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Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market

Not Rated.
Upstream Brewing Company - Old MarketUpstream Brewing Company - Old Market

77 Ratings
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Active Beers: 49
Beer Ratings: 278
Beer Avg: 3.48
Taps: 12
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

514 S 11th St
Omaha, Nebraska, 68102-2808
United States
phone: (402) 344-0200

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @upstreambrewing

Per Omaha City Ordinance, as of October 1st 2006, this establishment is non-smoking throughout.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Yetiman420
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%

This was the 178th brewpub I've visited in north america (where they brew their own beer on site). Business travel has its advantages.

I sat outside on a cool night and my only trip inside was for the restroom. From what I saw, the place had a cool interior and it looks like they have some sort of rooftop garden. It's in what's probably the coolest section of downtown Omaha which makes it a no brainer if you're in town. Lots of neat shops and restaurants if you want to eat elsewhere although our meals were both very good.

The beer. Well, anyplace that serves a double IPA is fine in my book. In fact, they didn't have a pale or standard IPA which seems a bit weird. I should have asked how much of the double they sell. Seems like a risky beer to have on tap. They also had a nice Belgium sesional and an ESB which were both very good.

The only problem I we had was the hilljacks behind us chain smoking the entire evening. It was outside so not too bad.

Yetiman420, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of slyke
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

I visited Upstream Brewing Company's Old Market location twice during my weekend in Omaha. It is located in an old two story brick building that has been refurbished. A lot of dark wood throughout with a bar and dining area on the ground level and another bar with billiards above.

Friday evening I tried the Peach Wheat Ale seasonal offering, liking it quite a bit, and tried several of the other beers when I split a couple of the samplers with some friends. The Blackstone Stout and 90 Schilling Scotch Ale were particularly enjoyable.

Sunday for lunch I drank the their Capitol Pale Ale on cask - yummy stuff. I ate the grilled chicken sandwich and found it very tasty. Everyone in our group found Upstream great place that we will hit again when in Omaha. Not far off the I-480 through downtown, this place is well worth a stop.

slyke, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.33/5  rDev +8%

Very nice, clean, looking atmosphere. Very large capacity with a spacious bar area and plenty of dining. Luckily it wasn't a very busy time when we arrived. The place is in an old brick building, but looks very classy on the inside. There is also an upstairs but I didn't go up there so I can't speak on it. The waitress was very friendly, and whe asked she knew a fair amount about the differences between the beer styles. Lucky for me they have rotating cask-ales so I tried the only one avaialble- the Capitol Pale Ale. It was excellent. The menu has a wide assortment of appetizers, salads, pastas, pizzas, steaks, specials, and more. Everyone in my party enjoyed the food immensely.

Considering the wide selection of beer, solid eats, good atmosphere, and especially the ales on-cask, I highly recommend this brewpub.

bennetj17, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of swid
3.93/5  rDev -2%

Old Market Brewpub Tour, Part 1:

Stopped in on a Tuesday night while waiting to pick up a friend from the airport. Upstream is a rather large brewpub, spread out over several floors. Even on a random Tuesday evening, the place was nearly full (on the first floor). The brewpub is decorated in a classy and elegant manner. Sadly, the cask ale tap was down while we were there; it took our server a couple of visits to the bar to confirm this. He wasn't terribly knowledgeable about beer either, but other than that, service was friendly and fast. I had the IPA and the Scottish ale; both were very enjoyable.

While the beer at the Upstream is quite good, the food is where the brewpub truly shines. The spinach articoke dip was wonderful. My friends swear by the smoked Gouda soup; I tried a sample of it and I understand why. Finally, I ordered for myself one of their 12" thin-crust pizzas, the Ojo Caliente, which was very tasty. Many of the entreés are fairly expensive, the burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas are only marginally more so than at an Applebee's or an Old Chicago. Portions are large and filling.

If you're in Omaha, do yourself a favor and go to the Upstream. In retrospect, I can't believe it took me this long to get around to eating/drinking there.

swid, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of naderator55
3.53/5  rDev -12%

The Upstream is in the Old Market of Omaha. So parking sucks on the weekends. It is in an old renovated warehouse. I like the decor it is a good combination of upscale but not snobbish. I have visited several times and the beers that I ordered were all fair to good, I never felt that I got screwed out of my money. The crowd I was not a huge fan of, I was visisting at around midnight and they all still had suits and ties, a little bit to yuppy for my liking, but this is in downtown omaha so that's that. Did not try the food so I will not comment on that.

naderator55, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of bditty187
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%

It is time to update my 2002 review, for freshness' sake.

