November 4, 2014 by and
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It is a good time to be alive if you are a craft beer lover. The state now boasts over 20 breweries, with more than half of those right here in the metro. Here’s my list of fave notables to try the next time you reach for a cold one.

Flagship IPA
Upstream Brewing Company
Loaded with hops, this India Pale Ale is a full-bodied, unfiltered ale with a gorgeous amber hue. A generous use of malt offers a mild sweetness to back the robust citrus, piney, hop flavor. Dry-hopping intensifies the wonderful aroma and complexity of this brew.
6.4% abv
Available at Upstream Brewing Company and select bars.

Cardinal Pale Ale
Nebraska Brewing Company
Copper in color with a lasting white head, this beer is the quintessential example of an American Pale Ale. It is hopped with copious amounts of Cascade for a wonderful grapefruit aroma and mellow bitterness.
6.0% abv
Available in cans at craft beer retailers.

Certified Evil
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Dark and ominous, this imperial porter is aggressively hopped and full of roasted malts. Complex, dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig, along with molasses and honey, make this a wonderful addition to a steak dinner or chocolate dessert.
9.1% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers.

Chocolate Pistachio Milk Porter
Infusion Brewing Company
Brewed with English Malt and a generous amount of cocoa powder, this beer begins with a round, full-bodied, chocolate flavor accompanied by notes of coffee and vanilla. With a sweet beginning and long cocoa finish, this porter is a wonderful dessert brew.
5.8% abv
Available on tap at Infusion Brewing Company and select bars.

Jalapeno Ale
Jaipur Brewing Company and Restaurant
A wheat beer base fermented with fresh jalapenos delivers a pleasant pepper aroma and flavor. This is the perfect accompaniment for the spicy Indian cuisine found at Jaipur.
Currently available only at Jaipur Brewing Company and Restaurant.

Brewer’s Duet – Coffee Cream Stout
Benson Brewery
Brewed in collaboration with neighbor Aroma’s Coffee Shop, this beer offers beautiful aromas of coffee and chocolate. Unlike some coffee stouts that can be astringent and bitter, this one is blended with high quality, cold-pressed coffee and brewed with added lactose milk sugar in lending a slightly sweet finish.
6.2% abv
Currently available only at Benson Brewery.

Keller German Lager
Farnam House Brewing Company
An unfiltered German-style amber lager, the cool fermentation temperature yields an extremely crisp and clean beer with a mild bitterness, perfectly balancing the caramel malt profile.  A wonderfully easy-drinking, sessionable beer that is perfect on any occasion.
5.5% abv
Currently available only at Farnam House Brewing Company.

Borgata Pilsner
Borgata
This is a crisp and clean lager with a thick white head. Subtle notes of honey, melon, and biscuit start on the nose and end with a mellow, bitter finish.
4.8% abv
Available in cans at craft beer retailers.

Nut Brown
Zipline Brewing (Lincoln)
Made with a blend of specialty dark malts, this English-Style Brown Ale is a harmonious blend of coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavors. A dark brown sugar sweetness later yields to a dry-roasted bitterness.
5.8% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers and select bars.

Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale
Empyrean Brewing Co. (Lincoln)
Inspired by Scotland’s easy-drinking, malt-forward beers, this brew has a subtle caramel sweetness and a hint of smoke. It pairs wonderfully with grilled game or barbecue.
5.3% abv
Available in bottles at craft beer retailers and at Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill.

 

Chad Rozniecki is the Beer Specialist and Systems Implementation Manager at Brix Wine and Spirits. The professional brewer formerly owned The Lauter Tun craft beer bar in Omaha. Over the last decade he has also bartended at various craft beer bars and breweries around town.

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