New business venture in downtown Ogallala

Pure Nebraska
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:04 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The former Goodall City Library building has been transformed into a memorable gathering spot for tourists and locals thanks to the dedication of a local couple.

Lisa Kraus and Rick Gibson established “Second Chapter Brewing” in 2021. It opened for business in late January of 2023. Kraus says her family has a pre-Prohibition brewing legacy. “My great grandfather worked at a brewery in Hastings,” Kraus said. “It was the Hastings Brewing Company. It went out of business before Prohibition. He became a farmer, and moved out west. That’s where my family’s roots are. I grew up in Ogallala.” Gibson says he is originally from Oregon.

The building this new business is housed in has been around since 1927. “Before it was the Goodall City Library, it was built as an American Legion hall,” Kraus said. “1954 is when it transitioned into a library. From 1954 to 2020, it was the library. But a new library was built, so this building was offered up for anyone who had the best proposed use. We decided to apply, give this a try, and here we are today.”

All of the brews are produced in-house at Second Chapter Brewing. “Aside from the brew, we don’t have a kitchen on site,” Gibson said. “But we have a food truck on site called Lake Mac Shack. You can order food outside, go get it, and come back in to enjoy food and craft brew at the same time.”

As you might imagine, the couple put in a lot of work to get the building to look the way it does today. “The building had been a library for 70 years, and in the 50′s, a lot of the renovations removed the ornamentation to make it more modern at that time,” Kraus said. “Much of our work was uncovering some of the old features of the building. The books here are decoration only, and the name “Second Chapter” has a couple of other meanings for us besides the nod to the library. The business is a new venture for us. This is the first time we’ve done something like this, so it’s a new chapter in our lives. We also wanted to use repurposed elements here. For example, we have a bar that used to be an old bridge. We have books that used to be in a library, and lots of other things that are being re-used in a new way. And again, there’s that nod to my family’s history of pre-Prohibition brewing.”

It means a great deal to Kraus and Gibson to be a part of a vibrant downtown Ogallala. “We really thought this was a great location for a business like this,” Kraus said. “There’s been a lot of other investments in downtown Ogallala over the last few years. We wanted to build on those, and find ways to connect our community to the interstate traffic and the lake traffic. We wanted to help bring more people downtown, and give them something else to do here.”

Second Chapter Brewing is celebrating its grand opening on March 23rd and 24th of 2023. The business is also on the Nebraska Tourism Passport Program in 2023, so that is another reason for you to check it out!