Review: Backswing Brewing Company, Lincoln, NE In early August 2017 I was back in Lincoln NE for a family funeral and I made the effort to check out some of the new breweries in town since my last visit back in 2014. Backswing was the first of four breweries in Lincoln that I found, it is located off the beaten path in SW Lincoln not far from the Homestead Expressway and W. Van Dorn intersection. You’ll find the brewery in an industrial area in the old Blue Blood Brewing production location. As with most start-up breweries, this one was based off of a group of guys that did home-brewing and decided to take the plunge into large scale production beyond their garage.
The location has a large parking lot as you can see, an outdoor fenced patio, small seating area with a few tables and a small bar (21+ only), and all of the production tanks are visible through the windows inside. They don’t offer any food on site, but do have some bar snacks (which all you have to do is ask for) and the occasional food cart outside. Check out their FB or website for dates/times. They do have a couple of large TV’s that they have most sporting events on during the day/evening and it seems like most of the guys in the bar were locals stopping on their way home from work for a beer or a growler/crowler fill.
They do have some swag for sale (hats, sickers, and so on) and one of their hats is now in our collection. During the year they also have live music and other types of events in the production space as it’s quite large and can accomodate it. After speaking with the server a bit about their space and beers, he provided me a lineup of five tasters and was really interested in my thoughts and feedback on them. The server also said that their short term goals for the brewery are to continue working on their recipes and get a foothold on distribution while providing a consistent and quality product before they trying pushing out more styles.
I would say that the overall vibe of the brewery and it’s staff represent what small local breweries/businesses have to offer in regards to being super friendly and accomodating to those that come to enjoy their beers. I think they did a great job on the branding, visual style of the pub, tap handle appeal, and pub atmosphere. I think if they continue to work on their recepies and grow their beer lineup, that they will be around for many years and continue to grow in popularity.
The reviews below go right to left as pictured. Out of the five beers sampled, I ordered the Citra Kölsch as it was the most unique and tasty compared to the others. All of the beers fit closely into their base style, the IPA is a English/British approach which is nice (not super hoppy) and their wheat is a classic summer wit. Overall I’d recommend for those looking for something new beer-wise in Lincoln to check them out at your local bar or stop by the pub and see what new beers they are brewing up.
Backswing Brewing Co. • Witbier • IBU: 15 • ABV: 5.1% • SRM: 5
Appearance: Hazy yellow/golden draft with a minimal head, little lacing and no retention.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is somewhat straw, citrus zest/juice, some spice.
Taste: Dry wheat, lemon zest, slight juice, spice (corriander) is front to back. Mild sugary sweetness from the grains.
Mouthfeel: Light, low-carbonation, some sticky/sweet vibe on the back after swallow.
Overall: Good introduction to what a Wit can be. Standard flavor profile and body let this beer be pretty approachable.
|Backswing Brown Ale
Backswing Brewing Co. • Brown Ale • IBU: 30 • ABV: 6.5% • SRM: 30
Appearance: Opaic/dark brown/black, slight haze, small tan to off-white foamy head, minor lacing and minimal retention.
Smell/Aroma: Roasted nuts and grains, slight coffee vibe.
Taste: Mild wet burned grains and some good effervescense to bounce the flavors around. Low sweetness, some standard hop/dry bitterness from the grains and resins.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and lower carbonation. Flavors linger well past the swallow.
Overall: Plenty of malts and grains help this brown have a great roasted approach without being overbearing on the flavors.
Backswing Brewing Co. • India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 85 • ABV: 8.1% • SRM: 24
Appearance: Reddish/orange slight hazy draft with a off-white small foamy head, some minor spidery lacing, decent retention to the end.
Smell/Aroma: Lighter tropical fruits, earthy, sweet grains, minor hop resins.
Taste: Mild astringent hop notes from earthy/wet leaves, hop cone resins, to floral vibes. Plenty of dried grass and herbal/leafy bitterness on the back. Mild caramel malts show up on the mid to back also to help with the lingering bitters.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, some decent carbonation, mild chew.
Overall: I liked this IPA as a British/English style and not terribly overpowering on the hops with enough caramel malt sweetness to hold it in check.
|Backswing Oatmeal Stout
Backswing Brewing Co. • Stout • IBU: 30 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Dark black opaic draft, tan head with some small frothy lacing and retention to the end.
Smell/Aroma: Low aromatics, hits sweet roasted grains.
Taste: Slight smoked grains, wet wood, dries out towards the back with some cocoa powders and mild hop resins.
Mouthfeel: Wet on the tongue, low carbonation, lighter bodied, sicky on the back a little bit.
Overall: This stout does provide a good amount of burned/roasted grains/cocoa without much coffee showing up which I like. It’s a bit thinner but doesn’t have a huge ABV to hit you over the head with.
|Backswing Citra Kölsch
Backswing Brewing Co. • Kölsch • IBU: 22 • ABV: 5.2% • SRM: 4
Appearance: Light orange/yellow clear draft, minor white frothy head that dropped completely to a sheen, minor small white lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Low aromas, mild lemon citrus and yeast show up.
Taste: This is a crisp and yeasty front with a rounded mid to back. Solid hop presence with tons of citra tropical/citrus notes front to back. Sharp on the end.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied, thin on the tongue, lingers way back (coats the tongue).
Overall: I love this variation on the Kölsch style with the citra hops. It’s really opens up and gives a sharpness after a few sips that is quite nice.