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Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market

Not Rated.
Upstream Brewing Company - Old MarketUpstream Brewing Company - Old Market
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

79 Ratings
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
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

Notes:
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: 79 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gfreed
2.45/5  rDev -38.9%

If you like to eat or drink in a VERY VERY VERY LOUD RESTAURANT, this is the place for you. Upstream is housed in an old firehouse-- it's big and the acoustics are as hard as they can be. The food selection is about what you would expect for a midwestern pub-- burgers, fries, pasta, fish and chips; nothing outstanding. The beer selection is quite wide and, on paper at least, appealing. However, the three beers my wife and I tried-- wit, IPA and brown ale-- were average at best. All were lacking character. The IPA had a decent bite to it but tasted soapy, and the wit had the consistency of old orange juice. Most disappointing, however, was the fact that none of our beers came with a head. This place is a brewery?! Feh.

If you have a car, drive out to 50th and Underwood and visit the Dundee Dell instead. The food is better and the beer selection is huge and reliable (although the Dundee is not a brewery).

gfreed, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of Azeotrope
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

Azeotrope, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of daniagates
3/5  rDev -25.2%

daniagates, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of jaz58
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%

Very nice decor inside and out. We sat upstairs Nice mix of restaurant and lounge. Upstairs area had pool tables which wasn't distracting.There is a second bar upstairs.

Menu selection was interesting. A hit right off the bat was their smoked gouda and ale soup. It's worth having. Nice flavours of the gouda and ale meld well.

Pork Schnitzel was one entree enjoed and the second was Mac and Cheese with Blackened Chicken.

The schitzel was a fiar size with a ok breading. It was cooked well yet dry. Mashed potato and veg were good sides.

The mac and cheese was ok. The sauce was thin and it didn't bind with the pasta. Not a stick to your ribs M&C. Blackened chicken was good.

jaz58, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

far333, Aug 23, 2003
Photo of bulldogg915
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

bulldogg915, Nov 10, 2013
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 jyeast101
3.53/5  rDev -12%

The steak that I got was definately the best part about Upstream Brewing. It was top notch. Definately a fancier place than your average beer swilling place. The beer was a solid average. My buddy and I each had a sampler. There were a few good ones in the sampler but I just should have tried a couple and had the $2 happy hour pint. The ipa was good and the pseudo belgium was probably the best. The atmosphere was definately on the high end side of things. Not a bad place, just not as stellar as I was expecting.

jyeast101, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of KateK
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%

Upstream is in the Old Market of Omaha, such a great neighborhood. Stopped here during a blizzard, so it was rather quiet! Food was good, beer was good, atmosphere was great. Got a growler of Firecracker Red Lager to go, decent beer. Will be back again!

KateK, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of gixxerman
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%

Tried them on a Tuesday night, straight from the airport at around 9 PM. Parking was available right outside of the front door. I sat at the bar, there was not much of a crowd.

There are flat screens around the bar, all had sports on them. One thing which was sort of annoying was their placement of the beer chalkboard in a dining area away from the bar. There was a chalkboard in the bar area, but it only had a drink special listed.

I ordered a few milk chocolate double stouts, they were very good. They were served at a good temperature as well, not too cold. I sort of suspect I was given a 12 oz glass, even though I ordered a pint.

For a meal I ordered a medium ribeye, which was basically raw when it arrived. I don't send things back to the kitchen, so I ate it, but it was quite rare.

After the meal I tried their cask offering, which was an IPA and also very good.

I might stop back again for a few beers, but I would not eat here again.

gixxerman, Jan 31, 2010
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 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
Photo of katan
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%

Stopped here yesterday for lunch.

I really like the atmosphere of the place as it built into an old fire station. As being a firefighter is in my family blood, I can appreciate it its intersection with my other passion.

The place is very open - with woodworking everywhere. The back wall hosts all the fermenters behind glass.

The service is my only knock - I asked for help with identifying their best beer for me. The guy obviously had no clue, and only could match the word I asked for (Stout) to the list of beers he had in front of him.

8 regulars + 2 seasons - good selection.

I had the BBQ Chicken Pizza - with crimini mushrooms. Dang good.

Well worth the stop if you are forced to spend a day in huskerland.

katan, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of RBorsato
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%

Visited on 11/06/06.

Cool location in the downtown Old Market area. Large warehouse-like environment with 2 levels. I was not impressed with the service at the bar as the bartenders were essentially "Locals"-focused and really knew nothing of the beers...

