LaVista, NebraskaIn 1992 home brewers Paul Kavulak and his wife Kim began experimenting, trying to recreate a pale ale that Paul’s grandparents sold at their Cardinal Bar back in the early 50’s. Unsuccessful at their early attempts, a frustrated Paul dumped an entire large bag of Cascade leaf hops into his fermenter that contained what he considered a failed, disgusting batch. Disheartened, he slammed the lid on the fermenter and walked away. When he returned two weeks later and removed the lid, he discovered the exact aroma and brew he’d been seeking.

The next months were a blur for the Kavulaks as they faced a very steep learning curve to conquer all the stages necessary to mass produce, bottle, and market their beer. Bolstered by family and friends, a used brewing system purchased in Japan, and the talent of Tyson Arp, a talented brewer, they opened the doors of Nebraska Brewing’s brewpub in Papillion, NE in November of 2007, the year of the Great Recession. Resolved to prosper in spite of the slow economy, the decision was made to focus heavily on varied recipes and become a true brew house. By 2010 the medals and awards started pouring in. In 2011, wanting to can beer, their barrel aging program was expanded, another facility in La Vista was secured, and by January of 2014 all was operational.

Pop the top from your can of Nebraska’s Cardinal Pale Ale, and you’ll understand what the fuss was all about. This American Pale Ale is golden, mildly bitter, known for its citrus-like aromatics. The dry hopping process adds days to the brewing process and added expense, but it’s the signature element of this brew. Canned or bottled, this crisp, crystal clear and completely enjoyable beer is currently their top seller.

Richly flavored and abundant in citrus, pine, resin-like aromas, their India Pale Ale is completely refreshing, assertive, almost aggressive with crisp bitterness. Truly Nebraskan thanks to the infusion of Citra hops.

Featured Beer from Nebraska Brewery: Cardinal Pale Ale and India Pale Ale

PALE ALE — Nebraska Brewery’s Cardinal Pale Ale: In spite of the name,these fruity, nutty, toasty flavored brews are golden to amber in color – this one’s a study in hoppiness. Well balanced with distinct bitterness, serve with burgers, English cheese & bread pudding. (It’s an ale, making it a top-fermented brew.)

INDIA PALE ALE — Nebraska Brewery’s India Pale Ale: Another top-fermented ale, this was originally made bitter and strong to survive long boat trips to India. Nebraska Brewery’s pairs well with Indian, Cajun and Creole cuisines, aged bleu cheese, grilled seafood or shellfish.


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Tracie Burket
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