Empyrean Brewing Company - Long Route
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):20
Serving Temperature:50-55º F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
Malts:Pale 2-Row, Biscuit, Dark Crystal, Roast, Midnight Wheat
Long Route pours a very dark, virtually opaque brown color, topped by a head of medium brown foam. Peanut butter porters and stouts have been quite popular during the last several years, and this take by Empyrean has been a hit since it was first brewed for a special tasing event in 2016. Since then, it’s become part of Empyrean’s year-round lineup and made Untappd’s list of 9 Best American & English Porters of 2021. Brewed with non-allergenic peanut flavor, this porter offers up a profound nuttiness in the aroma right away. Running beneath this high note, look for an array of deeply roasty tones, scorched caramel, coffee, and cocoa powder, along with a wispy hint of vanilla. On the palate, this super smooth porter comes across as quite luxurious, even decadent. Chocolate cookies and peanut butter cups spring to mind, with plenty of roasted character. Empyrean also brews this beer with lactose to bring a bit of balancing sweetness to the darker, roastier notes, culminating in a bit of a milk stout impression. Despite the impactful flavors, this porter remains nicely balanced and easily drinkable on the palate, never feeeling weighted down. For pairing options, the brewery recommends grilled meats, Thai dishes, curries, baked apples and chocolate desserts. Cheers!
The story of Empyrean Brewing Company begins with the founding of Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill in Lincoln, NE in 1990. Accomplished homebrewer Rich Chapin was brought in as Head Brewer to helm the brewing side of the new business. When Lazlo’s opened its doors and served its first beers to the public in March, 1991, it became the state’s first brewpub, going on to produce about 500 barrels in its first year. The brewpub concept proved popular with the locals, and in 1997 the brewery was spun off as its very own enterprise under the name Empyrean – a word tracing its origins to Aristotle’s notion of cosmology and representing the highest part of the heavens. By 1998, production capacity was expanded to 2500 barrels per year, though at this point it was all draft. When they installed a bottling line the next year, Empyrean became the first craft brewery in Nebraska to do so, and it allowed them to begin establishing a retail footprint for the first time.!
In 2000, Lazlo’s expanded by opening a second brewpub location, and the increased demand from the restaurant plus their growing retail business pushed Empyrean to open a newer, larger brewhouse in 2001. By decade’s end, distribution had reached throughout all of Nebraska and into neighboring Iowa and South Dakota.
Today, Empyrean can be found in nine states, including in the Chicagoland area as of 2022. They produce a slate of around ten core year-round beers along with five rotating seasonals and an array of additional limited-run, hop-focused, and barrel-aged brews. In addition to a focus on excellent beer, Empyrean is focused on being good stewards of the planet; they donate 150 tons of spent grain to local farmers each year, use geothermal heating and cooling technology, and their warehouse boasts the largest privately owned solar array in Nebraska. For more info, visit them at empyreanbrewingco.com.
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