Local Brewery Officially Opens Their Doors

WAYNE – A ribbon cutting was held at 4 p.m. Friday for Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company as community members came out to view the new business in Wayne.

As stated on the business’s website, “Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company is Nebraska’s first benefit corporation brewery and the fifth overall benefit corporation in Nebraska.”

Construction got under this past June and after getting all the legal documents in place, the brewery was able to have a soft opening three weekends ago.

Owner, Greg Ptacek said one of the worries he had was being sold out of a couple of beers before grand opening, but stated they have back-up beers and more coming in the near future.

“We actually have some in the fermenter that are ready to go for after the ones that we have for our opening slate,” said Ptacek. “We’ll have two or three beers that will actually come off probably next week. So, if you come out this weekend, make sure that you try every single beer because you’ll actually have new beers next week.”

The process starts with taking malted barley and crack it open to get access to the sugars. After getting the sugar water, it is transferred to the boil kettle where wild yeast and impurities are removed while adding their own yeast.

“The yeast eats the sugar and then makes alcohol and CO2,” Ptacek added. “So, that is done over in this facility over here. We have our fermenters, we have three, 100-gallon fermenters and that’s where the actual magic happens, where the alcohol is made.

Contact the Johnnie Byrd Brewery at 402-833-1522, via Facebook at Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company or visit their website at www.johnniebyrd.beer.

The brewery will be looking to add a couple more fermenters to expand hours.

“The only reason we’re stuck on three days is that we don’t think we have the production capacity to be able to crank out as many beers as are going out in the facility,” Ptacek mentioned.

It takes about a month from start to finish to release a beer as on Monday and Tuesday batches of beer are created.

Regular hours of operation are Thursday and Friday between 4 – 11 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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