By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, September 7, 2017
Boiler Brewing Company
Where: 129 N. 10th St., Lincoln
Hours: 4 to 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday; noon to midnight, Friday to Saturday; noon to 8 p.m., Sunday
Info: boilerbrewingcompany.com or 402-261-8775
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It’s all well and good if a brewery has a nice atmosphere and offers decent drink prices.
But the only thing that really matters about a brewery is its beer, and Boiler Brewing Company gets the beer right.
Located in the historic Grand Manse building in downtown Lincoln, Boiler is within walking distance of Memorial Stadium. So you have the perfect excuse to visit on game days. But you don’t need an excuse, the beer alone is worth the trip.
The night my drinking buddy and I visited, Boiler had about 15 beers on tap. But these weren’t any ordinary beers. Boiler prides itself on its creativity. Their unique beer options have flavors ranging from rhubarb to root beer float.
The Nitro Root Beer Float is one of my favorites. This root-beer-flavored milk stout is paired with hints of vanilla bean to make a creamy brew that tastes just like its namesake. It’s as delicious as it sounds.
Other winners — and there are a lot of winners — are the Coconut Milk Stout which packs a hearty coconut punch, along with subtle hints of chocolate; and the Raspberry Berliner Weisse which has just the right amount of tart raspberry flavor.
Other standouts include the Double Hawaiian Trifecta, a double stout that delivers on its advertised coffee, coconut and chocolate, and the Holy Wood, which may be the most creative brew on the menu.
The Holy Wood is a barleywine, and, as such, boasts a 12-percent-alcohol-by-volume punch. This hearty brew has notes of wood (derived from the aromatic Palo Santo wood barrels it’s aged in), vanilla, cinnamon and coconut. It’s unlike anything I’ve had before, and I mean that in a good way. This brew may not be for everyone, but if you like it, you’ll grow to love it more and more with each sip.
You can order beer in 4-ounce taster sizes for about $3, in 10-ounce glasses for about $5 or by the pint for between $6 and $9.
I’d recommend getting the smaller sizes and trying a few. Boiler is a comfortable place to stay awhile and sample your way around the beer list.
Located in Grand Manse’s basement, Boiler has all the standard craft brewery décor — exposed ductwork in the ceiling, rustic brick walls and brushed concrete floors. In most breweries and taprooms, this is purely a design choice, but here it feels more natural. This is a former boiler room, after all.
Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t really feel like a boiler room. The taproom has a cozy, laid-back vibe and plenty of seating with tables and chairs, oversized booths, stools along the bar and a cozy lounge area with a couch.
Boiler also has a few televisions, and serves food from local restaurant, Single Barrel, and Toppers pizza. Customers can get an assortment of burgers, sandwiches and appetizers from Single Barrel until 10 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday and on Sundays between 4:30 and close. On Mondays, Boiler customers can get Toppers cheese pizza.
But Boiler isn’t really about the food, even if the food, from Single Barrel especially, is very good.
Boiler Brewing Company is about the beer. And when it comes to the beer — Boiler gets it darn near close to perfect.
Go drink some already.