After passing this sign, I just wanted to jump out of my jeep and start taking photos of the beautiful property, but I had to focus. Yes there is great craft beer waiting just moments away. Bootleg Brewers was many years in the making. Ron Worm back in 1978 had his first craft beer brewing session with his father-in-law Charlie. After one session Ron was hooked and his passion for brewing continued throughout the years as a hobby and a great way to meet people. News traveled and people started showing up at the ranch to get a pint. Ron's wife Dodie enjoyed meeting everyone who stopped by. It was inevitable that the two would someday run their own brewery and that day came in the fall of 2015. The story is incredible and I highly recommend checking out the rest of it on Bootleg Brewers website.
If you can imagine driving mile after mile seeing only the rolling Sandhills of Nebraska and an occasional cow then this sign is a mighty welcomed sight. Bootleg Brewers is a hidden gem located outside of Taylor, Nebraska. I had been planning this trip for 6 months. The excitement was building when we entered the property, so much that I didn't pay close enough attention to the fact there was 3 more miles until I would be able to have my first Bootleg Brewers beer! There are more signs along the way to let you know that you are heading in the right direction.
Where was I ... oh yes we had arrived. The brewery nestled in the hills and trees was a welcomed sight. I parked the jeep and made my way into the taproom. Once up at the bar, I got the chance to talk with Stephanie who is Ron and Dodie's daughter. Stephanie talked about her dad's passion for brewing and mom's love of designing the building. It is a great setup with the bar, kitchen, and a special area upstairs for bands to come play music. Ron and Dodie continue to love meeting new people and keeping the beer flowing! Stephanie manages the daily operations and explained many of challenges to overcome to get the brewery up and running. In order to make this a true destination, Stephanie explained that the cabins needed to be ready at the same time that the brewery opened. Also equally as important was to have a kitchen to serve food so that people could enjoy the brews without having to worry about traveling back to town to get something to eat.
Now to the Bootleg Brewers brews! I started out with a sampler and the first thing I noticed was how smooth and refreshing each of the beers are. I had the Hoppy Homesteader IPA which is a great summer IPA coming in at 63 IBUs. Next the Horned Hereford Red Ale which is a very tasty session amber ale. The Muddy Duck was next up for the tasting. This English Brown Ale is an easy drinking ale with nice chocolate notes. Last but not least is the Naked Orange Stinger. This is my new favorite summer beer!
The Naked Orange Stinger is a crisp, citrusy beer with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. This beer can bring sunshine to you on a cloudy day! I liked the Naked Orange Stinger so much that I brought some home in this cool growler!
What an amazing day! I plan on getting myself a cabin the next time I come out which I hope is this fall. Please check out Bootleg Brewers, it is definitely worth the drive. Thanks again to Stephanie and everyone for the hospitality. Hope to see you soon!