Help us choose 64 breweries for the statewide, 2023 Nebraska Beer Bracket

Editor’s note: Hey everyone! Thanks for all your great comments! I’m going to close the comments in this post, as they don’t count as votes. If you want to vote in the contest, please go to and cast your ballot there! — Sarah Baker Hansen


Welcome back to bracket season! My team has been scheming this year’s first-ever statewide Nebraska Beer Bracket for many months — and just like last year, we’re letting you in on the action before the voting begins Monday.

The big news is that we’ve gone well beyond the boundaries of Omaha, and have divided Nebraska into four solid regions with plenty of breweries to choose from.

Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Craft Brewery Board, our team has been able to expand the contest, write about more beer, include more locally owned businesses and, most exciting of all, welcome voters from every single town in Nebraska.

Like the past Omaha Pizza Bracket and Omaha Burger Bracket, the contest is independently conceived, seeded, designed and written by me and my partners, Ben and Quentin, at Hanscom Park Studio. For the first time ever, the grant we applied for and received as part of a competitive process will allow us to be paid for the time and work that goes into the contest each spring.

And, one pretty funny side note: A State of Nebraska grant can’t pay for alcohol. So I’m footing the bill for all the beers myself (including the ones the team consumed during the planning of this bracket.)

This year, we’ve brought in local, regional experts from across Nebraska to help us in the seeding process, but we still want to know from you, in the comments on this post or on social media:

What brewery must we have on our list of 64?


HWY 14 Brewing Co. is one of the best breweries in the state- great beer, great atmosphere, great owners… all around great!

Site-1 all day. Lagers are incredibly challenging to do well, and they kill it. Not to mention all the local ingredients they use and collaborations/fundraisers that support other local businesses and charities.

I know…just one. BUT…I like three of these:
Kinkaider. Snowbeast
Pint Nine. Oso Cafe

Places doing interesting things that I like in no particular order are.
Kross strain (should be a one seed)
Site -1 (another one seed)
Vis Major

Scratchtown should be a number 1 seed. No better brewery in the state. Hwy14 should be highly seeded also

Don’t forget Vala’s Orchard Cider Co. Another great craft cider producer here in Nebraska!

Upstream—solid core styles, but extremely underrated seasonals & unique limited release batches really shine to show off the imaginative brewing prowess of their team.

My picks…Monolithic, Five-O-Five…their black and tan is to die for! Go check it out in Fremont! Kinkaider, Cosmic-Eye…Pint Nine and Bearded Brewer Artisan Ales…Zipline 🙂

In no particular order:
– Pint Nine
– Site 1
– Lumen
– Kinkaider
– Vis Major

My #1 seeds would be
Nebraska Brewing
Cosmic Eye Brewing
Boiler Brewing
Scratchtown Brewing

There are many great ones!

Should include Gottberg Brewing—Building on nearly 30 years of history as one of Nebraska’s oldest craft breweries (and Columbus’ 150 years of beer brewing history), Gottberg’s brewer has brought back some old favorites and crafted some great new seasonal ales and lagers.

Roc Hopper in Syracuse is also doing some great beers!

Lumen beer co is top notch!

Other must haves:
Kros Strain
Bearded Brewer
Boiler Brewing Co

How about we go to the truly western part of Nebraska and go with a beer from either flyover in Scottsbluff or brewery 719 in Alliance.

Scratchtown = #1 hands down…atmosphere, quality, and willingness to risk and fight for the craft beer industry as a whole!

Brewery 719 in Alliance!!!
Great options for everyone’s taste.
Very friendly atmosphere.

Lost Way, Holdrege NE. Bringing big brewery vibes to a small town. Family owned, family friendly. Great beer, good times! 💕

My top seed is Lumen which is awesome considering they are not even a year old. Kros Strain is probably the best in the state from a large brewery standpoint. Monolithic and Bearded are making some very creative stuff. Lastly, Boiler and Corn Coast make the best beer in Lincoln with White Elm right there with them. Can’t wait to see the bracket!

719 Brewery they are always putting out new product but my favorite by far is there “beam”

I am not an expert or frequent beer drinker, preferring wine, however when I purchase, drink, or make sure I have on hand for friends my go to brewery beers are Kinkaider and Brickway.

Flyover Brewing Company in Scottsbluff. I’ve tried a lot of beer from a lot of different breweries in Nebraska, but Flyover consistently has the highest quality craft beer I always go back to. FLYOVER ALL THE WAY

Untappd is a pretty good resource for seeding – Boiler, Lumen, Bearded, Corn Coast, White Elm, Monolithic, Krosstrain, Jukes, Stone Hollow would be the top 10 in the state based on beer ratings.

definitely 💯 FLYOVER cause it’s my uncle and aunt’s brewery!!!!! DELICIOUS 🤤 FOOD GREAT ATMOSPHERE AND AWESOME AMAZING STAFF!!!

Vis Major!! I love all their beers and their close knit community they’ve been able to create

Nebraska has its share of good brewery’s with Omaha and Lincoln leading the way. We all have our favorites and as a consumer I try and sample something from every one of them. This bracketing thing should be fun. But if I had to name a favorite it would be “Home Brew” because that’s what gave me a true appreciation of microbrewed beers.

BREWERY 719!! Plenty of options for everyone, Hazey Train, Day Break, Track Bed just to list a few favorites

Kros Strain Brewing! Amazing beers, always coming up with new options with solid and consistent flavors.

I’d love see Zipline’s new Cheeseburger Naps Hazy IPA challenger against Kros Strain’s Gas Station Cheeseburger Hazy IPA. Or how Zipline’s Cloudlifter IPA compares to Pint 9’s Cloud Jumper IPA.