April 2023 - Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club - Lincoln, Nebraska -  Est. 1993
March Meeting at Cosmic Eye Brewing Company!

WHEN: Thursday, April 6, 2023, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Six o’clock for socializing, brief business at 7 o’clock, TBA beer education to follow. 
WHERE: Cosmic Eye, 6800 P St #300, Lincoln, NE, 68505, 531.500.2739

BIG BREW 2023: At the April Meeting, we will be conducting the "Hop Lottery/Draft" for the 2023 Big Brew. We will also have a sign-up sheet for those who would like to stake their claim to at least five gallons of wort from Code Beer Company, our wort source for this year. The price for your five-gallon batch is $15. The national recipe is for a single-hopped pale ale. Think of it as a clean slate to showcase your hop from the lottery/draft. 

Please note: You do not have to participate in the hop lottery/draft in order to participate in this year's Big Brew, but you do if you wish to be eligible to win one of the three gift cards we will be giving away at the club-only competition to be held after the beers are brewed.

So far, these brewers have signed up for the Big Brew: Patrick McCabe, Eric Bronnenkant, Doug Finke, Terry Schwimmer, Kim Theesen, Craig Samek, Brian Cooper, Jason McLaughlin, Scott Levander, Steve Olsen and Adam Thalken. You know who should be on the list: YOU! Sign up at the meeting or contact us soon. (Note: An event page is set up on Facebook for the latest info. For info from the American Homebrewers Association, click here.)

THE CLUB SURVEY: Thank you to all who participated in the club survey. A few highlighted results are featured below in the Trub Zone. The club will be doing another short, ten-question survey about your brewing techniques in the near future. We just wanna know more about your style and what we need to cover at the club meetings and outings. Thanks again for your contribution to this and future inquiries. 

T-SHIRTS: The 30th-anniversary Lincoln Lagers T-shirt is in the works. Details and design will be coming soon. In the meantime, we'll be asking for your shirt size at the meeting and we'll get one reserved for you. What!? Can't make the meeting? Email the shirt size to us ASAP! Every paid-up member gets one shirt as part of their membership. If you should happen to want more than one, just let us know. We'll work out some sort of righteous deal with ya.

HAVE YOU RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP? It's still early. Well, OK, it's April now. Time flies when you're brewing beer. Club dues for 2023 are still only $25 for the calendar year. If you want to renew online, the 2023 link on the website is up and going. You can click here to go straight to the renewal. Thank you!

THE CLUB LIBRARY: The inventory of library books is now underway. We're working on getting the library accessible again for every member. Adam Thalken is putting together a new listing. Soon, we plan to have a page on the website with book titles and authors. Members can check-in and reserve a book. If you have a book you'd like to donate, bring it to the meeting. Huh!? You still have a book of the club's? Bring it to the meeting. 

THIRTY YEARS: The year 2023 will mark the 30th year of the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club. In honor of our milestone, a subcommittee of Kim Theesen, Doug Finke and Steve Olsen is working with Tim Thomssen of Boiler Brewing Co. to do a 30th-anniversary collaboration beer. We're shooting for a tapping and release party in June. More details to come soon.


Top Hops Festival 2023
March 11, 2023: Bottle Rocket Brewing in Seward, Nebraska, hosted the Top Hops Festival, sponsored by the Nebraska Hop Growers Association. The festival included public tastings of commercial and homebrewed beer made exclusively with Nebraska-grown hops. Seventeen beers were entered into the competition in three categories: malt forward, hop forward and specialty. Winners of these categories included Brickway, Bottle Rocket and Thunderhead, with Stone Hollow taking home the people's choice award. Members Adam Thalken and Craig Samek served as judges for the event, rapidly gaining judging experience as 17 beers were judged in about two-and-a-half hours. Several IPAs, lagers, stouts, weissbiers, etc. were represented in this non-BJCP sanctioned competition, although beer was evaluated based on BJCP Style Guidelines. Member Jason Krontz served his Nebraska-hopped German wheat beer. The event was sold out and attended by a diverse group of beer fans. (Craig Samek)
BJCP Study Group Update

BJCP study sessions continue to meet periodically on Tuesday evenings. If interested in joining these sessions, Email Craig Samek at or contact him via Facebook.

