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Brewers come together in Lincoln to brew flood relief beer
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Brewers come together in Lincoln to brew flood relief beer

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Marcus Powers is from Plainview and his family has land near Verdigre, so he has first-hand knowledge of the severity of last month's flooding.

Given the chance to do something to help, the co-founder of Lincoln's Zipline Brewing Co. was all-in.

Zipline and 25 other breweries in the state have joined forces to brew a special beer, Nebraska Strong Red Ale, to raise funds for flood relief.

Monday, nine of those brewers met at Green Flash Brewhouse and Eatery to brew a double batch of the beer that will be served in their respective establishments.

The beer was the brainchild of Brian Hoesing, the head brewer at 5168 Brewing in Lincoln.

Hoesing was at his other job Monday, but he said in a news release last week that everybody in Nebraska has been affected "at some level" by the floods, which wiped out roads and rail lines, destroyed homes and led to three confirmed deaths in the state.

"(I)n Nebraska, we come together when our neighbors are in need," Hoesing said in the release. "Nothing shows this mindset better than craft beer and specifically Nebraska craft beer.

Powers said Hoesing, who is from O'Neill, sent an email to a few brewers about his idea, and it took off, with the Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild getting involved.

"It just kind of grew into a statewide effort," Powers said.

Hoesing came up with the base recipe for the beer, and breweries will be able to put their own stamp on it by using slightly different ingredients.

Other breweries were brewing the beer Monday, including Scratchtown Brewing in Ord. Others will brew the beer at a later date, and it will be released April 28.

All proceeds from sales of the beer will go to flood relief efforts.

Zipline has done several beer collaborations, with other breweries as well as organizations such as Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, but Powers said this is by far the biggest effort it's been involved in.

It's definitely worth it, he said.

A trout stream runs through the land his family owns, Powers said. That stream, which is normally 8 feet wide, swelled to five times its normal size during the worst of the flooding.

Verdigre, Niobrara and other towns in northeast Nebraska were some of the hardest hit.

"It's hard to believe unless you've seen it," Powers said.

In addition to Zipline, 5168 and Green Flash, the other breweries involved in Monday's effort were Code Beer, Blue Blood Brewing and Boiler Brewing, all of Lincoln; Upstream Brewing and Farnam House Brewing of Omaha; and Kros-Strain Brewing of La Vista.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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