I've been a steady customer at Upstream for years now. The range of beer is very solid and the standards are good drinking beers, IMO. I like the American Wheat, Stout, Scotch, ESB, and DIPA. I get very annoyed with some of the seasonal beers; I don't understand their fruity ale/wheaty drinks as they are redundant and a total waste of tap space. The cask beer rotates and, more times than not, better than the tap version. I was very happy to be able to get a pint on cask in Omaha. The best beer they brew is Ebenezer, a winter seasonal.

The food is very good. I do wish they would offer a couple cheap and easy appetizers to munch on while drinking the beer. That is the biggest flaw with this place, IMO. Some of the menu items are too pricy when I am just looking for something simple to eat, on the other hand, the menu sets up well for dinners. I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too.

The décor is typical, classy brewpub in a downtown setting... it looks A LOT like Court Avenue in Des Moines! The crowd is a good mix of T-shirt & jeans, "business" casual and polo's. It is dark inside with lots of exposed bricks and wood. The first level has a rather large rectangular bar with a few TVs. It is a smoking section. The rest of the first level has restaurant seating, the brewing equipment is exposed. Upstairs is a smaller bar, some outside balcony seating, 8-10 pool tables and more restaurant seating. This place can get very busy so do your best to sit wherever you can or allowed too. There is also patio seating on the main level. The basement is for parties and receptions.

I really like the pizzas ($7-12 for a 12 inch dish). My favorite is the BBQ-Chicken. The pasta dishes are flavorful and not too pricey. I like the jambalaya and fish and chips. The burgers are cheap and simple, sometimes overcooked. The steaks are out of my price range and thus I have never tried one...

The wait staff and bartenders are always friendly. Sometimes they don't know jackshit about the beer and that really pisses me off. I have heard them say the stupidest things to other customers, like "Oktoberfest beers are made with pumpkins." If you are sensitive to beer stupidity, you have been forwarded.

All in all, I like Upstream... I wish the seasonal beers were better but I still keep coming back. The food is good, I like the atmosphere too. Parking is okay, it is downtown so you might have to pay to park.

IMO, Upstream is a "must try" if you visit Omaha's Historic Old Market.

bditty187, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of Oxymoron
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%

Not often do I get to visit Omaha, so I was excited I when my party didn’t mind going to Upstream. Located in downtown, it’s not too difficult to find but you can easily get lost. Also with the one-way signs and the limited parking, it can be a deterrent to go there.

Once in side that old bring building brings out a classy charm. There are two levels, with bars at both. The larger is downstairs but there are pool tables and other games upstairs. Also there is a small patio up front.

Once seated, they had about eight beers on tap including 2 seasonals, which one was cask conditioned. I sampled a few and then ordered their IPA. The selection was good for a late summer day. Although there were a few wheat beers including their seasonal blueberry, the selection offered a good variety for different tastes. I ended up ordering the IPA and the Scottish. Probably there best two from what was available. None of the beer selection seemed to be very big (i.e. Imperials or Double IPA or bigger Belgians). The beers I did sample were all pretty good. Nothing outstanding but definitely better then most.

The food was good. I order the pulled pork sandwich witch was actually an open face sandwich, and was thought it was very good. I lived in the South for a while and it was pretty close to Southern cooking. Others were not as impressed with the food but overall were still happy with what they got. I remember specifically the bread was homemade or at least was very fresh.

The service was not that great. Our waitress was pretty young and not very receptive or helpful. I can help reading other reviews and notice better results. So I guess this will be just a push.

One thing to add is that it was a little pricey for everything. Although the atmosphere and the staff and the location really note a higher end quality, it’s nice to note before you go. Overall I enjoyed my experience and will go again.

Oxymoron, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.53/5  rDev +13%

This is one of my favorite places in Omaha. The atmosphere is great, fairly darkly lit, very clean, not too excessively loud, and pretty much anything else I tend to expect from a decent pub.

The building used to be an old firehouse serving the Old Market district, so it is a huge open warehouse type of building that has been revamped for a more post-modern feel, much like most buildings in the Old Market that have been converted to loft style apts. There is a large bar in the middle of the main floor and plenty of billiards tables upstairs. The house beers vary from average to amazing, and are quite cheap. You can even get a free sampler if you're wary to make a choice. I highly recommend checking out whatever is on cask.

