It’s time for Oktoberfest! Get out your lederhosen and strike up the oompah band. Rick has been brewing Mary's Märzen since his homebrew days and this is a favorite! Named in honor of his German grandmother, Mary's Märzen is rich and elegant, with toasty malts and a beautiful amber color.
This beer will be featured on September 23 at our Oktoberfest celebration, but we COULD NOT WAIT any longer to put it on tap!
Mary's Märzen Style: Märzen Oktoberfest ABV: 5.6% IBU 20 Available in 5 oz and 16 oz pours today!
Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco has ceased production. The national news this week of this oldest, longest-running, American craft brewery closing its doors after 127 years has been devastating for a lot of people in the craft brewing world.
For me, it hits very personally too.
As many of you who have visited our taproom know, Second Chapter Brewing is named in part to honor a new chapter in the Kraus family brewing history. My great grandfather Louis Kraus was the majority owner and head brewer of Hastings Brewing Company in Hastings, Nebraska, until local dry ordinances, and ultimately Prohibition, caused his company to fold.
What you may not have heard yet – we had been saving the details of this story – was that his brother was also a brewer. Joseph and Louis Kraus, along with other members of their family, immigrated from Cham, Bavaria, in the late 1880s.
Growing up, I heard many stories about the demise of Louis’ brewery in Hastings. His misfortune in business was compounded by the loss of his wife to tuberculosis when my grandpa and his siblings were still small children. My dad, aunts, uncles, and grandparents told the stories over rounds of pitch, handfuls of peanuts, and a few beverages. Cherished copies of Hastings Brewing Company’s pre-Prohibition Prairie Pride beer label were passed around the kitchen table. Tales were shared of how difficult it was for Louis to adapt to farming in Perkins County. How strong his German accent was.
Occasionally, it was mentioned as a side note that Great Grandpa’s brother was also a brewer in California. My grandpa would occasionally talk about how his dad had apprenticed with his brother in San Francisco. He remembered his dad’s stories of earthquakes and strikes.
When my husband and I were first working to open Second Chapter Brewing here in Ogallala, my cousins shared some of our family brewing memorabilia that they had found when sorting through my uncle's belongings after he passed.
There were brewers' trade books from 1912 and 1915. Letters regarding the fermentation testing. Postcards. News clippings. Brewer's logs that contained my great-grandfather’s notes in German alongside my grandpa’s childhood penmanship practice and doodles. It was touching to imagine my grandpa as a child passing time at his dad’s workbench, especially since our own small children are often at our sides in the brewery today.
These were some very cool treasures.
I carefully thumbed through the brewer’s trade list to the page listing Nebraska brewers. I found Louis’ name and Hastings Brewing Co. There was also a national list of brewers in alphabetical order. Sure enough, just a few lines away from Louis’ entry there was another (spelled “Krauss” in the book) listed as a brewer in California.
How could it be that in all those years of family storytelling, no one mentioned that our great-great-uncle was actually pretty important in his industry? I apparently missed that detail in my recall.
I was already familiar with the basic story of how a young Fritz Maytag had plucked Anchor from bankruptcy in the 1965s and rebuilt the company with a careful eye to its history, bucking the industry trends toward mass-produced light beers. I already knew how coveted the bottles of Anchor Steam were to my West Coast friends when they could find them.
So, it was a complete surprise to me to find, here on the official Anchor Brewing website, stories of how Joseph Kraus and his associates rescued Anchor time and time again from devastating fires, personal tragedies, Prohibition, and more. It seems that he was a central figure in the company legacy and history that Maytag worked so hard to sustain.
How incredible to suddenly learn that my family story and this national story were intertwined.
I almost immediately texted my family and then pre-ordered copies of The Anchor Brewing Story by David Burkhart. Over the last year, I have enjoyed digging into the stories about Joseph, who is cited by Burkhart as perhaps the only brewer in the nation to have owned and operated the same brewery both before and after Prohibition. From our own family archives, we have dug up family photos of his wedding day in 1891, letters from his estate attorney following his death, and even a letter from Fritz Maytag himself to an aunt, dated 1972.
