When the Travel Channel recently named Omaha among its top ten beer cities throughout the U.S., it was not news to its proud and seasoned resident drinkers. Still, love for the city’s success with beer may warrant arbitrary cheer in the form of an unplanned trip to the pub. Now that is especially true if one knows where to grab a cold one in this flowing town. Again – not news to the drinkers.

The official date for the 2021 Omaha Beer Fest has yet to be drafted. Count on The Reader to let you know to when to mark your calendars as soon as it’s set. In the meantime, here is a list for those thirsting for 10 bars with a notable draft, bottled, and canned selection of brew. Inevitably, a pub of your liking may be omitted but not forgotten. In which case, maybe you will find someplace new on this humble and inspired list.

In short, these 10 establishments do not disappoint. So, do yourselves a favor and save yourself the plane ticket. Keep safe while you enjoy the dankest beer the world over this summer. Do it locally. Stay creative.

Beercade 2
The 8-bit styling is a clear indicator of a premier retro gaming brew pub experience. Found on Facebook page

Beercade 2

It does not take a beer snob nor a game freak to dig Beercade. After all, that bar is the clear jewel of Benson, thanks to its crossover appeal. Still, too few people show love to Beercade 2, the sister bar that lives and thrives downtown.

And it is a total shame, too! Number 2 stays faithful to the blueprint while thinking larger, making it arguably the perfect place to cut loose with some classy brews and retro game cabinets and machines.

But when it comes down to it, Beercade 2 features a solid rotating tap list. Everything from nutty brown ales to hoppy and citrusy Indian Pale Ales resides here, often from local and regional breweries. But there are more games and space, as well. And that is good news for people who love elbow room!

Lastly, the all-in-one bar-and-arcade opens a whole two hours earlier than the Benson location. That way, all you day-drinking nerds can get down to business sooner.

Crescent Moon
A snapshot of Omaha Beer Week in 2018. Found on Facebook page

Crescent Moon Ale House

It is no secret that since its opening in the nineties, Crescent Moon has remained one of the best places to grab a beer or a Reuben sandwich. If those two components should sound appealing to you, then attending this pub is a must.

But chances are you already know and love Crescent Moon for what it is. After all, Draft Magazine named it a top 100 craft beer bar for seven years in a row.

This bar is about its business, proven by the fact that there are 60 beers on tap every day, with most of the draft beers updated online frequently. That should be perfect for those who love going into a bar with or without a plan. Some of the beers include Belgian-styled ales, fruit beers, sours, wheat beers, stouts, and plenty of IPAs.

So, if you want a pub that folks praise for both its food and beer selection, The Crescent Moon should top your list. Nothing competes with a Reuben and a cold one.

Omaha Tap House
Do yourself a favor and order yourself a flight of beers. Found on Facebook page

Omaha Tap House

When it comes to bars doubling as restaurants, few compare to the Tap House. Sure, it is known for its tasty burgers, and for a good reason, mind you. But pick either of the two beloved locations, and you will find an excellent list of beers on tap, as well. Any of them will enhance your dynamic and delicious burger.

Draft beers range from hoppy to medium body and from malty and complex to light and friendly, and more. And that does not even account for the craft bottles and cans. Pro tip: the West Omaha location has even more taps. Rejoice!

Note both locations have a strong, non-alcoholic bottled beer selection. Not every bar looks out for their non-drinkers like that. So, if you are looking for a top-notch pub with craft food to dazzle drinkers and non-drinkers alike, look no further.

Krug Park
Not too many bars can get away with naming themselves after an extinct amusement park. Found on Facebook page

Krug Park

Now, Krug Park may be known for its Bloody Marys. But the bar is also loved and well-regarded for its dank draft beer selection. In the end, KP is a strong contender for the best place to grab a pint for when you check out Benson.

For ten good years, Krug Park has led the city to new pub heights. For one, the 62 beers featured on tap at Krug Park come from all across the nation and the world. Beers of all shades. For two, they hook up one beer engine to every cask, which is a sign of prowess. It all amounts to a better-tasting beer.

Plus, the underrated brewpub features over 200 canned and bottled beers if you want to switch things up and discover something new. And after you have found something you enjoy, be sure to take it to-go! Your roommates will be grateful.

But whether you choose to indulge yourself at Krug Park with a draft, bottled, or canned beer, you will not leave disappointed. Or thirsty, for that matter. Get ready for one wild ride!

Local Beer, Patio, and Kitchen
For those looking for the widest assortment of local brews, are you sure you are ready for Local? Found on Facebook Page

Local Beer, Patio, and Kitchen

With three vibrant locations in town, you cannot go wrong in choosing to visit any of the Local pubs. The appeal is made clear in the name of the establishment. So, grab a brew, a bite, and a seat on the patio. Do it all in the name of living the high life!

And you can expect any given Local to have 100 beers on tap. And if that was not enough, you will find the best local brews as well. Try new products from Scriptown, Brickway, and everything in between. Becoming an expert on local breweries can, after all, impress your friends, family, and taste buds.

