The official start of fall is just around the corner, but we all know the important season change has already happened — it’s Husker football season.
Over the next few months, Husker fans will be heading to Memorial Stadium in droves — and while they’re in Lincoln, they’re going to need somewhere to drink.
McKinney’s Irish Pub in Lincoln’s Haymarket is about a 10-minute walk from the stadium, making it a convenient stop before or after the game. Or if you want to settle in for a while, you can catch the game on its many televisions.
As the name implies, McKinney’s is an Irish-themed bar, so it has plenty of popular Irish booze like Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey.
But, I was surprised and impressed by McKinney’s overall selection of beers and their dedication to putting Guinness and Irish whiskeys to work in a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks.
McKinney’s impressive bottled beer list features more than 75 brews. That list includes the usual domestics like Budweiser, Coors, Miller and Michelob, plus a half dozen varieties of Guinness.
Much to the delight of craft beer lovers like myself, McKinney’s has a generous selection of those as well, including several from Nebraska breweries. It has selections from the city breweries such as Brickway, Lucky Bucket, Nebraska Brewing Company, Zipline and Empyrean, as well as some from points farther west such as Broken Bow’s Kinkaider.
McKinney’s also has about a dozen cocktails on its menu. These primarily feature whiskey, but there are several options with rum or vodka.
I visited on a chilly weekend evening and was seated on the patio, so I got one of their warm cocktails — the After 8 Melt. It featured hot chocolate, with Crème de Menthe and Bailey’s Irish Cream, topped with an extremely generous portion of whipped cream. It was $6.
My drinking buddy went the other direction and chose a fruity, tropical drink, the Lovers’ Wreck Martini. It’s one of five martinis on McKinney’s menu. It’s $10 and features Jameson Irish Whiskey, Grand Marnier, dry vermouth and cranberry juice. My drinking buddy liked it, but I’m not a vermouth fan, so it wasn’t my favorite.
On my next visit, I’ll probably check out McKinney’s selection of Guinness combinations instead. Their menu lists about 15 — including the classics such as the Black and Tan and less traditional options like the Vanilla Twist — with Infusion Brewing Company’s Vanilla Bean Blonde and Guinness. Most of these combos cost about $6.
If you want something a little stronger, McKinney’s has a shot menu and almost four dozen Irish whiskeys.
The food menu features typical appetizers like wings and spinach artichoke dip as well as more unique options like Reuben sandwich sliders and Guinness onion dip. They also have salads, sandwiches, paninis, and entrees like mac and cheese and more traditional Irish options like corned beef and cabbage or bangers and mash.
Most of the items on McKinney’s food menu cost less than $10. That, along with McKinney’s fairly affordable drink prices, make the Irish pub a good place to visit on game day — or any day for that matter.