The service has always been awesome whenever I come here. Our waiter brought out some fresh bread with our appetizers, compliments of the house, just because it was some of the best tasting bread he'd had since he started working there and he wanted somebody else to concur. It goes without saying that the wait staff are friendly and courteous. On top of that, they seem to have good knowledge of their house brews, which is a key aspect to any brew pub.

The selection was fairly large compared to most brewpubs I've visited. I didn't have time to sample more than one at the time, but given more time I would have liked to sample them all. I didn't see anything about non-house beers listed on the menu, but surely there are some of those as well for the non-adventurous.

The food is awesome. Surely you must try the Spinach Artichoke dip for an appetizer if you are making the trip to Omaha. Everything I've ever eaten here has been wonderful. Many menu items are made using house beers as well, such as the beer bread. Definitely try the food if you ever come here.

Prices are reasonable as well. I don't remember exact prices, but I believe growlers ran at $9.00 while refills were $7.50. Pints or house beer ran at about $2.50 if I remember correctly.

neonbrown82, May 28, 2005
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev -0.2%

This is a solid restauraunt in the Old Towne section of Omaha. The food is quite good, with the main cuisine being Contemporary American without being too trendy. The menu ranges from gourmet pizzas menu to Omaha Steaks. The jambalaya and pork chops are quite good also. The building is a rennovated old warehouse or manufacturing establishment with lots of old brick and wood. Large areas open to the upstairs, where there are many pool tables. Large bar area. The beer is good, but not extrodinary. Yet this is well worth the trip if you are in the area!

Boto, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of mlomaw
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%

Living in the Old Market, I am able to frequent the Upstream a bit more often than most. I do enjoy the Upstream, but there are some thing of which to be aware.

Firstly, parking is not an issue for me, but for those visiting on a weekend or during a 'peak' time, go ahead and shell out the money to park in a lot rather than circling the Market for an open space.

Secondly, visting the Upstream during a non-peak time is definitely a different experience than coming on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. If you live in Omaha (or are just visiting), try coming during the happy hour (until 6pm) during the week. Pints are only $1.50, the smoke is lessened in the bar, and you will be able to concentrate on the beers rather than the crowds. Wednesday nights after 9pm, the happy hour prices kick in again.

Thirdly, always try the seasonal when visiting and the cask conditioned in the hand crank. These tend to be the beers that are more 'interesting', and obviously will only be around for a short time. Personally, I have had good and bad experiences with the seasonals, but I am always glad I have taken the time to try something new, even if it disappoints.

Now, onto the beers. Let me talk about what I like: the IPA and the Dundee Scotch. Both are good quality beers, the IPA being pleasantly hoppy while the Scotch is malty and full flavored. Both are about 6.5%ABV, so know your limits if you are driving; if you are sans automobile (like me) when visiting, you can afford to imbibe a bit more. The IPA seems to mellow a bit after a few, so I usually start with the Scotch and move into the IPA to offer some counterpoints. Of the seasonals, I thoroughly enjoy the Ebenezer when available; it is superior in every way to the standard Stout the Upstream offers. Unfortunately it is served in 10oz glasses only, and patrons are allowed three glasses at most (house rule). Whether this is due to the small batches or the 9.5%ABV is unknown to me, but I could have a lot more than they allow!

There are usually about nine to ten beers of the different Upstream brews on tap; not the best selection in the world, but passable. I have never tried the bottled selections here, so I cannot speak to their selection other than what is on tap.

The food here is good, I especially like the Tomato and Cheese soups; hearty, tasty, and a good compliment to an evening or afternoon of drinking beer. The entrees can be a bit pricy, but in a pinch, the fish and chips is as good of a value as anything.

Service can range from adequate to good; depending on your server and how busy it gets. During the slower times, I would recommend just sitting at the bar and conversing with one of the bartenders to ensure your glass is in his/her mind. When it becomes crowded, it is often better to get a server to get the bartenders' attention.

If you enjoy billiards, coming on the weekend during the day is a great time to enjoy the 12+ pool tables in the upstairs bar/billiards area. There is a foosball table and dartboard tucked in the back (occasionally inaccesible due to that being the private party area, too) for those not interested in pool, but still wanting diversions. The service upstairs is almost always inferior to the service downstairs as a warning.

One other thing to recommend, if you find a beer that you enjoy here, take some home with you in a growler. 1/2 gallons come out to about the same price as those happy hour pints, and are sent home to you in brown bottles to minimize light damage to your selection.

Rumor is that another microbrewpub will be opening in the Old Market within the next year; I do hope that the competition will spur the Upstream to be an even better experience for those who visit.

mlomaw, Feb 26, 2005
Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market in Omaha, NE
90 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.