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Local business allows owners to return home

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 10:59 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Many people are returning to their hometown areas, and that is true for the owners of Highway 14 Brewing Company in Albion.

We talked with Greg Luettel about his brewery. “Like most brewers, I guess I got started in my garage,” Luettel said. “I was a home brewer. It started as a hobby. I got a biology degree through UNO. We try to use the science part of it, because it does incorporate itself with brewing some of the beer.”

Luettel says he was raised south of Petersburg, and he graduated high school at Boone Central. He and his wife lived in other places and had other professions. But they both decided to return. “Omaha is a great place for expanding breweries,” Luettel said. “My wife and I went to them, and tried them. At the time, craft brew was fairly new, and we started to see breweries popping up in smaller communities. We thought Albion could be a good place for one of these, so we started it.”

The brewery owners say they started out with a one-barrel system. “That is super small, but doing those small batches allowed us to brew a lot of different kinds of beer,” Luettel said. “The first two years we’ve been open, we’ve done more than 60 different kinds of beers. We are getting into the distribution part of things now. We are in central and eastern Nebraska, and we’ve now graduated to a three-barrel system to keep up with the distribution part of it.”

The building where the brewing company is housed has a historic look. “This building was built in 1919,” Luettel said. “When we bought it, it was a flower shop. The brick walls and the tin ceilings are original.” Luettel encourages others to return to their hometowns to pursue their dreams. “I graduated with about 60 classmates, and about 10 of them have returned to put down roots. It’s just been fun,” Luettel said.

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