Good news! They offer deep discounts on beer ($2 of pints) during Happy Hour Monday – Friday from 3 to 6:30. And on Sunday, you can get a local pint for $3. So, if you want a place where you can find great local draft beers at a great price, Local is your best bet.

Library Pub
Bring your own book. Found on Facebook Page

The Library Pub

Sure, the Library Pub reads like a scotch bar. And you would not be wrong in thinking that, as a glance in any direction will instantly confirm. But even though the place has 200 varieties of the stuff, the secret weapon of this pub is its beer selection. And that goes for any cozy hideout bar.

Any drinker who knows a thing or two about beer will fit right in. All of the hard-hitting craft beer types (IPAs, sours, stouts, wheat beers) are here for you to try. Plus, with the advent of Crowlers (which TLP sells in stride), you can take all your favorite draft beers to-go.

For those who like to be sure of what they order, you are in luck. The tap list, among other specials, is regularly updated online. That way, you can be intelligent about what you order. That’s right. You must read up before you attend the Library Bar!

The Casual Pint
There is nothing casual about this pub’s dedication to great beer. Found on Facebook page

The Casual Pint

With a name like The Casual Pint, you may expect an indifferent attitude toward a pour of the brew. Thankfully, the bar offers several craft beers, and one could say they are chilling casually. 

But the real power of The Casual Pint lies in its bottled and can selection. With 200 singles chilling in the cooler, those options will come in handy when you feel like heading home. Fill up a six-pack to-go with whatever variety you dig. Or, if you prefer an already assembled six-pack, you can save yourself the trouble of narrowing down options. You don’t have to pick between the IPA or the fruit beer. There are no wrong answers. Did you think you would be walking out with the perfect housewarming gift for your friends who have recently moved in the spring?

If you love beer variety, you will love TCP, a pub that proves it means business about the brew. Where else can you drink soulful elixirs on tap, then take such an impressive sixer home? Consider this your next stop in Beer City. 

O'Leaver's
With great brew, music, and sand volleyball, O’leaver’s is a true triple threat. Found on Facebook page

O’Leaver’s Pub

O’Leaver’s may not have the most beers on tap when compared to other bars in the area. But if you want a solid dive bar vibe with live music and sand volleyball, there is no better option. That is especially true if you love epic patios (theirs has the most amazing lights!).

Out of the ten beers on tap, you can expect the draft beer selection to include a light beer, an IPA or two, and a few other show-stoppers. The bar knows how to satisfy a wide berth of drinkers.

In addition, O’Leaver’s is one of the best music venues in Omaha. Ask a punk. The bar has become cemented in the local lore and rock history of the town. Everyone from Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! fame to local fan-favorite Cursive has played here.

You never know. You could be enjoying a cold glass of your go-to beer when all of a sudden, a show starts, and you discover the next big thing. For that element of surprise and the feeling of feeling at home, make this pub one of your regular spots.

Upstream
Omaha’s original brewpub opened in 1996. Found on Facebook page

Upstream Brewing Company

Upstream is well known and loved for its delicious food and mind-boggling freshly brewed beers. But if you have never been, and you are looking for a local brewery to check out, be careful. It may just become your new favorite joint!

You can count on 12 of some of the finest beers known to humans to be on tap. All are handcrafted by the best in the Midwest. That includes beloved regular brews like the Flagship IPA, single batch seasonals like Afterglow White Stout, and barrel-aged beer like the Barrel-Aged Ebenezer.

But you can also get some solid food here. Try the kitchen’s soulful renditions of classic American pub food, from thin-crust pizzas to premiere beef cuts from Omaha Steak’s. It all helps the beer go down better. Note the kitchen closes an hour before the bar does. Not ideal for those seeking to dine after dark, but not too shabby, either!

So, if you seek a bar with food and a family-friendly atmosphere, all while sacrificing none of its beer artistry, this brewing company has your name on it. You will leave enamored each time.

Zipline
Rejoice! You can find Zipline beers in Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas City, MO, Eastern South Dakota, Iowa, and Oklahoma. Found on Facebook page

Zipline Brewing Co. (Omaha Taproom)

Ever since its grand opening in 2012, Zipline Brewing Co. has impressed local drinkers. They may have even dedicated a beer to your favorite local band. But why should Lincoln have all the fun? Thankfully, five years later, Omaha got its Zipline brewery with the 2017 opening of the Omaha Taproom. Now, you do not have to travel 15 miles to visit one of the best local breweries!

Located inside the Taproom is the Culture Lab, known for its small-batch beers. They go quickly, and you can only enjoy these unique brews on location. That fact alone sets this location apart from the rest.

Additionally, the brewery features a dozen beers on tap, plus plenty of bottles. If you are a fan of their beers, you must check out where the magic happens. Because if you thought the bottles were delicious, imagine getting the elixir right from the source. But take heed. You may be back the next day on principle!


Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

Leave a comment