Nightlife review: Good beer and even better atmosphere at Plougshare

By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald correspondent

Published in the Omaha World-Herald, Nov. 3, 2016

ploughshare

Ploughshare Brewing Co.

Where: 1630 P St., Lincoln

When: 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Info: ploughsharebrewing.com or 402-742-0420

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At one point in my life, I enjoyed the kind of bars all early 20-somethings seem to enjoy.

You know the sort of bar I’m talking about here — ones with music so loud it hurts your ears and crowds so large people are always bumping into you.

OK, I’m lying. I never liked those bars.

I’ve always liked bars that are quieter, roomier and have comfy seats.

Ploughshare Brewing Company in Lincoln is that kind of bar, or taproom, in this case.

The brewery, at 1630 P St., is about a mile from Memorial Stadium. You can kick off your game days right by visiting for some pre-game beers this football season. Just don’t visit during the game. Ploughshare isn’t a sports bar.

The brewery doesn’t have televisions for a reason. They want you to focus on your drinking companions, and of course, the reason you’re there — the beer.

Ploughshare makes seven year-round brews and four seasonal beers that it updates each quarter. It also offers a cask of specialty beer each week. These brews usually feature unique spices or hops. Occasionally, Ploughshare also offers hand-bottled beers from its Boiler Room series.

Its taproom also serves up wine, gluten-free beer and some nonalcoholic options like coffee and specialty sodas.

Food-wise, Ploughshare offers a seasonal menu of snacks, sandwiches, soups, meat and cheese platters, and brats, most of which are German-inspired.

You should get a soft pretzel. They’re made in house. They’re less than $3. And they’re delicious.

But let’s get back to the beer.

I tried Ploughshare’s Sickle Moon, Schoolmaster Session IPA and Tailgate Red at my last visit.

Of those three, the Tailgate Red was my favorite. This brew is billed by Ploughshare as malty — and it delivers. At 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), the Tailgate Red is very drinkable and is a good gateway craft beer for people who are fond of classic domestics like Budweiser.

The Schoolmaster Session IPA is 4.9 percent ABV, making it an easy-drinking IPA. Ploughshare describes this beer as piney, and it certainly is. This is a unique flavor that may not be everyone’s cup of tea — or, you know, pint of beer.

Ploughshare’s Sickle Moon Weizenbock is a strong wheat beer that the brewery described as having hints of gingerbread. This flavor wasn’t as pronounced as the malty or piney undertones advertised for the other beers. At 8.5 percent ABV, this is a heartier brew. Of the three, it was my least favorite.

To be honest though, I’m not as big a fan of Ploughshare’s beer as I am of the atmosphere.

Ploughshare is in an old garage. It feels like you’re inside an old barn.

That doesn’t sound very impressive until you find out the wood is from a 19th century barn in south Lincoln. They took it down piece by piece and then reassembled it in its current location.

But Ploughshare’s barn décor isn’t just historically significant; it just plain looks cool, too. Also, it’s surprisingly cozy.

Ploughshare is all rustic charm. They play up the warm wooden walls by decorating the place with vintage flour sacks, aged wooden barrels and old-school farm equipment.

If that’s all sounding a little too rustic for you, don’t worry. Ploughshare still has all the comforts of a modern-day hangout — spacious, leather booths; plenty of tables; and lots of cushy chairs.

It’s the sort of bar designed to make you want to settle in and stay awhile.

That’s just the kind I like.