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Thunderhead Brewing Company
Active Beers: 14
Beer Ratings: 137
Beer Avg: 3.79
Taps: 16 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
18 E 21st St
phone: (308) 237-1558
Open Monday through Friday; 11am - 1pm and Sunday at noon but growler sales are not allowed on Sunday per Kearney "blue laws."
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vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$
A shining beacon of light in the middle of nowhere? Maybe, but to those in western and central Nebraska this is craft beer. I think the Cornstalker Dark Wheat is very good, as well as the Tiny Tim which I had a chance to try. The rest of their line up is a little above average, as it would seem the palates of beer drinkers here might not be ready for a challenge of a variant of a DIPA or whatever. This is because the atmosphere there is good but not great which also to be said about the selection. With some little opportunities in the area this is a worthwhile stop, but not worth driving extra hours to visit. On a side note, I was told at another business in town their pizza is very good, although I haven't tried it.
03-15-2013 01:40:01 |
More by MilwaukeeCrusher
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
literally the only show from lincoln to denver as far as brewing goes along the i80 corridor. neat little pizza place in the small downtown area. pool hall upstairs, small bar downstairs with bench tables, relaxed, tons of taps. there were some ten beers from thunderhead on, as well as local and even foreign drafts, and a menu with mostly pizza. the beers were unique for nebraska, some good, some not so good. loved the leatherhead red, the jalapeno ale, and the smoked porter. the honey wheat in cans is also excellent. has a cheese bread, tasted good, average maybe a little better. felt bad, only one guy working the place and it was packed. i swear he was bartending, waiting, bussing, cooking, cleaning, it was a nightmare for him. nis name was shane and he was a great guy, who took the time to talk to me about the nebraska brewing scene, his beer interests, and advised us well about the town. i cant say anough about the guy, who was working so damn hard and was obviously stressed, but still recognized that we were beer people and took the time. great great man. overall a place i will surely stop in again just because of its location in the heart of the state in relative isolation, but it was a great stop. quality beers in what i had previously considered to be a beer wasteland.
01-02-2013 23:39:29 |
More by StonedTrippin
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped there on the way home from Omaha. Not a fancy place at all, but comfortable. Although the menu is fairly limited the food was good - really enjoyed the thin crust pizza.They had several of their beers on tap as well as a few guest taps. The wheat beers - Golden Frau and Cornstalker Dark were much better than I anticipated as I'm not a wheat beer fan. We picked up a six pack of each to take home. I especially liked the Cornstalker Dark Wheat beer. It reminded me of a Brown with a nice dry finish. I would have liked to try a couple more of their beers but still had a few more hours of driving left to do. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We would definitively stop there again.
07-24-2012 23:06:07 |
More by Kittiwakedave
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5 | $$
I got to this place a little late in the evening so it was pretty dead, but that meant the service was decent. The restaurant itself is nothing spectacular, but they do well with what they have to work with. Banners of their four beers hang above a service window. There are lots of local decorations, and a staircase, which I’m now wondering whether or not it leads to more of a bar atmosphere with games, darts, and a real bar.
Their house special calzone was different but excellent. It featured a white sauce with ham I believe. However, the menu is quite limited, but I would definitely drop by here if driving across I-80.
There were only four house beers, and they weren't anything special. The best two were the honey wheat and a smoked amber, which was a bit overdone. And keep in mind that I hate honey wheats, which isn't a compliment for this particular one, more like a WTF to the rest of the beers here.
04-10-2012 18:22:40 |
More by bigkingken
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Unfortunately I went here after eating and was unable to enjoy the full array of their two flites, but the service was friendly and eager to share passionately about the beer. The quality was top notch and fresh tasting. The selection was two flights of 20 beers so who can complain? The value was very reasonable and the beers were absolutely delicious. Everything I asked about was answered with full details promptly and passionately. Awesome artwork and the atmosphere was so comfortable and relaxed. Awesome place and I almost wish I lived nearby.
08-13-2011 03:19:41 |
More by JayS2629
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This is consistently a great place to go.
Outside, Thunderhead's location screams "welcoming, small town brewpub" surrounded by old brick buildings with old brick roads. The evening this review is being written about (Friday night) parking was sparse, but was still less than two blocks away.
Inside, the atmosphere was warm, medium-loud, and laid back. There a some booths and the bar with very cool original art work for the in-house brews. All the beers available were listed on a chalk board and broken up into Thunderhead brews and guest brews. Overall, the beer selection was fantastic with the home brews having plenty of variety and the guest brews seeming to follow a seasonal theme. Also, there is an upstairs section with a couple pool tables, seating
The beer was fantastic. Starting with a Honey Wheat, moving to a Dark Wheat and finishing with a seasonal "Tiny Tim" not a single sip let me down.
