Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market
Active Beers: 46
Beer Ratings: 265
Beer Avg: 3.48
Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
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.
09-28-2005 14:46:29 | More by bditty187
3.6/5 rDev -10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Not often do I get to visit Omaha, so I was excited I when my party didnt mind going to Upstream. Located in downtown, its 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, its nice to note before you go. Overall I enjoyed my experience and will go again.
09-23-2005 03:02:18 | More by Oxymoron
4.53/5 rDev +13.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
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.
05-28-2005 00:44:40 | More by neonbrown82
4/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
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!
03-15-2005 21:08:42 | More by Boto
3.63/5 rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4
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.
02-26-2005 16:14:26 | More by mlomaw
4.33/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
This place was fantastic.
I side what I was told to be an old fire house, Upstream Brewing is a top notch brewpub.
I stopped by for lunch. I was greated at the door buy a 'Appropiate Attire Required' sign. After entering, I am under the impression that it is meant for the dinner crowd. All brick inside with modern flair. A few good sized TVs in the bar area
Our server was prompt, curtious, and knowledgeable about the menu and beer.
My wife and I ordered
2 sandwiches $7.75 each
1 soda $1.75
2 pints $3.25 each
1 pint cask ale $3.75
Seems to be inline with most places. The difference here is that our sandwiches where great, and the beer was above average.
Well worth the 3 hour trip from KC.
08-01-2004 00:58:10 | More by tjthresh
4.25/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5
So I finally made the trip to Omaha for a overall facility and network security evaluation. I've been anticipating this trip for quite some time and although my flights to and from Chicago (both there AND back) completely sucked canal water I was happy with the town.
Very simple to find, the restaurant sat in the Old Market Area of downtown Omaha. Ample parking and close to the center of the Market the location is great.
Red bricked with an "old world" style and modern flair, the outside appears nice. Inside is fairly large, subtle lighting makes the atmosphere quaint even though the dining area is large. I chose to sit on the patio right along the street edge.
Erin (my server) greeted me rather quickly and after he recited the specials upon request brought me the beer list. We discussed each of the brews he bought and we described his favorite and what he's come to expect from each style. It's good to have a fellow advocate helping out with selections.
The selection was good even though they weren't offering the nine I was told they had and a brief description of each brew was provided.
I had the Salmon special. Outstanding! I haven't had a better Salmon dish anywhere, and this is Omaha?! The dinner was a little on the pricey side but well worth it. I will definitely visit again the next time I'm there.
06-02-2004 12:37:13 | More by Ahhdball
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Had my inlaws take me here when we got to town. It is a nice building. Really classy. Almost too classy, enough to loose any kind of a homey feel. It is a big place with a glassed in brewery. Lots of servers and lots of people eating and drinking.
Food was good, but pricy. I am poor so got something cheeper - A salmon salad. It wasn't bad but with a whole lot of samplers to drink and rate, my attention was elsewhere.
I got about 9 samplers for 6 something. not bad. The pints were relativly cheep, also. But I just moved here from California, so it might be the local going rate.
Anyway. Hit this place, because around here, the pickin's are pretty slim and it is a decent joint with quite a range of beer styles and decent food.
10-04-2003 02:49:30 | More by elmocoso
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
A 2-day survey at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant meant my first visit to Nebraska. The 24hr Hotel Shuttle Driver recommended to our party of 4 that we hit the Upstream Brewing Company for good food & beer.
Situated in the Old Market Area, a nice part of town, with plenty of other attractions, the area has a rather trendy feel.
The Upstream Brewing Company has a Wooden Hanging Sign, the style often seen swinging outside UK Pubs. The UBC is also located in the corner part of a large multi-floored red-bricked building. Near the entrance, there is a neatly organized outside dining area equipped with high quality furniture. Inside, you can either sit at the downstairs island Bar, or wait to be seated at the plethora of booths & Tables. You can also opt to sit upstairs as well, & eat there also, if you can get a Table. It was very busy on our visit, so we decided to wait for a downstairs Table, whilst drinking at the Upstairs Bar, made less formal with its Pool Tables & younger crowd, where it was also much easier to get served as well.
The beer range was 9 house brews, & with varied styles, though our Table Waiter seemed a little confused by the beer at times. A good job then that each Table has a short explanation of each beer on a UBC crib-card. I had several of the beers, including the Gold Coast Blonde, the IPA, Brown Ale, ESB, Stout & a 90 Shilling Ale. I was impressed with the range of styles, hence the 4.5, much better than the usual 4-5 suspects found in other BrewPubs.
The food range was good, well cooked, wholesome, & it arrived in good time. I had the Jambalaya; it was chunky & nicely spiced. The Steaks looked good also, but my co-workers thought they were a little pricey, even though we were eating on Expenses.
Downstairs the impressive looking Stainless Steel & Copper Brewery is set against the back wall, hidden behind a large glass viewing window. There is a good range of Brewery T-Shirts, Glasses, etc. on sale, hinting at an operation that is more commercially astute than beer focused perhaps. This may well be a harsh observation from just one visit I hasten to add.
All in all; on my one visit, I found most of the beers to be of well-above average quality, the food was good & solid, and the welcome warming. I especially enjoyed the IPA & Railyard Ale which was well on form during my visit. Next time I am in Omaha, I would not think twice about coming here again, alone or with co-workers. It is well worth a visit.
Last Visit: 23rd Sept. 2003
09-25-2003 03:13:18 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5 rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
Situated in the cool and eclectic Old Market section of Omaha along with many other nice restaurants, bars, theaters, and shops. This is an enormous place. Very dark, with brick walls, hardwood floors, a large bar area, and lots of restaurant space on multiple levels.
They served 7 of their own brews, plus bottled beers. The brews will appeal to most tastes (Blonde, Pale, ESB, IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Scotch Ale, Wheat, Honey-Raspberry), but they really need a good brown ale and perhaps a porter. The IPA was fairly average. They claim 55 IBU's, but it sure didn't seem too hoppy. It was crisp and refreshing, but not full of hops power. The stout was very tasty, although a bit watery.
The menu covers the whole spectrum of meat, fish, and pasta. I had a burger and fries, which were okay, nothing special. Very decent and worth a visit, but I wsn't tempted to stay all night and sample all the selections.
08-23-2003 05:17:33 | More by far333
Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market in Omaha, NE
90 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.