoyed. Also haven't had a bad beer from Tallgrass either, and they are all very affordable.

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