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The Cornhusker State

Some may call Nebraska a “fly-over state” with its never-ending fields of corn and vast plains, however, the state may actually be flying under the radar when it comes to their hugely successful craft breweries and high-quality craft beers.

Nebraska’s craft beer scene has developed nicely over the years and its rich brewing history should be reason enough to stop in for a few cold ones. In the early 1800’s the area, we know of as Nebraska today, was inhabited primarily by Native American tribes. It wasn’t until the mid 1800’s where the boundaries of the state were created. Just a short 5 years later, the first brewery, Fred Krug Brewing Company opened in the capital city of Omaha and quickly became the largest brewery in Nebraska at the time. They blazed a trail for others to set up shop and eventually Nebraska had one of the largest distilleries in the country called Willow Spring Distillery. As the Great Depression hit and the Prohibition laws were put in place, the few breweries in the state were slowly forced to close.

Fast forwarding to 1990, Lincoln, Nebraska welcomed Empyrean Brewing Company. Not only were they the state’s first craft brewery and its first Brewpub, they were also the first to experiment with bottling their craft beers in 1999. Adding to their list of ‘firsts’, they were the first craft brewery to distribute their brews throughout the state of Nebraska in 2002, which undoubtedly helped them become the largest producer of craft beers in the state today.

Nebraska has a good mix of breweries ranging from microbreweries to huge national and multinational brewhouses, both of which produce a wide variety of brew styles. Craft breweries are popping up throughout the state and as the beer culture continues to grow, we should expect even more innovative and delicious beers from Nebraska to be featured in future Craft Beer of the Month Club shipments.

If you are interested having in tasting Nebraska’s craft beers, you're in luck! Nebraska breweries such as Blue Blood Brewing, Brickway Brewery & Distillery, Thunderhead Brewing, and Lucky Bucket Brewing, have been featured in our monthly Craft Beer Club and there will surely be more coming in future Craft Beer Club shipments. If you’re a native Nebraskan or fancy a visit, make sure to check out some of the state’s craft beer festivals, including The Great Nebraska Beer Fest, Omaha Beer Fest and Benson Beer Fest to name a few.