Charles Yin, owner of the Local Beer, Patio, and Kitchen in Omaha, Lincoln, and Gretna, had a vision to promote Nebraska craft beer by having up to 50 tap handles serving Nebraska craft beer in his establishments. The growth of craft beer in Nebraska has been on a significant upward path, especially over the last five years. This plays well into having a local theme bar and restaurant.
When Yin was building out his vision, there were some longer standing breweries, such as Nebraska Brewing Company and Upstream Brewing Company. These breweries have been the catalyst for growth by developing great brewing talent that has moved on to owning their own breweries. I have always been fascinated with creating a family tree of sorts for the breweries. I think it would be interesting due to the phenomenal mentorship!
A couple of years ago, Yin decided to venture into the brewing business himself by launching 5168 Brewing out of Lincoln. The thought was to create a few beers for the Local Beer, Patio, and Kitchen bars along with his Hiro 88 restaurants—a nice way to further engage in the Nebraska craft beer community. Longtime home brewer in Lincoln, Brian Hoesing, became the head brewer. Hoesing not only had some amazing recipes but also a great connection to the brewing community.
While beers such as the Tropic Thunder IPA and Hawaiian Porter have been popular with local craft beer patrons, there was always confusion about the brewery’s name. Was it pronounced “Fifty-One Sixty-Eight” or “Fifty-Six Eighteen?” The numbers 5168 stood for “Smooth Road to Good Fortune,” which was significant but often forgotten.
A little over a year ago, when updating some promotional items, it became clear to Yin that a rebrand was the best course of action. While working with the design firm Grain & Mortar, there was the “ah-ha” moment of realizing what the mission was. Yin said it was all about being a catalyst to assist in the growth of the Nebraska craft beer community.
A name that aligned to a greater purpose is exactly what was needed! Now all the planning of a rebrand had to take place. This is no small undertaking. Beyond creating a new logo, the brand had to resonate with people. Tap handles and labels needed to stand out and catch your attention. It was important that the design firm come up with some great ideas, and oh, did they!
The soft launch took place during the Ultimate Beerfest on February 22, 2020, at the Ralston arena. There was a lot of buzz about the new logo. The crowd was looking forward to when they would be able to get Catalyst Brewing wares!
All the planning and work came to fruition on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Catalyst Brewing launched, and it will be great to see all the creative things they will be bringing to market. I know I look forward to having its brews in the new glass!