Nightlife Review: Lincoln brewery has good beer, good food and even cave tours

By Ashley Strehle Hartman/World-Herald Correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, November 1, 2018

Blue Blood Brewing Company

Where: 925 Robbers Cave Road, Lincoln

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday (kitchen closes one hour before taproom)

Info: 402-477-2337 or bluebloodbrewing.com

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There are a lot of places to drink on game day in Lincoln — but only one of them has a cave.

Blue Blood Brewing Company, at 925 Robbers Cave Road in Lincoln, is just a quick 10-minute drive from Memorial Stadium, making it a convenient stop come game day.

The location is so convenient, in fact, that Blue Blood isn’t even the first brewery to use it. In 1869, Lincoln’s first brewery, Pioneer Brewing Company, created a massive sandstone cave to house its brews in this very spot.

According to legend, the cave — dubbed Robber’s Cave — once served as a popular hideout for Wild West outlaws. Some claim Jesse James himself once hid out in the cave after a crime spree in Minnesota.

These days, the now-5,000-square-foot cave is more law enforcement than outlaw.

Blue Blood Brewing Co. was founded by three friends from the Lincoln Police Department in 2011. Five years later, they built a 12,000-square-foot brewery and taproom above the notorious Robber’s Cave.

Nowadays, the cave is opened up for public tours a few times a week. Tours are, for the most part, first-come, first-served, and they take about 45 to 60 minutes. (Word to the wise: The tour schedules are affected by Husker football game times, so check in advance if you’re dead set on a tour on game day.)

But you don’t need to check out the cave to enjoy Blue Blood — it has everything you need from a brewpub upstairs.

The day I visited, Blue Blood had almost 20 beers on tap, including year-round beers, limited-release brews and guest taps. I got a flight so I could try a few. I had the Robber’s Cave Series Pineapple Assassin, the Robber’s Cave Series Peach Gose, the Pernicious IPA and the Robber’s Cave Series Smoked Marzen.

Of these four brews, the Pineapple Assassin was my favorite. The American pale ale had a light 5.9 percent ABV and a refreshing, but not overwhelming, kick of pineapple. Plus, I liked its name, so it got more points for that.

I was also a fan of the Robber’s Cave Series Peach Gose. Like the Pineapple Assassin, it had a fairly mellow ABV at 4.6 percent, which made it easy-drinking even with its traditional gose sourness.

In addition to its beers, Blue Blood Brewing also serves a selection of Nebraska wines and spirits from local favorites like James Arthur Vineyards out of Raymond, Nebraska; Palmyra’s Glacial Till Vineyard and Omaha’s Brickway Brewery & Distillery.

Blue Blood also has food — genuinely good food, food so good that I’ve frequently thought of visiting Blue Blood strictly to eat dinner or grab a snack. All of the food is reasonably priced — most of it for less than $10. They have sandwiches, burgers, salads, apps and snacks, and on Sundays they serve brunch.

Blue Blood also hosts a variety of events, like traditional live music nights, or more creative outdoor movie nights — and when there’s nothing special going on, there’s beer and food.

Plus, there’s a cave — in case I haven’t mentioned that.