The Best Breweries, Brewpubs & Taprooms in Nebraska
The Cornhusker State has some great microbreweries, like Lincoln's Zipline Brewing, La Vista's Nebraska Brewing Company, and Scratchtown Brewing in the Central Plains.
Written by CraftJack | Updated | 2 min read
Nebraska is brewing up quality craft beer, from the Omaha Metro area, to the Nebraska Panhandle. Cities like Lincoln, suburbs like La Vista, and even rural towns like Fairfield (pop. ~400) and Holdrege, all have craft breweries in operation.
Breweries in Nebraska are concentrated in the major cities, with 12 breweries in Lincoln and 12 breweries in Omaha. However, the highest concentration of craft beer joints per capita belongs to La Vista, with ~17k people and 4 microbreweries. If you discount 30% of the population for children, then you're talking about a taproom for every 2500 people. Fantastic!
Nebraska breweries span the Dissected Till Plains into the Great Plains. You can find great beer anywhere in the state, not just in Omaha. Each region of the Cornhusker State has a few noteworthy taprooms and brewpubs. These regions include the Central Plains, Omaha Metro, Southeast, Three Rivers, and the Western region.
If you're farming and raising cattle, you're gonna wanna drink some beers. Cities and towns like Grand Island, and Kearney, towns that grew up as train depots, are arriving on the Nebraska brewery map as watering holes for the locals, thanks to microbreweries such as Prairie Pride Brewery in Grand Island and the Platte Valley Taphouse in Kearney.
Omaha and the surrounding Metro area is obviously conducts more commerce than rural life on the plains. That extends to brewing operations as well, as craft breweries like Infusion Brewing Company operate out of 3 locations. Nebraska Brewing Company runs two, one in Papillion and one in La Vista.
Southeast Nebraska includes the state's other large city, Lincoln. Zipline Brewing Co., who asserts that they are Nebraska's best craft brewery, offers up a bevy of fresh lagers and ales, including their Alpha Modern IPA, their DOPE! IPA, and their Local Time lager, a casual adult beverage for post-work drinking. Grab yourself a beer and a steak at Misty's Steakhouse and Brewery. Or, "Pursue the Brew" over at Empyrean Brewing Company with a SuperNova.
Too bad about Spilker Ales closing some time back.
The Three Rivers region of Nebraska is an interesting corner of the United States. Wayne and Norfolk aren't exactly Omaha and Lincoln, you know? That doesn't stop Johnnie Byrd and Divots from brewing up pint after pint of Amber Waves of Wayne and Corduroy Ninja. Skol!
The Western part of Nebraska is not to be forgotten when it comes to Midwest craft brewing. Cities such as McCook & Scottsbluff each have a microbrewery. Best to load up at Flyover Brewing if you're headed West, because the next brewery is Open Barrel Brewing in Torrington, Wyoming.
There are companies who host brew tours, but COVID-19 has kind of squashed things a bit. It's best if you do your own research.
Speaking of tours, the caves underneath Blue Blood Brewing Company is something you may want to check out.