2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Ploughshare Brewing Company, Lincoln NE (June 28, Brewery Stop #11) The 11th brewery to be visited during the cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) was Ploughshare Brewing Company in downtown Lincoln NE just a few blocks from the UNL campus. This was one of the first true surprises during the road trip, we had no idea it existed until earlier that day when we started looking at what was open in town for breweries and this new brewery came up. We had no idea what their beers were like, but we were pleasantly surprised and truly glad we stopped by before going to dinner that night.
The brewery has a large main area and bar to sit at. They don’t have much in the way of food (or didn’t at that time), but they did have 10 distinct and great beers to sample from. The server was excited to hear that we were new to their beers, and made sure to answer any questions we had about them. They did mention that they were getting ready to ramp up production and keg so they can start distributing around the area. We didn’t have any problems getting a spot at the bar, and most of the customers there were new to the business and doing tasters like us.
So, be it that it’s been a few months since the visit, I’d go out of my way if I was back in Lincoln to find their beer on draft. They do an outstanding job for a new brewery in the consistency and quality of the beer they produce. I was amazed at the enthusiasm and interest in talking about their beers when we ordered and explained why we were there. They actually knew what the difference between IBU and ABV (which we found some servers don’t know across the country – I know, I don’t get it?). I applaud them for trying to bring the craft brewing culture to Lincoln and only wish them success and growth with their efforts.
The beers we reviewed ranged from Saison, Reds, IPAs, Pales, and Stouts. There were a number of standouts from the offerings, including the Pivo Bubina Helles Bock, Tailgate Red, and the Robber’s Pilser just to name a few. I’ve reviewed the range below, left to right in the pictures. Overall, if I’m ever back in Lincoln, I’m going to make every effort to seek them out and share them with my friends and family back there.
Ploughshare Brewing Company
1630 P St.
Lincoln, NE 68508
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Cream Ale • IBU: 18 • ABV: 4.8% • 4 SRM
Clear golden draft with a shallow white head that dropped quickly, leaving minimal lacing on the rim. The nose is a little bit malty sweet, and wet-grass hops. The front to mid is mid-bodied to thin, slight sharp hop resins sneak in with the malty rounded mid-back. Low carbonation and a good mix on the balance between malts and hops.
|Farm Boy Lemon Shandy – Cask
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Cream Ale • IBU: 12 • ABV: 3.6% • 2 SRM
Bright yellow hued draft with a super foamy two finger white head with great retention and lacing. The nose is bit lemon zest, sweet sugars, slight hop bitters from the citrus rind notes. The front mouth is shallow and thin with sweet sugary notes. This cask draft (mixed with lemonade) does sing on the mid, as it drys the mouth out. The lemon profile covers any hints of hops or yeast. This is a thinner adult-coolaid.
|Helga Honey Wheat
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • American Pale Wheat Ale • IBU: 38 • ABV: 5.5% • 3 SRM
Hops: Mt. Hood, Saaz
Clear sunny yellow draft, two finger solid white foamy head that left tons of lacing on the rim. The nose expresses some grass-hoppy notes, subtle yeast and malty (bread) backing. The front mouth is complex and fully carbonated with crisp hop bitters and followed with wheaty yeast notes. The balance with the malts and wheat grains does play well with the sharper hop profile of this beer. The back and after have a lingering sweet-wheat grain note.
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Pre-Prohibition Pilsner • IBU: 28 • ABV: 5.6% • 18 SRM
Malts: Domestic 6-row barley, corn grits
Hops: Strisselspalt and Tettnanger hops
Take on the modern Czeck Pilsner, a bit darker copper color, bright white foamy (big bubbles) head with decent retention and spidery lacing. The nose is a bit of toasted grains and and sweet corn (vegetal). The hops come in on the front and mid mouth with a dry lemon-grass like bitterness. The sweeter malts allow for the rounded, full-body beer to hold it’s own against the aggressive hops.
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Irish Dry Stout • IBU: 30 • ABV: 4.7% • 40+ SRM
Solid black body, two finger off-white/tan foamy head with solid retention and beautiful lacing on the rim. The nose is hits of dry cocao and coffee bitters. The front mouth is smooth, creamy, solid with slight dry cacao bitters, toasted grain notes, slight sweet breads. The mid-back mouth is super solid and ends with a slight dry hit. Excellent take on the dry Irish stout.
|Bouton D’or Dandelion Saison
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Saison / Farmhouse Ale • IBU: 27 • ABV: 6.3% • 5 SRM
Note: Brewed with 67 pounds of fresh-picked dandelions
Cloudy soft yellow draft, thin white head that dropped quickly, minimal lacing on rim. The front nose is spicy funky yeast, slight raw vegetal hits. The front mouth is yeast forward, some bitters and spices (coriander/pepper) on the mid, and a really strong dandelion/flower profile that is different than any beer I’ve had before. You know it’s fresh, you can tell it’s earthy and weed-like. Back and after taste are slightly bitter with floral hops and yeast funk.
|Buckboard Pale Ale
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • English Pale Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 5% • 14 SRM
Mid-copper draft, foamy white head with nice retention, some lacing as we sipped. The nose expresses both toasted grains (bread crust) and slight notes of hop oils. The front to mid mouth feel is medicum-bodied, fully carbonated, sharper dry hop floral, backed with a solid malt body. The mid-back to after-taste has a decent longer hop-oil linger with some bread backing.
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Helles / Bock • IBU: 25 • ABV: 7.1% • 14 SRM
Orangy-copper hue, beautiful solid white foamy head with full retention till the end, and lots of lacing. The nose is a bit sweet, slight yeast, hints of hop flowers. The front is dryer like a Pilsner but sweet with a solid malt (cracker) backing. The mid to back is full bodied, fully-carbonated, slight dry hopped vibe which hides the slightly higher ABV well. Another great example of this German style beer!
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • Irish Red Ale • IBU: 22 • ABV: 5% • 30 SRM
Deep red-hued draft with a bright white shallow foamy head. Nose is sweet, malty, solid with no bitters. The front mouth is full-bodied, lingering sweet malt and roasted grain notes, hops are really secondary, but do show up on the mid-back mouth and after-taste. This is a solid variation on a IRA style, slight dry backing and sweet from front to back, almost like an ESB with less bitterness.
Ploughshare Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 68 • ABV: 7.2% • 20 SRM
Slight darker-orange coppery draft with a two finger head, dropped with nice spidery lacing. The nose has a sharp hop resin bite with dry tropical and citrus notes. The front to mid mouth is solid, mid-carbonation, sweet malts are on the back, supporting the sharper hop bitters. The resin lingers on the back and drys out nicely to a citrus pith.