Every state has their hidden gems, and Nebraska takes the beer, er, cake when it comes to breweries. No matter the time of year, locals can enjoy lively atmospheres, exciting events and drool-worthy dishes that pair well with the state’s best — not to mention, award-winning — brews that are worth the hype and the trip. Next time you crave a cold one, these breweries deliver great-tasting beer with the added bonus of a wicked good time that even your friendly hound can join in on.
1. Divots′ Brewery in Norfolk
This Norfolk brewery is the ultimate spot to take the family for dinner when the evening calls for a classic brew. Divots’ selection of approachable ales and lagers makes it simple to pick out your ideal beer, especially when you’re on the hunt for a refreshing stein to complement your meal. For a zesty New England style IPA, give their Hazy Cosmic Jive a taste. Brewed using Azacca, Amarillo, Mosaic and El Dorado hops, this flagship beer is low bitter and perfectly juicy. End your night with their Donna's Raspberry Pilsner, dosed with real raspberry puree for a backyard-wine finish you can’t resist.
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2. Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company in Wayne
Recognized nationally for its award-winning brew, Johnnie Byrd is the go-to spot for beautiful Nebraskan nights. Located in Wayne, this cozy outdoor space is ideal for sipping the best in fruit beers, summer wheats, pale ales and more. Their Abe's Honey Porter is a three-time national-award-winning flagship beer, featuring a high ABV (for a table porter) that’s drive-worthy for folks located outside of the vicinity.
3. Scratchtown Brewing Company in Ord
Come for the unique craft beers (over 240 styles within the last decade!), stay for the live music. As the first-ever brewery to grace the Nebraskan Sandhills in 2013, Scratchtown is committed to holding the standard for quality, complex beers. In fact, continuous creativity and daringness to test new crafts has led to many award-winning brews for this downtown Ord brewing company.
4. Brewery 719 in Alliance
Only in Alliance can you find a brewery (Brewery 719, to be exact) where the hop bill in their Hazy Train NEIPA changes from batch to batch to maintain excitement. Whether you’re looking for a Scottish-style ale (try Beam), a fruited blonde ale (check out Strawberry Blonde) or a light American pilsner (ask for Light Beer), there’s a brew for everyone — and chances are, you’ll leave with a few new favorites.
5. Flyover Brewing Company in Scottsbluff
Traditional lagers and wood-fired grub is what you’ll find at this family-friendly venue in Scottsbluff. Stop by in the spring and summer to taste their award-winning, crisp traditional Helles and continue on in the fall with their Campaign Märzen style, made with none other than local Nebraskan sugar beets.
6. Five.0.Five Brewing Company in Fremont
No need to choose between your beloved pup and your refreshing brew! This Fremont brewery allows your furry friend to tag along as you sip. Its generous list of balanced, approachable and traditional beers (don’t let quirky names like “Razzbaby Blonde Ale” and “Rugger Bugger Stout” fool you) makes this spot the ideal trip for a conventional brew and relaxing time, whether you head out alone or bask with friends.
To learn more, visit nebraska.beer/find-nebraska-beer.