Nebraska Brewing Company
La Vista, NE
Nebraska’s extensive farmland and rolling hills were first settled as far back as 10,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers who were likely ancestors of today’s Native Americans. Europeans began to write about the region around 1700 and, at that time, the area was occupied in the east by the Otoe, Omaha, Pawnee and Ponca tribes and in the west by the Sioux, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Potawatome people. Indians in the eastern part of Nebraska developed advanced agriculture and hunted buffalo along the plains while their western counterparts were more nomadic and lived in the traditional animal skin-covered teepees. Both the Otoe and the Omaha used similar words to describe the area and, after the names were anglicized, they ultimately gave the state its name. “Nebraska” translates to “flat water”, a reference to the Platte River that flows through the state.
By the time the first Europeans arrived about 40,000 Native Americans were occupying present-day Nebraska. Both the Spanish and French developed early trade routes with the natives but when the two countries went to battle in 1720 the Spanish sent an armed expedition to the area in an attempt to claim the territory. The group was massacred by Pawnee and Otoe Indians (who were loyal to the French) and the region fell under French control as part of their Louisiana Colony. During the Seven Years War (1756-1763), the French ceded the land to Spain which also opened up the possibility of British trade. This caused the Spanish to send yet another expedition into present-day Nebraska in 1795 and they establish the first European settlement near the town of Homer. The Spanish government then traded the Louisiana Colony back to the French in 1800 in return for some land in Tuscany, Italy, and the Louisiana Colony (including all of Nebraska) was sold to the U.S. in 1803, putting the land that now makes up the “Cornhusker State” under American control.
Americans took their time settling in the Louisiana Territory and many of the first white people to traverse Nebraska were explorers, including Lewis and Clark in 1804. Fur companies used the land often, trade routes were developed throughout the region and the first permanent settlement, Bellevue, was founded in 1822. As time went on, westward travelers passed through the territory more frequently as they searched for new places to build homes and ventured towards California’s gold. The Oregon Trail passed directly through the state (following a route very similar to the current placement of Interstate 80) and as more travelers came through, the region continued to grow.
The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act drew boundaries for the Kansas and Nebraska Territories out of the Louisiana Territory. Initially, the Nebraska Territory was huge and included all of the state’s present boundaries but extended north to the U.S.-Canada border and west to include parts of present-day Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. In the midst of the Civil War, the Nebraska Territory was divided into smaller territories and states, and Nebraska’s borders were established when the Idaho and Dakota Territories were redrawn in 1863. Nebraska officially became 37th U.S. state in 1867.
Soon after gaining statehood Nebraska’s population soared. The capital was moved from Omaha to Lancaster and Lancaster was renamed Lincoln in honor of the recently assassinated 16th U.S. President. Blacks migrated to the area from the South along with farmers from the east and homesteaders started hundreds of new towns. Nothing short of an agricultural revolution took place in Nebraska in the late 1800s. When barbed wire, windmills, steel plows and other technologies were mixed with excellent weather and fertile soils, settlers were able to grow abundant food and expand their population even further. And when the transcontinental railroad connected to points east and west, Nebraska suddenly became accessible to the entire country.
Nebraska quickly turned into one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country, causing its population to grow even more. One of the most important pieces of transportation in American history, the First Transcontinental Railroad, actually grew out of Omaha and contributed to the city picking up the nickname “Gate City to the West”. La Vista, a suburb of Omaha, is now home to the Nebraska Brewing Company who celebrates their state’s illustrious history, including Nebraska’s extensive beer-making history, with many different delicious brews like their Nebraskadian Black IPA and their Nebraska Pils.
From the Brewer: Paying homage to some of the great Omaha area breweries that have come before us, our Pilsner can takes creative queues from the packaging of Falstaff, Metz, and others. A crisp, refreshing lager best enjoyed with friends! ABV 5.1%, IBU 30
Kim & Paul Kavulak - Founders