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Sometimes life goes “kaboom,” and it’s actually a good thing. Or a God thing, which is how Gerald Homp describes the start of Bottle Rocket Brewing in Seward.

Homp had been in marketing at Lincoln Benefit Life for 21 years. Then Allstate sold LBL, and Homp and a lot of folks needed to find new careers. He was a big fan of the craft beer scene in Colorado, and he thought, what the heck, must be the right time to take the brewing plunge in his hometown.

“I thought this would just be perfect in Seward, Nebraska, the Fourth of July City,” he said.


In the fall of 2015, Homp, partner Jason Berry and brew master Ryan Koch opened Bottle Rocket Brewing Co. in what used to be a grain cleaning and processing mill.

All of their beers come with patriotic or Seward-related names. The first was WIT Willy, described on their website as “a Belgian White named after the namesake of our great town, William Seward.” Punk Lite Pale Ale and Stout Constitution are also original favorites from 2015.

On July 4, the Bottle Rocket beer garden will be booming, and the blueberry beer will be flowing.

“We always have the Blueberry Bomb, which is a fan favorite,” Homp said. “We brewed enough this year that it will hopefully carry us through the fourth.”

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And root beer floats, too.

“We have our own root beer. That was kind of a big hit last year, and we’ll have it again this year.”

Bottle Rocket is located at 230 South Fifth St., just off the town square in Seward. They have various size spaces for private events. For more information, visit

And for more on Fourth of July activities in Seward, visit


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