In the small town of Ord, Nebraska, visitors will find the bluest sky, extremely flavorful beer, and some of the nicest people. It is no coincidence that all of this can also be found at the town’s local brewery, Scratchtown Brewing Company.
Back in 2013, the founding couples of Mike and Julie Klimek, Caleb and Christina Pollard, Jade and Michelle Stunkel, and Shay and Emily Reilly had a vision for the community they loved. The goal was to make a positive transformation through fermentation.
Since 2013, Caleb Pollard said the brewery goals have not wavered even during the pandemic. “Staying true to yourself is the only way to run your business,” Pollard said.
Standing strong with their community during the pandemic has been especially important for the owners of Scratchtown. “Being able to help others in our hometown during these trying times has been so fulfilling,” Mike Klimek said.
Scratchtown has become the social center of Ord. During the pandemic, when people were not able to get together, they rallied behind their brewery. Someone started a GoFundMe page as an anonymous ‘beer-it-forward’ fund. A blessing for the brewery was to deliver upwards of 500 crowlers (32 oz cans) of beer to homes in the community, which was just for one week. Caleb Pollard said it was a great way to be social without being together.
The past year has been very trying. Mike Klimek described how hard it was to see good people, such as the folks at Loup Valley Hops, end their business. “It was more important than ever for us as owners in this business to make some key decisions,” Caleb Pollard said. Those decisions would include making the taproom a more significant priority over distributing beer.
Scratchtown covers the spectrum of traditionally handcrafted beers. In the summertime, patrons will find refreshing lighter ales and lagers. In the winter, it is all about the stouts and porters. Scratchtown holds one of the best Oktoberfest events in all of Nebraska called Scratchtoberfest.
From the patio at Scratchtown, there is a lot to take in. Across from the brewery is the Valley County courthouse — a beautiful building with incredible grounds. The people of Ord welcome travelers to conversations, community breakfasts, and even kickball games at the park.
What many are finding out is Scratchtown is genuinely a destination brewery. Visitors are traveling from across the United States and enjoying the incredible experience that can only be found in Nebraska at Sandhill’s finest brewery.