July 19, 2012

Omaha Beers!

First up, some tickets remain for Monday's You Say Tomato beer dinner featuring Kurlbaum’s heirloom tomatoes at Beer Kitchen! Call 816-389-4180 to reserve your spot. $60 covers your dinner, tax, and gratuity, for what promises to be a fantastic night.

This last weekend found me attending another weekend, this one in Omaha (congratulations to Brandon and Katie!!). Of course, while I was there, I needed to try some of the local offerings. Friday night, a lot of the guys met at Upstream Brewing, at their Old Market location. I've been there once before, last year after the Great Nebraska Beer Fest, and have had a bottle of their Horse Feathers Rye (a beer that emulates the classic cocktail, with rye, ginger, some citrus - fantastic). Since that last visit was after a beer fest, I was hoping this time I'd be able to have a more intact palate. And, thanks to the miracle of Untappd, I'm able to remember each of the pints I had - Till the Break of Dawn Saison, Ballpark Belgian Wit, 1936 Strong ESB, Capitol Premium Pale Ale, Dundee Export Scotch Ale, and the Riverboat Porter. I feel pretty good about my choices. They were all very solid brews, and all I would drink again. The standouts for me were Till the Break of Dawn Saison - light but spicy, with nice citrus notes, 1936 Strong ESB - really drinkable, biscuity with some toasty malts and a hint of bitterness, and the Dundee Export Scotch Ale - sweet, roasty Scotch ale, and it was dang good (if I had my wits about me at the end of the night, I may have considered getting a growler of any of them for the hotel).

Oh so pretty. I wish I had taken some pictures at Upstream
Saturday involved a trip to the Omaha Zoo (highly recommended!), followed by lunch at Nebraska Brewing Company. Here I kept it simple, and went with the sampler - their Blonde, Infinite Wit, EOS Wheat, Brunette Nut Brown, Cardinal Pale Ale, IPA, Hop God, and Summertime Rye. Again, all great beers. I'm a little more familiar with them, as Nebraska Brewing has some bottles available in the KC market, along with taps (including the IPA at the Foundry!). It was nice to have the smaller samples to enjoy with a delicious Cuban sandwich. Oh, and get the Buffalo cheese bites. Fried white cheddar tossed in Buffalo sauce. Delicious. The Summertime Rye is one of their seasonals, and perfect for the summer. There's the spicy rye side of it, but the beer is light, and refreshing. Again, I should've grabbed a growler on my way out. One of these days, I'll learn. But, the wedding reception later that evening had Boulevard Wheat, so that was A-OK with me.

Between those two stops, the trip up I-29 is well worth it. Friendly people, good food, and excellent beers. If you can't make it any time soon, or want a taste of Nebraska here in Kansas City, you're in luck. We have bottles of Black Betty (SO GOOD), and the IPA on tap at the Foundry, and we'll be featuring the Apricot au Poivre at the upcoming beer dinner. It's one of my favorites of theirs!

Or hey, if you're looking for a good time to head north, I'd suggest the Great Nebraska Beer Fest, coming up at the end of August! McCoy's will be there with some beer, along with a bunch of great breweries, many who aren't available in the Midwest, other than at this fest (Upstream, Funkwerks, Crooked Stave, and Cigar City, and some nanobreweries from the area). I went last year, and it was so much fun. And it was right across the street from the Nebraska Brewery. What more reason do you need?!

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