A Tale of Two Nebraska Craft Breweries: Ploughshare and Zip Line

You might be surprised to know some unexpected areas of the United States have not only embraced the craft beer scene, but have a thriving craft beer market. One such spot is Lincoln, Nebraska. Not only is this cattle country, but several craft breweries are doing a robust business here. Here are two of them worth a visit if you find yourself there.

Ploughshare Brewery

While most breweries are so focused on producing beer, they tend to neglect the finer points of their establishment like the decor and food, which ultimately make people want to come back. That’s not the case at Ploughshare. An inviting opening space leads you in to the bar where you can choose your brew and gather with friends. More serious beer enthusiasts wanting a tour should visit on Fridays and Saturdays at 6.

Hop Heads will enjoy the Percheron IPA. The slight pine and citrus flavor marries well with the caramel taste. Most interesting is the Weathervane Belgian Style Witbier. It’s a definite departure from typical wheat beers, using 40 percent raw wheat and a rarely used brewing technique called turbid mash decoction.

As for the food, they are serious about pork. Items like the Schnitzel platter are hearty and satisfying. But we loved the Hunter (charcuterie), Gatherer (fruit and cheese), and Wanderer (fish) platters for sharing.

Zip line brewing NebraskaZip Line Brewing
Quite the opposite of Ploughshare, is Zip Line. This is a no frills spot where the sole focus is beer – no food or upscale decor. Named so after the owner had a zip line accident. His friends warned him opening a brewery may not be such a good idea saying “Remember that zip line accident..” But apparently it hasn’t hurt the success of the brewery.

The variety of beers is huge. So be ready to settle in for an afternoon. In fact, you may want to make sure you have a designated driver. Highlights were:
Black IPA – The slight chocolate flavor was a unique mix for IPA. Available from November to January only.
Double Stout – A smooth, easy sipping beer, but surprisingly light on the chocolate flavor. It has a slight spicy chocolate aroma, which you will definitely smell but only taste slightly. It is pretty similar to a Guinness. Go easy, this is 8.5% ABV.
American Tripel – This would be a terrific spring beer. The crisp taste along with citrusy flavors like grapefruit all make for the a perfect light beer to sip alone or with fish or chicken entrees.