Froth-topped glasses of house-made beer welcome patrons to Rock Bottom Brewery, where chefs prolong the flavor fun with creative American dishes made from scratch. To pique the interest of coy appetites, kitchen artists toss firecracker shrimp in sweet thai chili sauce and pair ale-brushed giant ballpark pretzels with spicy spinach-cheese dip. Stomachs ready for main fare can request a plate of short rib, braised overnight and dished with white-cheddar mashed potatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, pearl onions, and mushroom sauce. Half a roasted hunter’s chicken lounges in a wild mushroom and tomato demi-glace, and the creole jambalaya’s jumbo shrimp parades into mouths atop a float of andouille sausage, roasted chicken, tomato sauce, and white rice. The pizza selection sends toppings to tables via flatbread rafts, and Bourbonzola burgers bombard mouths with a combination of Jim Beam glaze, creamy gorgonzola cheese, and crisp onion straws—the same mixture that Kentucky gentlemen use as shaving cream.
The 1.5–2-hour event, which starts at 7 p.m. on a Friday of your choosing, takes place in the wine-tasting room. Set in a French Country House, the tastery features Nebraska vintages from sweet to dry, beer, food, and a wine troll. While sipping sips at the special after-hours event, you'll learn wine lessons from the vineyard's owner's daughter, who is studying to be a sommelier. The unintimidating course includes tips on how to rate, taste, and judge a wine, so you'll leave with the ability to determine if a wine has oaky undertones or hints of tire iron.
Bob Curttright knew that wine tasted better when it's enjoyed in a scenic setting. That's why he set out on a search for the perfect setting before opening his winery, Whiskey Run Creek. He found the setting he dreamed of in a century-old barn owned by Julius Bergmann and moved the historic structure?which was built from oak and walnut beams without a single nail?more than 18 miles to a creekside property.
Now owned by Ron and Sherry Heskett, they fill visitors' glasses with wine made from Nebraska-grown ingredients. In addition to varietals, such as Chambourcin and Edelweiss, their winery produces seasonal fruit wines made with apples and cherries from local farms. Guests can relax with their wine on an expansive deck or explore renovated brick caves built in 1866.
In the days before kegs and bottles, beer enthusiasts would have to cart a bucket to their local brewery, fill it up, and carry it (gently) home. Lucky Bucket Brewing Company pays tribute to brewing history both in its name and its traditional brewing techniques.
Lucky Bucket?s flavorsome creations are crafted inside an 18,000-square-foot brew house with a friendly and familial atmosphere. Gleaming silver fermenters give birth to bottles of a pre-Prohibition-style lager, a pleasantly floral IPA, and the dark, malty imperial porter Certified Evil, and a revolving lineup of their locally-made beer is on tap, featuring the Single Batch series.
The facility operates a craft brewery, as well as Cut Spike Distillery which turns out hand-crafted spirits such as Cut Spike Single-Malt Whiskey. The distillery ages it's whiskey for two years in brand new American oak barrels.
As an Army veteran, owner, and head distiller, Jeff Hadden has made it his mission not only to make awesome, handcrafted spirits, but also give back and support veterans. Aged six years, his bourbon whiskey recently received a double-gold medal at the esteemed San Francisco World Spirits Competition, joining the silver-medal-winning vodka on the boozy podium. At the wide-open, industrial-chic tasting room, visitors can sidle up to the bar to taste samples and cocktails, or gather around a table to stare deeply into each other's eyes.
Paul Kavulak and his wife Kim turned a hobby into a career when they opened Nebraska Brewing Company. Paul, lead brewer Tyson Arp, and the rest of the brewers create a collection of award-winning beers that includes the HopAnomaly and a Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels. Beer fans can learn the ins-and-outs of the brewing process during tours of the facility or indulge in the signature libations at the brewpup, where chefs whip up burgers, flatbread, and beer-marinated wings.