Discovering this family history gives our work even more meaning. We strive to produce excellent beer based on strong traditions; to share great beer and great stories. We hope that Louis and Joseph would be proud of our efforts here in Western Nebraska at Second Chapter Brewing.
Once again, Anchor is faced with bankruptcy and devastation. I know I am not the only one hoping that somehow, someone, will be able to turn the tide and give Anchor Brewing yet another chapter in its storied history.
Until then, we will raise our glasses to these Bavarian Brothers who contributed so much to the brewing world.
It was a little bit hazy out yesterday, which made it a great day to brew up another batch of our Sci-Fi-PA.
Made with water from an alien spaceship, Cosmic Punch Yeast, and Vista, Comet, and Galaxy Hops.
Is this Hazy IPA a work of science fiction?
Stranger things have happened...
We have a premonition that after one taste of our citrusy, juicy, deliciously refreshing hazy, you'll suspect you've been transported to an alternate dimension. Supernatural forces have combined to make Ogallala's own Hazy IPA scarily delicious.
Make plans to pull off I-80 at the alien spaceship and check out this popular Space-Western, Sci-Fi thriller. It just may be your new favorite genre.
ABV: 6.4% IBU: 40 Available in 15 oz. or 5 oz. pours
In Greek mythology, griffins are creatures with the body and legs of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. They guarded golden treasures in Scythia with their eagle eyes and lion strength.
Since we first uncovered the ornate tin ceiling in this building -- which is original to its 1927 beginnings as an American Legion Hall, long before it was a library -- pairs of griffins have been silently watching over the brewery.
They've seen us brew each batch.
We think that it's the golden-hued color of this Hefeweizen that has caught their eye the most.
Our latest unfiltered wheat beer has a beautiful foamy head and delicious notes of banana and clove.
Come try the Griffins' Nectar. It is a true treasure and the griffins are standing guard. Available in 15 oz. or 5 oz. pours.
Oga-Lager Style: Vienna Lager ABV: 4.9% IBUs: 23 Obviously, this fine lager is named for our hometown, Ogallala. Even before the town was incorporated in 1884, Ogallala was an important dot on the map as Texas cattle drives, Pony Express riders, caravans on the Oregon and Mormon Trails, and the transcontinental railroad all stopped here.
Whether you were born and raised here, zipped into town on I-80, or stumbled off a fishing boat at Lake McConaughy, we’re glad you’re here. We invite you to enjoy a malt-balanced Vienna Lager and sing along to a local tune. It's adapted from one that Lisa knows well from her youthful summers spent in heels and fishnets or tickling the ivories down at Front Street Steakhouse's Crystal Palace Saloon.
“Way out in Oga-Lager Where we can hoot ‘n’ holler Ain’t nobody’s business but our own…”
The Crystal Palace Revue's 60th season opens tonight! Catch all the gunslingers, cowboys, and showgirls action, and then be sure to stop by Second Chapter Brewing to quench your thirst before or after the show.
Fruity esters, and a bouquet of lemon, herbs, and earthy spices make for a complex flavor in this Belgian farm-style ale... depending on which way the wind blows.
Drinking this Farmer's Almanac Saison will not help you forecast the next rainstorm, but it will (almost certainly) make you a compendium of good advice, short stories, and trivia. When you contemplate its light golden hue and high carbonation, you will (likely) recall a wealth of argument enders to share with others.
That's our prediction, anyway.
On tap now for all.
Farmer's Almanac Style: Saison 5.4% ABV 13 IBUs Available in 16 oz. or 5 oz. pours
During its 65+ years of operation, the Goodall City Library employed a number of accomplished librarians. While their literary puns may have gone over our heads, the subtle orange peel notes in this classically-brewed Belgian Witbier are not to be missed.
There's no need to keep your voice down, outwit the librarian and ask for another Witty Librarian.
Top three reasons to visit the taproom today: 1. Nebraska Passport season is here! Come get your stamp! 2. It's Teacher Appreciation Day. 10% off for all teachers. 3. Summer hours have started. We're open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. BONUS: We still have some Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies to pair with our Oatmeal Cookie Porter.