Community and creative beers

When traveling across Nebraska, people will find many small communities with unbelievably old buildings that have been kept up over the years. Yet, it is rare to arrive in a town with three restoration events, including a hotel, restaurant, and brewery. Dr. Ben and Dr. Erin Schroeder, veterinarians in Hartington, Nebraska, took pride in ensuring these historic buildings were kept alive. Some may have seen them on their TV show Heartland Docs DVM, which is on NatGeo Wild.

Hartington, located in Cedar County, is where Big Hair Brewhaus opened in June of 2021. The Surge building became an ideal location to house the brewery because it had the space needed for a taproom, event space, and outdoor patio. A young gentleman named Reed Trenhaile, who grew up in Wayne, Nebraska, would return to the area to be the brewery’s head brewer.

Trenhaile had been working at Wooden Legs Brewing Company in Brookings, South Dakota. Learning what it takes to run a commercial brewery, he was ready to take on the challenge and introduce Hartington to craft beer. Trenhaile has taken the brewery from serving three beers to twelve beers in under two years.

One noticeable trait in each beer style that Trenhaile brews is the pride taken to ensure people enjoy the beer. From the malts produced on the Great Plains to using Nebraska-grown hops, Trenhaile has created light favorites like the Fields of Gold Cream Ale to the Mess Around, an Imperial Brown Ale coming in at 10.7% ABV. 

The beer names are influenced by music, including Swheat Emotion and Berry Davis Eyes. These fun and creative names will have guests reminiscing about bands like Aerosmith and artists like Kim Carnes.

Laci Maskell, the general manager, discussed how she enjoys the community support from the regulars who get excited about new beer releases to those who use the event space. She also said having live music on the weekends is special.

Take time to enjoy Nebraska’s small-town pride by visiting Hartington.


For more stories like this, visit Beverages.

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