Loop Brewing Co. -- old railroad ice house now serves craft beer, pizza

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Loop Brewing Co. owners Adam Siegfried, left, and Tyler Sue and Tyler Loop, all of McCook, Nebraska, stand beside the fermenters used to create the pub's popular "Irish Red" beer and other craft beers. The pub opened Nov. 14. It's located at 404 West A, at the south end of West Third Street in a former railroad ice house. (Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)

McCOOK, Nebraska -- There are few combinations more natural than pizza and beer.

It was that thought that brought together Adam Siegfried's pizza and Tyler and Tyler Loop's craft beers -- and ultimately formed the partnership that has become known in McCook, Nebraska, as "Loop Brewing Co."

During the past couple years, Tyler and Tyler Sue Loop have put into motion their dream of offering their craft beers. They could envision a former railroad ice house becoming their "brewing company" pub and were working to make that dream come true.

At the same time, Adam Siegfried, a classmate of Tyler Sue's, wanted to offer diners a new, unique pizza, using recipes that he admits -- with a mischievous grin -- he "stole" from his grandmothers Ethel Siegfried and Joan Barger and "tweaked" to create his own dough and sauce creations.

"Tyler and Tyler originally proposed a limited food menu," Adam said, and the addition of his pizza seemed a perfect fit. "There's nothing better than pizza and beer," he said.

The "Loop Brewing Company" -- a collaboration of Tyler and Tyler Sue's microbrew beers and Adam's one-of-a-kind pizza -- opened near downtown McCook on Monday, Nov. 14, to rave reviews for both the beer and pizza.

The burgers, and the reuben and "The Looper" sandwiches, and the peppadew pepper appetizers aren't slouches either.

"And the buffalo chicken wings -- they're flyin' out the door," Adam said, laughing with Tyler and Tyler Sue at his own accidental play on words.

Tyler and Tyler Sue purchased one of McCook's oldest buildings for their brewery. "We don't have an exact date that it was built," Tyler said, "But it's approximately 100 years old." It started as an ice house for the railroad, and then Gamble and Robinson used it for a produce business. "It's been a warehouse since the mid-1980s," Tyler said.

"We painted the walls and ceiling, and sanded and stained the original hardwood floors," he said. Sarah Craw of McCook painted the mural of an incoming locomotive on the south wall between two large windows that were originally doors through which railroad workers moved ice.

Framed photographs of trains decorate the walls.

Upstairs, within a year or so, the Loops and Siegfried plan to add more seating, and maybe shuffleboards or pool tables.

The exterior retains its original industrial look, enhanced by the Loop Brewing Co. logo and new entrance through double doors on the north.

Everything at Loop Brewing is made from scratch -- the beers and the food items.

Tyler said they will brew a variety of beers ranging from light in color (such as Pale Ale) to dark (like Brown Ale and Stout). "We'll be switching out different flavors on a regular basis," he said.

"The Irish Red is by far our most popular," Tyler said. "And people are starting to realize that a dark beer isn't as bad they they thought it might be."

Don't be mislead by the mega-brewer beer companies that are trying to make and are advertising their own "craft beers," Tyler said. Adam explained, "They're not a true craft beer, because they make too much." By industry definitions, a "craft beer" is a beer made by a brewer that is small, independent, and traditional.

Tyler said, "We just encourage everyone to have an open mind and try something new."

Loop's offers "growlers," half-gallon glass jugs that customers can purchase with the beer of their choice. Refills are at a discounted price.

Like the process with Adam's pizza recipe, Tyler and Tyler Sue's beers have evolved over time. Tyler studied with master brewer Tom Hennessey of Colorado Brew Boy, but the recipes they're offering at Loop's are their own. Tyler explained, "I took Tom's recipe, and I've made it my own."

The drink menu also includes root beer for those who don't want a beer and for the young crowd. "The root beer is crazy popular," Adam said, as are the root beer floats.

The food menu includes:

APPETIZERS -- Cheesy garlic bread, smoked chicken nachos, stuffed jalapenos and bbq chicken wings. And Adam said the "peppadew peppers" stuffed with boursin cheese are an item that many people have told them they've never seen before -- anywhere.

SANDWICHES AND BURGERS -- "The Looper" is turkey, green chile, cheddar and mayo. "The Classic" is a cheeseburger and fries. "The Gridler" is a blend of three cheeses between thick-cut bread. "Chicken Toes" is hand-trimmed, lightly-breaded chicken breast served with fries.

"The Kapri" is named for Tyler and Tyler Sue's four-year-old daughter, and features salami, ham, pepperoni peppers, provolone, fresh basil and mayo. Adam apologized to Tyler and Tyler that, when he named all the sandwiches, he forgot the couple's 2-year-old son, Keaton. He's working on a new sandwich to remedy that, he said.

While the sandwiches and burgers are popular, it's the brick oven pizza that has caught diners' attention. "We went through 34-hundred pounds of flour the first three weeks," Adam said.

The pizza menu offers:

* "Chicken Alfredo": Grilled chicken breast with homemade white sauce and a blend of Italian cheeses.

* "The Happy Italian": Prosciutto ham, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese drizzled with white truffle oil.

* "Boss Hogg": This all-pork pizza includes sausage, salami, bacon and prosciutto ham.

* "Special": Hamburger, sausage, onions, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

* "Veg": Onions, green peppers, mushrooms and fresh basil.

* "Cheese": Mozzarella, provolone, cream cheese and munster.

* "Meat and Veg": Hamburger, pepperoni, onion, green peppers and mushrooms.

* "BBQ Chicken": Smoked chicken, onions and barbecue sauce.

"Build Your Own" offers the classic cheese pizza with a choice of homemade red sauce, alfredo sauce or barbecue sauce.

Other options include vegetables (bruschetta tomatoes, onions, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, basil and/or jalapenos) and meats (hamburger, sausage, salami, pepperoni, prosciutto ham, chicken, bacon and anchovies).

The pizzas come in seven-inch and 15-inch rounds.

Loop Brewing Co. is in the imposing two-story brick building at 404 West A. It's open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., although they may cut back to six days a week after the first of the year. "We need a day to catch up on beer-making and dough-making," Adam said.

The pub's phone number is (308) 345-5198.

The new business employs about 30 full- and part-time workers.

Adam splits his time and attention between the brewery and The Coppermill Steakhouse, which he also owns.

"The Coppermill and the brewing company are completely different," Adam said. "That's what we're going for. We want to give diners another choice."

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  • I visited the Loop Brewing Company, had a good lunch and a good beer. I think this is a great addition to McCook. Nice job! Keep up the good good work.

    -- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 8:33 PM
  • Good for all of you! That's always been one of my favorite buildings and it's been waiting for you all to come along and utilize it. The food sounds wonderful and I can't wait to experience the whole renovation.

    Thank you so much for showing that our old buildings have so much to offer...you just can't build that kind of character!

    -- Posted by ImissMcCook on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 10:11 PM
  • Went there this past weekend and tried the IrishRed and seemed pretty good to me. I'm certain I'll go there again and try their pizza along with another glass of IrishRed.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 6:00 PM
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