Join a few fellow Lincoln Lagers in meeting periodically throughout the spring to go through the BJCP style guidelines and study for the judging exam to be proctored in Lincoln this spring. 

Why? To advance your knowledge of beer styles, ingredients, flavor profiles, brewing techniques, off-flavors and how they originate and be prevented. Passing the exam will allow you to be recognized as a judge for sanctioned competitions and advance your status within the homebrewing community. Even new brewers or beer fans in general will find the class useful in appreciating and learning nuances of beer styles and brewing techniques.

Who? Anyone interested in advancing their beer and knowledge or wanting to take the hobby to the next level by testing their mettle and palate against the BJCP exam.

Where? Craig Samek's home in northeast Lincoln will be the default meeting location, but we will certainly be flexible if others want to host or locate a central meeting location. 

When? TBD based on the schedules of group members. Tuesdays, once or twice per month, seemed feasible to most interested parties. 
We'll be following the BJCP Study Guide outlines, including blind tastings of commercial and homebrew examples of similar styles during each session, discussing flavor profiles, reviewing ingredients and brewing processes, and filling out score sheets as you would for a homebrew competition.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Febr. 28, at Scott Levander's place. Contact Craig Samek at 712.389.4597 or email him at for the details.

The 2023 Nebraska Shootout: Saturday, July 29

Get it on your calendars right now! The Nebraska Shootout will take place on Saturday, July 29, at Code Beer Company. The Lincoln Lagers Homebrew club is hosting and has set the styles/categories, listed below along with their BJCP style reference numbers and links to style details. The specialty category - No-Hop Beers - is linked to a Wikipedia article on gruit ale. Click here to get the latest details. Plan your brew schedule today to include these styles and plan to bring the honor of the "best brew club in Nebraska" back to Lincoln!
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 4 (aka Star Wars Day) at Cosmic Eye!

Some Beer Brewing Odds 'n' Ends 

  • BOTTLE SHARE: On Tuesday, April 18, Patriot Homebrew Supply and Bearded Brewer will host a bottle share gathering to taste some homebrew and exchange feedback. They're asking you to bring 32-36 ounces per style to share and plan to serve 1-to-2-ounce pours. The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bearded Brewer, 18039 R Plaza, Omaha. Click here to register.
    • Do The Brew 2023, Hastings, Nebraska, Saturday, April 29. Click here for more info.
    • Benson Beer Fest, Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, June 3. Click here for more info.
    • Kegs for the Cure 2023 - Tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 23. Confirmation to come.
    • The calendar page from Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild also usually lists several events.
  • NEBRASKA CRAFT BEER AND SELF-DISTRIBUTION: "Nebraska's local breweries could increase self-distribution to 5K barrels per year under new bill." The current limit is 250 barrels, a "number that is still less than surrounding states." Wyoming, for example, is at 30,000 barrels. Check out KETV's link for the whole story. 
  • YEAST CHOICES: LIQUID OR DRY? Dry yeast used to have a bad reputation because not as many strains were available. "Different strains of yeast allow for different levels of customization and flavor possibilities in your finished beer... but increased availability of dry yeast strains over the past several years has largely reduced this problem." Read more about it at Tasting

Mark Beatty • Eric Bronnenkant • Brian Cooper • Zach Fenton • Doug Finke • Terry Fischer • Edward Hines • Dave Hoage • Brian Kaiser • Jacob Kendrick • Jason Krontz • Jason Larson • Scott Levander • Patrick McCabe • Jason McLaughlin • Steve Olsen • Lacy Phillipe • Craig Samek • Terry Schwimmer • Roger Stortenbecker • Adam Thalken • Kim Theesen • Tim Thomssen • Rich Vest • Levi Liter • Brett Walburn

Remember to renew your club membership! New T-shirts in 2023 at the BIG BREW! We need your shirt size!

The Trub Zone - Kim Theesen, Brewsletter Editor

Meetings, More Nebraska Breweries and Your Opinions!

FWIW, I got the club posters to Cosmic Eye to advertise the brewery as our current home. We'll see if we can find some new members who also love Cosmic Eye. (See it below by the calendar!)

