The granddaddy of the Nebraska craft beer scene — Empyrean Brewing Co. —celebrates its 25th anniversary as the state’s oldest craft brewery with three limited anniversary brews, as well as a variety of events across the state.
Conceptualized by two brothers and their best friend over 25 years ago, Empyrean Brewing Co. was originally a subset within the restaurant, Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill.
As demand for beer from Nebraska’s first brew-pub grew, the brewery adopted its own identity as Empyrean Brewing Co. and began distributing beyond state borders.
Head brewer Rich Chapin has been with the company since its inception in 1990. At the time, Chapin was working as a stock broker by day and home-brewing hobbyist by night, when he was recruited to lead the brewing operations at Empyrean.
Since then, he has brewed well over 200 different types of beer. His attention to flavorful, hand crafted-beer allowed the brand grow from a small brew-pub to a packaging, multi-state distribution company. Chapin continues to create several new recipes each year.
And 2016 proves to be no exception with creative new releases like Carpe Brewem Peanut Butter Porter, Carpe Brewem Black and Blueberry Ale and Carpe Brewem Old Fashioned Style Stout.
In addition, he’s created not one, but three special recipes to honor the company’s 25th anniversary. The first two are a barrel aged barleywine and a barrel aged wheatwine. Both have been quietly aging in whiskey and white wine chardonnay barrels for a year, awaiting their debut for the special occasion. High in alcohol and bold in flavor, they will be available in mixed four-packs in March and by the bottle at Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill and FireWorks Restaurant locations. The third is an Anniversary Hazelnut Ale, based on their recipe from 1996 that will be served on draught only at Lazlo’s and FireWorks in commemorative glassware starting on March 7th.
The release of these small batch anniversary beers will coincide with anniversary parties taking place across the state. The largest of which will be on Friday, March 25th at Longwell’s in Lincoln’s Railyard. The public is invited to join brewery staff in this epic 25 tap takeover — meaning 25 different Empyrean ales and lagers will be on draught or cask all at one time. Now that is something to celebrate!