The beer quality is just above average but the selection was wide reaching at 10 beers plus one of them on cask. The cask beer (Scottish Ale) was one of the best beers that night but it sucked on tap. The Honey-Raspberry was really nice and anything made with noticeable hops (ESB, Pale Ale, and Double IPA) was also done very well ... The Gold, Blonde, and Wheat had no life and left a lot to be desired.

I liked the selection here but liked the atmosphere of Jobber's Canyon a bit better ... Beer quality was a toss-up between the two.

RBorsato, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of ndolover
3.65/5  rDev -9%

Located in the historic downtown area of Omaha NE. It would seem to the place to have a brewpub with the local walking traffic and exposed brick buildings. Perfect location to have a pint!

The inside is your normal dark wood and brass with exposed brick and brew kettles highlighted. Nice and clean with a good oval bar that allows for conversation and elbow room.

The food selection and quality was good for a brewpub. I would reccomend the steak, as it is Omaha!

In terms of beer...they have a beer engine with a good selection. The normal IPA, Porter, and light beer are there for uninitiated. However, they do have a rotating beer engine along with some tasty seasonals. I liked the fact that they have lagers AND 750ml of exotic beers like barley wines and Grand Cru's if you are so inclined.

While, I don't think I would make a special visit for Upstream (like I would for Russian River, etc) this is a top 3 place to visit while in Omaha. They have a great location and solid beers. Check em out!

ndolover, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of david131
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Stopped in here when passing through on a road trip to Los Angeles with fellow BA Mooseky. The building is in a beautiful location in town and the interior is warm and inviting with high ceilings and lots of wood. The burger was tasty and the beers on tap were pretty standard. Our waittress decided it was time to have dinner while we were there, so we got handed off to another server (not a big deal, just noting it here). They had some vintage 750 ml bottles for sale for ~$18. All in all, it is definitely worth a stop for a good meal and some beer, but don't expect anything to blow you away.

david131, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Heretic42
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Heretic42, May 16, 2014
Photo of Z_Anderson_0406
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Z_Anderson_0406, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of Wobbly
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Wobbly, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of bpkrippner
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

bpkrippner, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of CraigTravor
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

CraigTravor, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of smccann
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

smccann, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of stephenjmoore
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

stephenjmoore, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

The last time I was in downtown Omaha, Randy Madsen and I were coming back from Dan Gable's Tiger wrestling camp at the University of Iowa. In 8th or 9th grade, our bus from Iowa City had broken down in Des Moines because the AC was out. As a result, we missed our connection home in Omaha to home and spent the night together at the Omaha bus station. One of use would stay awake to watch our stuff while the other slept. In the course of the evening, we played cards with a guy who was rolling a joint and each were propositioned by several hookers. All in all, a good learning experience.

Staying at the downtown Econolodge and walking to Upstream Brewing reminded me of my last trip. Still seems like a tough neighborhood (remember, I lived in LA below south central), but the rough wrinkles smooth by the time I got to the refurbished downtown area with a lot of bars and restaurants. My guess is that most folks drive and park nearby, and don't see much of the surrounding area. Classic refurbished downtown area for any large city.

Inside, Upstream Brewing is expansive with a beautiful brewhouse behind glass. Large bar and a ton of beers, but it's been a hot day and I'm not up for tasting all of the brews on tap. I order water and a menu to start, and get to having a Flagship IPA and fish and chips for dinner. Flagship is a marmalade colored, solid west coast IPA that reminds me a bit of Masala Mama from Town Hall, especially the color. Clean and fresh, it blends well with the good beer battered fish and mediocre chips.

For a second beer, the Saison was off for the Brewer's Whim, so I tried the 1936 Strong ESB for a lighter beer. Off white head dissipates quickly on top of a muddled amber ale. English hops on a caramel, malt and mineral base. Hearty ESB that one could sip for an evening.

Upstream is a perfectly good brewpub, but feels more like a tourist trap than a real local like Nebraska Brewing early today. Nothing wrong, per se, but not much to really attach to as a pub for me. If I find myself in downtown Omaha ever again, I would gladly stop for lunch but I wouldn't go too far out of the way.

FightingEntropy, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%

The night I came here this place was packed, although it was nestled in one of the nicer parts of Omaha. I noticed they sell variants of beer from a reserve out front which is always a plus, although they did appear to be a bit on the pricey side. Inside it was nice place, although they were understaffed and the employees didn't seem very knowledgeable about beer. Most of their beers seemed to be standard fare on tap, although I did try the barrel aged Kurgan Wee Heavy which was very good. I will probably stop again because it is in such a nice area and for those that haven't been there it is worth a stop if you're in the area as you never know what they might have on tap out of their reserve.

MilwaukeeCrusher, Mar 15, 2013
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Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market in Omaha, NE
90 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.