2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Granite City Food & Brewery, Lincoln NE (June 28, Brewery Stop #10) The 10th brewery we stopped at during the beer discovery tour (click here to read about the whole trip)was Granite City Food & Brewery in Lincoln NE. We slept in a little bit (as it was a Sunday) and decided to go out for lunch to Granite City out by the mall. This is a corporate chain in the mid-west that can be found in most major cities. It’s sort of like the “Appleby’s of Breweries” as the food is ‘ok’ and the beer is drinkable but not outstanding.
We got there about 11am, forgetting that they actually do a Sunday brunch, but we were going to do some tasting so eggs with beer, not a good call. We decided to sit up at the bar and chat up the bartender to see what he thought about their beers and the local scene. He was happy to pour us the full lineup, and give us his opinions of them, which surprisingly wasn’t that great considering that there isn’t a lot of choices in Lincoln when it comes to locally made beer.
The food we ordered came out pretty quick and wasn’t bad. We sipped on the eight tasters while enjoying the quiet bar setting. The lineup included one seasonal beer which was a Belgian Golden. I have heard that Granite City makes their wort in a centralized location and ships it to each of their locations for aging, which is an interesting model for a brewery to use. I suppose it cuts down on the production costs and complexity, but it still doesn’t prevent their beers from going bad if the local brewer is clueless.
So, if you’re out and about in the mid-west, and are needing an ‘ok’ beer and ‘ok’ food, look to see if there’s a Granit City nearby and give them a try. While we were not impressed with any of their beers, I had to remind the guys that you gotta ‘remember your audience’ and understand that the locals going to a restaurant like this aren’t here for the beer, but the food. They have to stay ‘middle of the road’ in order to keep the masses happy. The reviews go back to front, left to right.
Granite City Food & Brewery
6150 O St.
Lincoln, NE 68510
Granite City Food & Brewery • American Pale Lager • IBU: ?? • ABV: 4.5% • 4 SRM
Lite golden color, solid white head that dropped quickly to a scheen, no lacing to speak of. The nose is slightly floral hops and citrus rind. The body is watered down, somewhat thin, and the flavors drop out quickly. There is a little bit of citrus bitterness on the back.
Granite City Food & Brewery • Bock • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5.5% • 28 SRM
This is a darker amber colored draft, solid two finger off-white foamy head with decent retention and clingy characters. The nose is sweet and malty forward. The front mouth is sweet, toasted grains, lots of malts and few bitters or hops present. The mid-bodied beer has a sweet lingering flavor that does hold it’s own.
Granite City Food & Brewery • English Pale Ale • IBU: 59 • ABV: 5.2% • 16 SRM
Cloudy copper colored draft with a nice frothy head and a good deal of spidery and clumpy lacing. Nose is caramel, biscuit, and a little bit of dried hops. The mouth-feel is solid, decent amount of carbonation, speaks to a bit of bread/malt/cracker flavors, some sweeter sugars/caramel on the mid/back. Flavors linger on the back and after-taste.
Granite City Food & Brewery • Imperial / Double IPA • IBU: 76 • ABV: 8.5% • 20 SRM
Cloudy amber/reddish hue draft, minimal white head that dropped off completely and left small bubbly lacing on the rim. The nose is a little bit citrus, sweet, and hot (alcohol). The front mouth has a little bit of citrus, hop oils/astringents, and heat from the alcohol. The mid to back mouth-feel is somewhat lighter in feel, low carbonation, stronger alcohol feel yet.
Granite City Food & Brewery • Black & Tan • IBU: ?? • ABV: ??% • 18 SRM
Blend of Northern Light and Brother Benedict Bock, clear reddish/brown colored, slight egg-shell tan head, foam has nice retention, some lacing. The nose is a bit of grains, sweet malts, burned sugars/caramel, and hints of floral hops. The front mouth is light hop oils, a hint of yeast, lighter and thin bodied. The mid to back have mild carbonation and a mid-body, hints of floral hops and lots of sweet malts. The back has nothing but sweet malts and slight watery vibe.
Granite City Food & Brewery • Fruit / Vegetable Beer • IBU: ?? • ABV: 4.2% • 16 SRM
This amber draft has a slight white head that holds against the rim (clingy retention). The nose is sweet, slight wheat/grain notes. The fruit is expressed after a stronger hit of metallic acidity on the front. The mid to back is a lot of malt profiles and secondary fruit. Full bodied, lots of carbonation, but the metallic tastes is present to the back.
|Gold Fever (seasonal)
Granite City Food & Brewery • Belgian Strong Pale Ale • IBU: ?? • ABV: 8.5% • 10 SRM
Softer orange/yellow hues, slight white head that laid down quickly to a sheen on the top with some bubbly lacing. The nose is dried fruit and yeast with a hit of spice. The front and mid mouth are a bit hot from the ABV, slight sweet malts and dried fruits come through. There are low hops throughout and the after taste is a little thin, old-dried fruit, fuzzy.
|Broad Axe Stout
Granite City Food & Brewery • Irish Dry Stout • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5% • 40+ SRM
Draft pours an opaque black and solid tan head, beautiful retention and tons of lacing. The front nose is a lot of roasted malts, caramels, dried bitter chocolates, and hints of coffee. The front to mid mouth are full bodied, smoother, chocolates, bitter coffee, roasted grains. The mid to back have a lot of lingering bitters with a solid burned bread taste.