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Small central Nebraska town finds success

Shay Reilly pours a Big Joe pilsner at Scratchtown Brewing Company in Ord.

Many of the state's breweries will brew a special beer, called Nebraska Strong Red Ale, to raise funds for flood relief efforts.

Brian Hoesing, head brewer at 5168 Brewing in Lincoln, developed the base recipe for the beer, but said each participating brewery is free to tweak it or use its own local ingredients.

Hoesing said Nebraska brewers wanted to do something similar to Sierra Nevada's Resilience IPA, which followed devastating forest fires. To date, 26 Nebraska brewers are committed to the project.

"I think at some level, the floods have affected us all in some way, and in Nebraska, we come together when our neighbors are in need," Hoesing said in a statement. "Nothing shows this mindset better than craft beer and specifically Nebraska craft beer. While it won't happen overnight, every little bit can help Nebraska rebuild."

Jeff Hanson, the brew master at Green Flash, said the plan is to make a batch Monday, which would make 20 barrels. Those barrels, each of which holds 31 gallons, will be divided among Lincoln's nine breweries and will be served in those taprooms, beginning April 28. All proceeds from the sale of the Nebraska Strong Red Ale will go to the flood relief organization of each brewery's choice.

"All of us see what's happening and it's really hard to see," Hanson said. "What else can we do besides brew beer and send money? It's a pleasure to do something that helps people in need."

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Other versions of the same recipe will be brewed statewide by other members of the Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild. Local and national producers and suppliers have stepped forward to donate ingredients.

The suggested release date for the beer is April 28, but some breweries may release the beer after this date depending on factors in their brewery and taproom.

Participating breweries are Lost Way Brewery, SchillingBridge Brewing, Scratchtown Brewing, Soaring Wings Brewing, Brewery 719, Lazy Horse Brewing, Bolo Beer, Johnnie Byrd Brewing, First Street Brewing, Zipline Brewing, Green Flash Brewhouse, Brush Creek Brewing, Fairfield Opera House Brewery, Kros Strain Brewing, 5168 Brewing, Stone Hollow Brewing, Infusion Brewing, Blue Blood Brewing, Pals Brewing, Boiler Brewing, Brickway Brewery, Scriptown Brewing, Farnam House Brewing, Upstream Brewing, Bottle Rocket Brewing and Code Beer.

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