This year’s 2-day summer beercation took us to western Nebraska to visit three breweries. They included Pals Brewing Company in North Platte, Lost Way Brewery in Holdrege, and Canyon Lakes Brewing Company in Johnson Lake. Don’t tell my wife, but yes there is such a thing as a beercation and you were just on one!
So much to talk about that I am going to break this up into a 3-part series. For the first part, there was no doubt in my mind as to what the title of the blog should be named after visiting Pals Brewing on the Friday after the Fourth of July.
My memories as a child of driving to North Platte were all about camping and fishing. We would fish for catfish in the irrigation canals around the small towns of Maxwell and Brady. Both towns are located close by North Platte. Those memories came back especially when seeing the sign for the Fort McPherson National Cemetery. As a child, it was hard to imagine all of the soldiers that were laid to rest there from the Civil War, World War 1, and World War 2. Many years later, I now truly appreciate what they did for our country.
Just beyond the cemetery was a campsite where we would stay. I remember how friendly the owners were and all the fun things we got to do. There was horseback riding, hay rack rides, swimming, and doing their oldest son’s chores. Now wait a minute … how did he make it seem like a fun thing when we were actually doing his work! The most important thing I remember is that it felt like family and was always hard to say goodbye when we had to leave.
This time heading west I didn’t have my fishing pole with me. I was in search of western Nebraska craft beer and conversation. After a nice drive, we arrived at Pals Brewing Company. The brewery is located in North Platte south of the interstate in a more rural setting that adds to the atmosphere and charm of the brewery.
The taproom has lots of space both indoors and outside to enjoy some craft beer, house crafted pizza, and on this Friday - live music. A great beer menu with plenty to choose from! I will get to that very soon.
A busy afternoon in the taproom and we were seated next to a group of people who seem to be enjoying themselves over a couple of beers. Of course, I had to introduce myself. Come to find out, the folks were from Southern California visiting family in North Platte. Avid craft beer drinkers, they were blown away with all of the good beers at Pals Brewing. It was very fun to talk about what is going on with craft beer in Nebraska as compared to California. Such a fun group!
The staff at Pals Brewing were super friendly and helpful with answering questions on the beers. Casey Sturgill, who is the General Manager at Pals Brewing, stopped by to visit with us.
I told Casey that it was really fun to be visiting the taproom when it was so busy. There were many different groups enjoying a conversation and a pint. Casey said each day it is interesting to see the mix of local people and the folks that are travelling that find their way to the brewery. On this day, he said there were a lot of visitors.
Casey made his way to Nebraska after living in the south in such places as Arkansas and Alabama. After responding to a LinkedIn posting for the General Manager job and getting hired, he moved to North Platte in December of last year. Casey told us that his dream was to someday open a brewery in Alabama. Working at Pals Brewing has been a great experience. He added that one of his favorite things about Pals Brewing is meeting the people that stop in.
Now onto the beers! Summertime and there were 3 stouts available to have in a flight, so I had to choose them!
Irish Stout was nice and dry. So much flavor packed into this 3.7% ABV stout.
Nob’s Billeaagghh IPA has lots of citrus flavor up front. The malt in this IPA provides just a hint of caramel flavor in the middle. The finish has a nice amount of hop bitterness. This IPA is 6.8% ABV and 55 IBUs.
Midnight In the Daylight is a gem of a coffee stout! The aroma from the blend of Kona and Sumatra coffee catches your attention and builds the anticipation of the flavor of this stout. I hate to keep you hanging, but this one deserves a full review of its own in my Featured Coffee Stout section!
Bourbon Bent Imperial Stout is Midnight in the Daylight that is aged in a Four Roses Bourbon Barrel for about 5 months. Lots of bourbon flavor in this 7.9% ABV stout. I love the fact being able to have the same stout non-barrel aged and barrel aged side-by-side. The flavor differences are quite incredible!
Paul, Amy, Mark, and Mendy Oettinger are the owners of Pals Brewing Company. They had a vision to make this a place where friends and family could meet, enjoy a great beer, and have a good time. In the short time that I was there, I met several new people and enjoyed seeing others doing the same!
The sign is so true, “Come as Strangers Leave as Pals”.
Take the time to stop into Pals Brewing Company in North Platte, Nebraska. I guarantee you will have a great time! Now leaving might be a whole different story since it is like saying goodbye to your family.
This is the first part of my three part 2019 Summer Beercation. Please check out the others: