I went on my first agritourism progressive meal today. Let me just say, I’m now a big fan.

Ann and I are attending the Plains Safaris: A conference on tourism and conservation in the Great Plains in Kearney, Nebraska, this week.  When I saw that one of the pre-conference field trip options was an agritourism progressive meal involving two Nebraska breweries and a winery, I knew I’d found my happy place.

The “Agritourism Progressive Meal” tour set off from the Younes Conference Center in Kearney at 8:30 a.m., and we had some ground to cover. Folks who have visited Nebraska know that while there are tons of things to do, like THESE for instance, in this wonderful state, they may not be that close together geographically. Our first stop was the Kinkaider Brewery in Broken Bow, some 65 miles north.

We admired all of the unique beer bottle labels at Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska.

We admired all of the unique beer bottle labels at Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska.

We passed the time on the bus introducing ourselves to other field trip attendees, and arrived at our first stop just in time to take part in a time-honored western Nebraska tradition after a road trip to the next town over, the mad dash to the restroom because of your morning coffee.

After that emergency was addressed, we toured Kinkaider Brewing Co. Founded by four Nebraskans whose families have been in the area for generations. They have truly incorporated the pioneer spirit into their business.

Three of the four owners of Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska

Three of the four owners of Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska

During the tour we learned about how these friends have grown their business from the ground up, turning a hobby into a successful business that has its beer in 320 tap handles all across Nebraska. 

We tried several beers at Kinkaider Brewing in Broken Bow, Nebraska, including this Champion, paired with colossal shrimp with a jalapeño mango chutney.

We tried several beers at Kinkaider Brewing in Broken Bow, Nebraska, including this Champion, paired with colossal shrimp with a jalapeño mango chutney.

I really liked this tour because we learned a little about the brewery, then had an appetizer paired by the brewery’s new chef, Robert, with one of the unique beers they make. Then we’d do a little more tour, followed by another round of appetizers and a little more well-crafted beer.

We spent 90 wonderful minutes at Kinkaider, and by the end of our time there had a solid grasp on their operation and had sampled four different appetizer beer combos.

Food and beer pairing at Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska.

Food and beer pairing at Kinkaider Brewing Co. in Broken Bow, Nebraska.

We hopped back on the bus, and drove about 60 minutes through the rolling Nebraska Sandhills, with one quick stop for a few photos of the beautiful hills.

The view from the middle of the highway in the Nebraska Sandhills.

The view from the middle of the highway in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Our next destination was Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington. Of course, on arrival, we again took part in the western Nebraska bathroom dash because of all the delicious late morning beer in Broken Bow.

Mac's Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska.

Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska.

A Nebraska leader in sustainable wine production, Mac’s Creek Winery strives to work with nature in creating their wines. They grow grape varietals that work in Nebraska which helps them reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticide needed for their vines. As a result, they don’t have a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon, but they do have wines made from Frontenac and LaCrosse grapes to name a few.

Crabby Abbey Hard Cider at Mac's Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska

Crabby Abbey Hard Cider at Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska

Arriving at Mac’s Creek, we first sipped a glass of hard cider, then sampled two whites while munching on cheese and crackers as we listed to the winemaker discuss the wine production process. From there, we sat down for a delicious lunch of chicken lasagna, bread and salad, paired with a larger glass of another wine of our choice.

The chicken lasagna was paired with Mac's Lantern dry Rose at Mac's Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska.

The chicken lasagna was paired with Mac’s Lantern dry Rose at Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska.

Ann and I both chose the Mac’s Lantern dry Rose, though many others went for the Buzzard’s Roost Blush, a semi-sweet blush wine. An amazing dessert of chocolate truffles and white chocolate mousse were served after, paired with a sweet white, a dry red, and a fortified wine.

Mac's Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska

Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington, Nebraska, served our final wines with a vanilla and white chocolate mouse and truffles.

From Lexington, we hopped back on the bus and headed back east toward Kearney along the Lincoln Highway. There we wound up at our final stop for the day, the Thunderhead Brewery. Owner and brewer Trevor Schaben rolled out the red carpet for our group and offered more than a half dozen beer options for sampling as well as stone oven pizza and breadsticks.

Pizza at Thunderhead Brewing in Kearney, Nebraska.

Pizza at Thunderhead Brewing in Kearney, Nebraska.

All of their dough is made in-house. As Trevor points out, all their beer is homemade, so why wouldn’t the food be homemade, as well?

Trevor Schaben at Thunderhead Brewery in Kearney, Nebraska.

Trevor Schaben at Thunderhead Brewing in Kearney, Nebraska.

Even though we were pretty full by this point, we decided we had to try these offerings. Not for ourselves, but for you, our readers. Let me just say that everything was absolutely delicious. I will definitely want to go back to Thunderhead Brewery the next time I’m in Kearney.

Beer at Thunderhead Brewing in Kearney, Nebraska.

Beer at Thunderhead Brewing in Kearney, Nebraska.

After three stops, four appetizer courses, lunch, dessert, breadsticks, and pizza, not to mention incredible beverages, we were more than satisfied. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m a big fan of agritourism and am thankful I live in a state where there’s plenty of it. Come see us sometime.


This field trip experience was provided to us at a reduced rate. As always, the opinions expressed in this article are our own.

  • This is our Airbnb, Postcard Place. It's located right in Pawhuska, just a two and a half minute drive from the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. It even has its own Instagram account, @postcardplce. ⁣
⁣
Postcard Place can accommodate up to six people. With comfy bedding (including clean duvets for each new guest), USB ports by every bed, make-up remover wipes, comfy blankets for tv viewing, complimentary coffee/tea, creamer, full kitchen, soap, shampoo, hand lotion, and even a luggage scale, we've tried to think of everything you might want when spending a night away from home. Of course, we also provide stamped Pawhuska postcards so you can send greetings to those who couldn't come along on the trip.⁣
⁣
Find Postcard Place on Airbnb and book it for your next trip to Pawhuska and come @visittheosage.
  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
⁣
Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
⁣
This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
⁣
For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
⁣
Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
⁣
Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
⁣
We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
⁣
Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
⁣
The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska