Since we started our Proudly Not Made By Robots feature back in April of 2018, we’ve covered the good people that make SBC go, along with partners that supply us with high-quality ingredients to make delicious beer.

Today we’re switching gears and focusing on one of our best customers in the business: Moran’s Liquor Works of Lincoln, Nebraska. Not only are Travis and Eric Bahm the owners at Moran’s, but they’re also our friends. We’ve had a few adventures with them since meeting them back in 2015, including sharing a shifty Lyft one night in Omaha, brewed and tapped a collaboration beer together, and co-hosted a handful of events together.

Their bottle shop carries one of the most diverse selections of fermentables in the state, as they bring in both rare and exciting beers from around the world, along with being steadfast supporters of Nebraska craft brewers.

They have keen industry knowledge among both ownership and employees. And their tiny taproom is one of our favorite in the state; you’re bound to find a long-lost friend there or meet a new one if you stop in on a random day as we have. The beer and cider selection on draught is always fresh, and frequently rotated to feature the best in both local and national brewers. In short, there’s a reason we’re featuring them first: we’re big fans of what they have been doing for a long while.

Let’s get to know the Bahm boys.

Where did you grow up? Lincoln, Nebraska.

How old is your business? Eric: We will have owned it for 13 years this fall, although it was opened as a liquor store in July of 1969 and has been open continuously for 50 years now. Travis: The bottle shop is 13 years old and we did an addition of the Growler Shop & Tasting Room 4 years ago.

Why did you get into the industry? Eric: Mostly for the chance to own where we come to work everyday. Choosing the beer industry was easy because it was so familiar to us as we grew up in the industry, both our father and grandfather worked in beer. Plus we liked to drink beer and that makes it easier to sell. Travis: Grew up in grandparents liquor store, in Schuyler NE – and worked for previous owner while going to SCC, had a chance to purchase from previous owner so we went for it!

What is your favorite SBC beer? Non-SBC beer? Eric: This time of year it is Scratchtoberfest. I can’t pick just one overall favorite, I tend to drink hoppy beers, but if you have good people to drink beer with it all taste much better. Travis: Wonder Twins – Favorite and pretty much all of them. Non – anything while enjoying time with family & friends.

Think back to your most memorable brewery experience: where and why? Eric: This is hard as well because there are so many. I would have to say my most memorable was at Rogue’s Taproom in San Francisco while on my honeymoon. It was just my wife, me a British couple on holiday and the bartender. It was a great night of drinking and one of my first drinking better beer. Without this experience the many that followed may not have happened. Travis: I would have to say Lagunitas Skunk Train in Northern CA – the views were unreal in the Red Forest & the party was epic!

What is one of the most exciting trends in the craft beer industry? What is a trend that needs to go away? Eric: I have enjoyed hoppy beers with new bright and fresh flavors without being overly bitter. Although the idea of some that you can’t drink the same thing again and again needs to go away. Travis: All the choices because there is something for everyone. Trend that needs to go away…People worry too much about the beer tasting a certain way and not enjoying the people & fun that it should bring. 

For aspiring brewers, what bit of advice would you give them before they get into the market? Eric: Oh there is so much and each situation is unique but most of all get plenty of rest because you are going to need it. Travis: I would say good luck, keep your head up & find the next white claw.

Travis Bahm, CBO Klimek, & Eric Bahm brewing a collab beer at SBC


If you follow us on social media, or attended Scratchtoberfest, you’ve heard us allude to a big announcement coming up. Today’s the day.

We are pleased to share we’ve reached an agreement with SWT Energy of Lincoln, NE to install a 24.09 kWh solar panel array on the roof of our brewery. The installation will commence this fall and produce up to 80% of our monthly energy needs at the brewery.

You might be asking why we chose to invest in this rather than a larger brewhouse, or additional packaging equipment, or why in the heck we believe in renewable energy at all?

The answer is simple: The economics of it (the installation) are right. The cost to install solar is the lowest it’s ever been, and our company is eligible for several different state and federal programs that help underwrite a portion of the installation cost. Additionally, as our monthly energy costs continue to rise due to production increases, this installation alleviates one of our largest monthly expenditures. Finally, and most importantly: it is the right thing to do for now and future generations.

Solar Array Install at SBC

When we started SBC nearly eight years ago, we dedicated ourselves to be a mission-driven company, seeking to create positive transformation through fermentation in rural Nebraska. Renewal energy is not a partisan argument: capturing the power of the sun makes both economic and ethical sense. If we can serve as an example to other rural businesses that are seeking to keep rising operating costs down, and also being stewards to the environment, even better.

Eric Moyer of SWT using a drone to capture rooftop contours

We are excited about this new development at Scratchtown. Stay tuned for installation progress and news. And if you are an area producer, business owner or even resident, let us know if you’re interested in learning more about using solar power to power your efforts. It’ll get you closer to the sun, and that’s a good thing!

A SWT installation in Lincoln, NE

PNMBR – ZZ’s Bees

Today in our semi-regular series, Proudly Not Made By Robots, we’re talking about honey and bees. To brew all of our honey-based beers, we source hundreds of pounds of honey from just north of us in Burwell, Nebraska. Since 2013, we’ve been doing business with the Zulkoski family at ZZ’s Bees. Their apiary produces the finest Sandhills’ prairie honey in Nebraska.

ZZ’s Bees honey provides us with a high-quality, local ingredient to brew some of our most sought after beers (think I Don’t Get It Honey Blonde Ale). Our business relationship with ZZ’s Bees also helps preserve prairie habitat by developing a business relationship that relies on grassland biodiversity. As SBC grows, so does opportunity with ZZ’s Bees.

So let’s get to know both Jerome and Kris Zulkoski from ZZ’s Bees:

Where did you grow up? Jerome grew up in Burwell and Kris grew up in Grand Forks, ND.

What is your favorite SBC beer? Favorite non-SBC beer? The I Don’t Get It Honey Blonde Ale (of course!). My favorite non-SBC beer is an Open beer.

Think back to your most memorable brewery experience: where and why? Scratchtown would be the best. Years ago, I had the opportunity to tour Coors Brewing in Golden CO. They kinda of run you through like cattle. I really prefer the small local craft brewery. The atmosphere and focus on the customer is top notch at SBC.

What do you do at your apiary? Any particular items of interest we should know about? I joke that there is a lot of picking things up and setting them down in beekeeping. Moving hives, honey, and maintaining the health of the bees is labor intensive, but I enjoy it.

Why did you get into keeping bees? I place the blame on my grandfathers.

Do you have any concerns about the cases of colony collapse of commercial beehives? What are your feelings about this? And how can both rural and urban folk help with pollinator habitat? The loss of colonies is always a concern, we do our best to maintain healthy bees and hope Mother Nature is kind to us. There is a lot that people can do to to help the pollinators. Planting beneficial trees is one way. Most people don’t know that at different times of the year, different species of trees provide nectar and pollen for bees. When planting trees in an urban setting, research different types to see which tree would work in your yard. Sugar maple, little leaf linden, big leaf linden, and honey locust are all examples of bee friendly trees.

What are you most proud of at ZZ’s Bees? People telling us “we love your honey.”