Spilling the Beans …

Certified Cicerone to Sustainable Brewmaster

Ploughshare Brewing

Ploughshare2

Lincoln’s Matt Stinchfield has been brewing beer for more than 18 years. As Nebraska’s first certified cicerone (a designation for those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service), he’s also been judging beer for the last nine. Matt’s beer career is about to come full circle when he opens his own brewery, Ploughshare Brewing Company.

Matt’s beers are carefully constructed. He approaches beer making with the heart and soul of an artist, carefully mixing his palette of hops, herbs and water to create futuristic infusions built on classic European styles. Lincoln’s unique terroir makes the city an excellent place to brew beer, he said.

“Our water is already like Edinburgh’s, Munich’s and the abbeys of Belgium. The mineral content is analogous to those areas. That’s a great place to start,” Matt said.

Ploughshare will brew seven styles in its regular rotation: Robbers Pils (a pre-Prohibition pilsner), Weathervane (a Belgian-style witbier), Tailgate Red (an Irish red ale), Buckboard Bitter (an extra special bitter dry-hopped with English hops), Pecheron (an American-style IPA), Farm Boy (a cream ale) and Smithy (an oatmeal stout). The brewery will also feature several seasonal beers—including Bumper Crop, a 100% organic Belgian-style saison this September.

“We’re trying to make a beer [that] when you close your eyes, if you’ve been to Bavaria or been to Prague, you go, ‘That’s it,’” Matt said.

While some American microbreweries may cut corners for efficiency or savings, Ploughshare focuses on brewing the old-fashioned way. Matt commissioned custom-made brewing equipment from Canada. The new equipment will be capable of processing raw wheat, the traditional method of brewing wheat beer, for Ploughshare’s popular Weathervane. Though the new brewing equipment will take more than eight months to build, Matt is still looking forward to opening the full-scale taproom in April.

Located at 1630 P Street in Lincoln, Ploughshare will feature a small, seasonally driven menu, designed by chef de cuisine Scott Burkle. A former Lincoln Secret Supper chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Hollywood, Scott spent the last 14 years cooking up fresh, California-inspired cuisine. Matt describes Ploughshare’s menu as “rustic hearty,” with nary a fried food in sight, as the kitchen won’t be equipped with a fryer. He hopes to include a rotating menu of modern comfort food, refined with the addition of fresh, locally sourced meat and produce, including lasagna, bratwurst, salads and housemade condiments.

To enhance its rustic atmosphere, Ploughshare’s decor will feature reclaimed barn wood, and there will be no TVs in sight.

Ploughshare plans to open in April. Find out more at PloughshareBrewing.com or on Facebook.

—By Alexis Abel

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