NEW BREWERIES: Recently, my wife Anita and I visited two new(ish) breweries to the family of Nebraska craft beer: Second Chapter Brewing in Ogallala and Peg Leg Brewing in North Platte. We were fortunate to meet and chat with the brewers/owners at both establishments: Lisa Kraus of Second Chapter and Peg Leg's Michael Sullivan. Their stories were similar in that they were out in the world for a while and then returned to their hometowns to start a beer business.

Second Chapter just celebrated its grand opening at the end of March. The 10-barrel brewery is housed in the former Goodall City Library and has library-themed beer names. Plus, the flights are served in card-catalog drawers. Clever! Between the two of us, we tasted nine of their brews. I liked their Witty Librarian Belgian wit and oatmeal porter the most.

Peg Leg, just off Interstate 80, is also a ten-barrel brewery. I started with the Lincoln Lager. (Yeah, I know! We should sue them for copyright infringement! Just kidding, Mike...) It's a light lager and was pretty clean and tastes like an American light lager, only this one has some flavor. The Irish red and oatmeal stout were solid efforts and the bock was lighter (ABV 4.8%) than a traditional bock and not as complex. We brought home their Apricot Belgian Blonde, a well-balanced Belgian ale with just enough fruit flavor for my tastes. Oh, we also got a growler of the Mexican chocolate stout, an interesting mix of chocolate, cinnamon and peppers. Mike, the head brewer, sat and drank a beer with us. Friendly staff! We'll stop by here again, for sure!

Notable: Out of all the two dozen-or-so beers in those two breweries, the only mentions of IPA were on the menu at Peg Leg. Second Chapter had zero... zilch... nada. In my humble opinion – personal tastes notwithstanding – it's a bold move to not have an IPA on the menu. Maybe, just maybe, the tides are turning. Yeah, Second Chapter had an American pale ale (The Drunken Sentinel) on tap. I consumed the entire sample, so it's probably not danky, resiny, tropical fruity or cat-boxy enough for you hardcore IPA hopheads. Sorry... not sorry.

THE MEMBER SURVEY: I plan to present the entire results of the survey on Thursday evening and then will post them on Facebook and the club’s website. (Hey! There’s at least one brewer who relies on!) In the meantime, here are a few highlights:
  • As to why you joined the club, nobody admitted that they simply loved to do dishes. (We know you love cleaning stuff.) 
  • About two-thirds of you depend on this very newsletter for your club information. (Thanks.)
  • A majority would welcome an online club directory. (One member wants to be anonymous. Contact me, please.)
  • Concerning club activities, over 90% of our respondents attend the monthly meetings. Big Brew and the holiday party came in second and third, respectively, in popularity. (We all like to brew and party.)
  • Exactly 70% told us they bought at least one beer from our host’s brewery. (Come on, people! You gotta buy at least one Cosmic Eye brew! Please.)
  • Three respondents are interested in presenting a B.E. (brew education) program. (Was it you? Call me!)
  • More than half of you want to look over or bring used gear or ingredients to the monthly meetings. (I'm bringing some stuff for you to review.)
  • Two-thirds of you are current on your club dues. (What's up with you: the other one-third?)

See you Thursday! Cheers!

K!M T.
Random Beer Quote: “A little bit of beer is divine medicine," Paracelsus (1493-1541), Swiss physician and philosopher.
The Local Beer Calendar
6... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing
20... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Social - Backswing Brewing Co

4... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing 
6... Sat... 11 a.m... 2023 Big Brew - Code Beer Co.
18... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Social - White Elm Brewing Co.

2... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing

?... Monthly Social - Boiler Brewing - Details for the 30th Anniversary brew TBA

6... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing

29... Sat... 1 p.m... Nebraska Shootout - Code Brewing Co.
(Disclaimer: Dates and details are subject to change at the last minute. Confirm with the organizers that these are accurate and still happening. Sometimes things are out of our control, you know? Check the website and Facebook when in doubt, OK? Cool. Thanks!)
Copyright © 2023 Lincoln Lagers - Lincoln's Homebrew Club, All rights reserved.

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