Nebraska Brewing Company (NBC) stands tall as a truly homegrown brewing company, with roots deep in the city’s history. Paul and Kim Kavulak began home brewing in 1992 before they started the first Nebraska Brewing location in 2007. Their flagship beer, the Cardinal Pale Ale, is named for the Cardinal Bar in South Omaha, owned by Paul’s grandparents. The owners also remain proudly committed to their other family: the United States Marine Corps.
The USMC flag hangs proudly in the brewery space, only seen on tours. The Kavulaks are not shy about their allegiance. Each year, Nebraska Brewing hosts a Marine Corps birthday for Marines and their families to come celebrate the anniversary of the Corps.
A few details about beer distribution set NBC above the rest:
- They distribute all over the country and across the globe. Their products currently go to Japan, Germany, and China. Other nations are included at some times.
- The 360 cans are a classic symbol of Nebraska Brewing. Instead of just opening a small hole in the top of the can, the entire lid pops off the can when it’s opened. This allows you to smell everything while drinking at the same time. NBC had to lobby the Nebraska Unicameral to allow the fully-removable lids on their products. Now, they have been legal for about two years. (If you use this Groupon, each member of your group can bring home a 6-pack of cans after your tour.)
- The international distribution means that they need to adapt their kegging process. Instead of getting their kegs back for reuse, the beer shipped to Asia and Europe is stored in recyclable kegs that can be dismantled and properly recycled by their customers overseas. They are pictured below.
The space at 108th Street and Harrison is also a center for the barrel-aging program. Using chardonnay, whiskey, or brandy bottles, there is always something new waiting to be released. On your tour, you get to walk into the large refrigeration room in the back of the brewery to see it all happening.
In particular, the Mélange a Trois is a Belgian-style Blonde with time spent in the Chardonnay Wine Barrels. This is the most popular bottled beer from Nebraska Brewing and it has won a Gold in the Barrel Aged Strong category at the Great American Beer Fest in 2011 and 2015. This is a classic beer!
The space in the taproom is family-oriented and ready for any event you want to host there. There is a back room to rent, with a full-wall screen to watch the game. With a billiards table, chess, and giant Jenga, you’re going to have a great time, regardless of what you’re doing.
The taproom itself is large and one whole wall is lined with arcade games with a shelf of board games. The tables are made out of barrels, and the tap list is more extensive than any other products you’ll find in the grocery store.
TOUR PRICE: $10
Thursdays: 5:30pm, 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2pm, 4pm
HISTORY: Opened brewpub in 2007; Production brewery and taproom in 2014
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS BREWERY: Marines, 360, homegrown
MY 3P SCORE (Price, Pours, AND Pleasantness): 4/5
- Full tour of the whole facility
- One pint of their core beers with a brewery tour purchase