Special event features a special beverage
ATKINSON — The first ZIP code beer in Nebraska will make its debut during a special fundraising event at Brush Creek Brewing Co. here this weekend.
The Atkinson Harvest Festival will be from 12:30-3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. The event will include a hometown barbecue, live music, yard games and the debut of the 68713 beer.
The ingredients for the beer were donated by local business owners, farmers and high school students including Rodney Keim, Jessie Poessnecker, Mike Fredrick, Steve Brewster and Jaegher and Channing Ogden.
All the proceeds from sales of the ZIP code beer will be donated to the Atkinson Community Foundation Fund as it strives to reach its $300,000 unrestricted endowment campaign goal by the end of the year.
“It’s going to be fun and it’s going to be a historic event. To me, this is really cool and fun. This isn’t about Brush Creek Brewing Co. it is about featuring Atkinson. Atkinson made this happen. I love this community. I like being a part of it. I am proud that this is where we are located and to be able to showcase something where people came together to help raise money to grow the endowment fund,” Keim said.
Creating the ZIP code beer has been a dream of Keim’s for a long time and just recently it was able to come to life by pure circumstance.
“The idea started to develop with Jessie. He said he really wanted to start planting barley. He asked me about it. I told him I really had no idea what that all takes. I suggested he go talk to Brian Podwinski at Nebraska Malt in Lincoln. The next thing I knew Jessie had barley in the ground and it was being contracted to Brian,” Keim said.
Once Keim knew he could get the barley Poessnecker had grown, that’s when he realized he could pull off the 68713 beer.
Keim added that he is hosting the event because he wanted to leverage his business in such a way that it could help contribute to the endowment fund.
“To me it just makes sense to have a recurring pot of money that is always available to us for the rest of Atkinson’s existence. That just makes sense. When you go out and fundraise for a park, picnic bench, you name it, that feels good. You achieve your goal. But as soon as you’ve done it the high wears off because now you have something to maintain and it is still going to take more money. So you still have to raise money for it. It isn’t just a one time thing,” he said. “Whereas the endowment rolls over and it’s always money available to the community and future generations. I don’t know why I latched onto it so fast. It makes perfect sense in my mind.”