One of Lincoln's premier breweries, Blue Blood Brewing Co., will be on hand at the Sept. 12 Craft Brew & Sausage Fest, adding to a growing list of great brewers providing samples to brew fest ticket holders. Blue Blood is particularly worth noting as a brew fest participant for a few notable reasons. First, the company was founded by in Lincoln NE in 2011 and the founders and initial investor all had ties to law enforcement as either active or retired police officers. Because they are big believers in community and family, there seemed to be no better name for their new venture than Blue Blood Brewing Company. We at the Craft Brew & Sausage Fest also have a passion for our community. The whole purpose of the brew fest is to raise funds to begin the preservation, restoration and enhancement of one of Grand Island's most important historic landmarks - The Liederkranz. This building and premises not only was crucial to Grand Island's formation, but it could also fill a vital role in the redevelopment of the city's Downtown. A re-invigorated Liederkranz could fill many roles crucial to a downtown (a venue, a gather place, a social center, etc.). When we told Blue Blood why we were doing the Brew Fest, they were enthusiastically on board. The second reason we are excited to have Blue Blood at the brew fest is because they brew McKinney's Irish Pub's house beers. McKinney's first location is prominent in the Lincoln Haymarket (another revitalized area), but it's co-owner Nathan Stewart is a Grand Island native and he and his partner are opening another location in Downtown Grand Island in the old Ben’s Rexall Building on southeast corner of Third and Locust streets, where a vibrant outdoor patio is currently taking shape. Stewart too sees the redevelopment of the downtown as worth putting money into, and we're excited to have McKnney's downtown, offering good food and great beers. Blue Blood is also quickly becoming a renowned Nebraska Brewery, and their beers are worth trying. One manifestation of Blue Blood's success is its current news-worthy endeavor to build a 9,000-square-foot building on a 1.5-acre site that contains the historic and so-called "Robber's Cave" that dates back to the mid-1800s and has been sealed up since 2000, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. The cave's prior uses include a reputed Jesse James hide out and Lincoln Brewery's expansion for beer storage. It is the latter that Blue Blood aims to resurrect,planning to once again use the cave to store barrel-aged beer and also plans to open it for tours and special events. Blue Blood is an exciting participant in the Sept. 12 Craft Brew & Sausage Fest. We're glad to have them.
Blue Blood Brewing Co. owner Brian Podwinski plans to move his brewery to the site of Robber's Cave near 10th and High streets and reopen the cave. - ERIC GREGORY/LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR