Nightlife review: Grab a flight at White Elm; Lincoln brewery has tasty craft brews to please every palate

By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald Correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, July 27, 2017

BeerFlight

White Elm Brewing Company

Where: 720 Van Dorn St., Lincoln

When: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday

Information: whiteelmbrewing.com or 402-261-6078

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It may not feel like it now, but fall is just around the corner, and as every good Nebraskan knows, with fall comes Husker football.

Soon, Husker fans will be making their trek to Lincoln.

While they’re there, they should check out the capital city’s growing craft beer scene. Omaha has long been a craft beer hub, but Lincoln has been stepping up its game the past few years and it has several craft breweries, too.

White Elm Brewing Company is one of the best.

It’s also only a 10-minute drive from Memorial Stadium, so it’s well worth the trip for Husker fans looking for a craft beer fix before or after the game.

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall near Highway 77 and Highway 2, White Elm Brewing Company may not look like much from the outside. Inside though, it’s spacious and has all the industrial rustic decor you’d expect from your favorite craft brewery: exposed duct work in the ceiling, polished concrete floors and natural wood accents.

There is seating available at stools along the large wooden bar, as well as at smaller group tables.

We snagged a few seats in White Elm’s more lounge-like area that had a large, wooden bench and some comfy, cushioned chairs, as well as a selection of board games nearby. These are probably the best seats in the house if you can get them.

The Saturday night we visited, the place was pretty packed and sometimes it was hard to hear conversations over the noise in the lofty room. Overall though, White Elm is a very comfortable and laid-back place to grab a beer.

I recommend grabbing more than one though. For first-timers especially, I’d recommend a flight of beers. That’s what I did.

I got the Ulmus Americana flight. (Note: “Ulmus Americana” is the scientific name for an American or White Elm tree, in case you were wondering — as I was — why in the world the flight was called “Ulmus Americana.”)

This flight costs $10 and includes five beers: DAAANG! IPA, a guest tap from fellow Lincoln brewery Zipline Brewing Company; Paradigm Shift, a hopped wheat pale ale; a bready Saison; an amber Saison called De La Ferme or “of the farm”; and LNK Common, White Elm’s Lincoln-centric take on a California Common-style lager.

Of these, the LNK Common, with its advertised hints of nuttiness and graham cracker, was probably my favorite.

The other beer that stood out for me was White Elm’s Hibiscus Saison.

Saison beers, occasionally called farmhouse ales, are known for being semi-dry and are often tart and/or fruity. White Elm’s Hibiscus Saison delivered on all counts. The Hibiscus Saison’s dry finish and tart berry flavor would make it a great beer for people who usually order wine instead.

And, since the beer itself is bright red, it is perfect for Husker fans, too. You don’t even have to wait for football season to get it.

Frankly, you shouldn’t wait. Just go to White Elm now. You’ll be glad you did.