The service wasn't terrible. Sometimes I had to flag down a waitress, but it was busy and once she had my order, service was prompt.
The food, like the beer, was great. Its all cooked in an open fire, stone oven and seems to be made fresh in-house.
Over all, Thunderhead provides a great experience. The prices do seem a little high at first, but for the quality they are very reasonable.
12-10-2010 21:48:40 |
More by clancybs
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4 | $$
Hit this place up on part of our DLD trip. Brick exterior, two levels. Didn't go upstairs. Place was full of normal, non beer geek people (nice). Mostly there for dinner it seemed. Noticed they had their wheat beer I believe in cans. Brick and wood describes 90% of the exterior and interior.
Beer selection was sub par. The standard choices, nothing too adventurous. The ipa was good. Really liked their calzone, that was the best thing. Friendly staff, people, the place was Nebraska through and through. Polite, but unadventurous, tame, and all the beers seemed monolithic for the most part.
Bartender seemed out of the loop though, was talking just general brew culture, DLD, 3F, and some of our other favorite Midwest breweries, and the dude didn't know what we were talking about. But he was nice.
So it's nothing to go out of your way for, but if the time is right, its all about location, and this place is right off I-80, so if you need a bite to eat, might as well enjoy a beer or two as well.
07-03-2010 05:33:07 |
More by Beerandraiderfan
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
This is the best kept secret in Kearney!
Brian helped me out making some stellar choices in beer while navigating around the sold out offerings. Nothing new to me & to be expected at craft breweries.
The only down side of the bar top is there is a video game machine mounted to the bar top in the extreme right patron space. It is a problem if you order lunch with a crowded bar. It is very imposing, yet I expect a money maker for the management at certain times of the week.
The pizza I ordered was cooked as I specified. A thin cracker crust, well done with a savory, spicy tomato sauce. A very tasty meal with a good stout to wash it down with satisfied my hunger and thirst.
It is in a historic building with rough brick street in front. But it is well worth the stop.
I like their logo & motto very much! It has nothing to do with the taste of the beer, but it is extremely clever!
Be aware, they will only fill or refill growlers with their own labeling. The will not refill a generic growler. If you are traveling, you may run out of space to haul all that glassware. I wish they would change this. I don't know if this is by company policy or state regulation.
06-24-2010 20:01:43 |
More by RLaurel
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
Stopped in for a dinner on a Tuesday night while in nearby Grand Island. It's strange that a small, remote town like Kearny has two brewpubs although Platte has suspended the sale of their beer because of legal reasons.
Thunderhead is located in a historic building in a/the historic part of town. I sat at the bar and the main room is not all that big. There was an upstairs with a game room where quite a few younger, college-age kids were coming down to get the $1.50 special "rum punch" drink they had on tap.
I got the sampler and made the mistake of not keeping beer notes. They had coors lite and leinenkugels sunset wheat on draft and their house apricot or peach wheat could do much better if they "forced" people to that.
The bar tended warmed up to me and we talked beer and brewing. He poured me a couple of other samples on the house including a seasonal holiday mead that was on draft.
The fermenting tanks are pretty much in the bar area just around the corner.
I got the grilled wings which were underdone and not very spicy.
Overall a very nice stop if you happen to be in this part of the country.
04-16-2010 02:03:56 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$
I visited here on my way through NE to IL. It was 3:00 on Tuesday, so not much was happening. I was one of perhaps 10 patrons. Aside from myself, everyone there seemed to be regulars. The bartender was certainly nice enough, but I definitely got an odd outsider vibe. Perhaps if I had been there when things were busy, my feelings would have been different.
Thunderhead is in an old store front in Kearney. The space is small and features the exposed brickwork seen in many brewpubs. There are perhaps a half dozen seats at the bar. The rest of the seating is made up of padded booths. Upstairs there are pool tables, but I didn't go check them out. The brewing equipment is in a room right behind the bar.
When I was there, four Thunderhead beers were on-tap. The remaining 10 or so taps were made up of guest beers. The Mild I had was pretty good.
Food is mostly pizza and calzones, plus some sandwiches. I had the Thunder Spud baked potato. It was a potato coated in cheese, chicken and bacon. The bacon was super salty and the chicken dry. If I return here, it definitely won't be for the food.
I'm now looking at my scores and realize that the final grade won't be that good. Thunderhead does seem to make good beer, but everything else is lacking. It is; however, one of the few craft beer bastions along I-80. That in and of itself should count for something.
07-15-2009 05:17:16 |
More by Rayek
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Thunderhead Brewing Company in Kearney, NE