One of Mid-Nebraska's most prominent breweries - The Thunderhead Brewing Co. - will come from Kearney's historic downtown to join neighboring Grand Island at the Sept. 12 Craft Brew & Sausage Fest, an event aimed at preserving one of the latter's own historic landmarks in its downtown. Though Thunderhead's pizza-serving pub was opening in 2000 in Kearney's historic downtown, the brewing operation was founded two years earlier by Trevor Schaben, his wife Jenny and his parents Pam and Henry, according to the Kearney Hub. Thunderhead has grown pretty dramatically since then, starting out with the equivalent of a one-barrel brewing system which has since been upgraded to their current system of 30 barrels that necessitated a 2011 relocation of brewing operations to Axtell, NE. Thunderhead also started canning 2006 with their Golden Frau, according to CornNation's Ty Peteranetz. Since then, the brewery has added Cornstalker Dark Wheat, Cropduster IPA, Leatherhead Red, Schaben's Pilsner, and Prairie Peach, among others, to their year-round line-up. Like most of the brewers appearing at the Craft Brew & Sausage Fest, brewing beer started out as a hobby for Schaben. “I wanted to start my own business, and making beer seemed like a viable option,” Schaben told The Hub. “In the Air Force, I had a flying job for a few years. Most of the world had a variety of awesome beer. At the time, Kearney didn’t have a brewery. It was a hole in the market. We basically had to make our own market.” Thunderhead's beers can be found all over Grand Island. Look for their distinctive artwork on their cans in supermarkets, or on tap over at the Chicken Coop, a restaurant in Grand Island's downtown. But if you want to sample them and talk with some of their staff, head over to the Craft Brew & Sausage Fest Saturday - by doing so, you'll be supporting a good cause too!
Thunderhead Brewing Company 18 East 21st Street Kearney, Nebraska (308) 237-1558
Image from 50ShadesofBrew blog: https://50statebrewhaha.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/thunderhead-brewing-company-kearney-nebraska/