Take a journey with us, one sip at a time.

Everything we are today started with one simple goal in 1990: to provide Lincoln with the best food and beer in Nebraska. The original Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket started with delicious, uncompromising food. Shortly after, it quickly evolved into a brewery dedicated to meticulously crafting unforgettable microbrews that beer enthusiasts and novices alike enjoyed savoring. Thus, Empyrean Brewing Co.® was born.

Ancient civilizations believed paradise existed at the highest point in the universe, within a fiery sphere they called “The Empyrean.” Inspired by this sentiment, we set out to infuse every batch of our handcrafted ales with our unique notion of paradise—take a journey with us, one sip at a time. Together, we Pursue The Brew®.

Timeline years - history page_the 1990s

Order Up!

  • Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill is founded. Rich Chapin is chosen as Head Brewer and begins converting his award-winning home-brew recipes for the pub.



The Keg is Tapped

  • With the grand opening of Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill at 710 P St. on March 20, 1991, Lazlo’s is the first Nebraska brewpub. Approximately 500 barrels (15,500 gallons) of Lazlo’s beer are sold.

Groundbreaking flavor

  • Construction begins on a new fermentation cellar in the adjacent Coffee & Spice Building at 729 Q St.


  • Empyrean Brewing Co.® becomes a separate financial entity from Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill. K & Z Distributing of Lincoln, and Miller Brands of Omaha begin distributing Empyrean beer.

Sudsy Success

  • The brewery’s capacity is increased to 2,500 barrels (77,500 gallons) a year. Empyrean has 70 draft accounts in Omaha and Lincoln, and bottling planning begins.



Message in A Bottle

  • Empyrean begins bottling in February becoming the first craft brewery in Nebraska to bottle beer. Third Stone Brown®, LunaSea ESB, and Chaco Canyon Gold® appear on store shelves.
Rich at the Grain Mill
The first beer bottled at Empyrean Brewing Co.
Timeline years - history page_the 1990s

Two is Better Than One

  • Capacity is increased again as Lazlo’s opens a second location in South Lincoln. Planning begins for a new brewhouse to handle the increasing amounts of orders.



A Legend Is Born

  • The new brewhouse begins operation. Empyrean is now the largest brewery in Nebraska. Dark Side Vanilla Porter® is created.

We Get Around

  • Empyrean is the first Nebraska brewery to distribute statewide. Burning Skye Scottish Ale is created. FireWorks Restaurant is opened adjacent to the brewery.

Breaking News

  • Ground is broken in West Omaha for a new Lazlo’s location. Empyrean sets a new sales record of 3,200 barrels (100,000 gallons).

Heavy Medal

  • Sales growth continues at a healthy pace. Luna Sea ESB wins a silver medal in the Extra Special Bitter category at the 2006 World Beer Cup. Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill opens locations in Omaha.



Top Shelf

  • Empyrean partners with additional distributors allowing our craft beers to be sold at liquor stores, convenience stores, and grocery stores in Iowa and North and South Dakota.
Inside the new EBC brew house circa 2000
Timeline years - history page_the 1990s

A Reason for a Season

  • Empyrean adds seasonal selections to their bottling lineup, starting with Super Nova™ Summer Fest.



All Four One, Four for all

  • Empyrean began bottling the Carpe Brewem series, brewed in small batches for limited distribution in 4-packs.

12-Pack of Paradise

  • Empyrean adds a variety 12-pack to its portfolio called Empyrean Universe and now called The Divine Dozen.

A Shortcut to Flavor

  • Old Chicago requested a special brew for a tasting event and head brewer, Rich Chapin, created Long Route Peanut Butter Porter. An instant favorite.

Mindful Move

  • Our most popular Carpe Brewem—Imperial Mango IPA—becomes a year-round offering with a fresh look, new package format, improved recipe (just 6 carbs), and new name: Mind Over Mango IPA®.



New Digs

  • Historic preservation credits are secured and ground is broken for a new state-of-the-art brewery and taproom in the South Haymarket area of Lincoln.
Timeline years - history page_the 1990s

Winner Winner

  • Long Route Peanut Butter Porter wins Untappd’s 9 Highest-Rated American & English Porters.



CAN You Feel It

  • Introduction of cans to beer offerings. Now easier to recycle and more portable than ever.

Welcome to the Windy City

  • Expanded into new markets, including Chicago. Empyrean is now offering beers in 9 states.

New look, New Feel

  • With new cans, new packaging was commenced. Redesigns of all beer labels completed.
and beyond!

Stay Tuned

  • A trailblazing spirit continues to burn as we forge new journeys. Stay in touch to see where we go next.



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