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Omaha Magazine

In Search of Hoppiness: Omaha Breweries

Feb 24, 2023 10:09AM ● By Kim Carpenter

Image provided.

Omaha has a rich—or rather, stout—brewing tradition. From Krug Brewery, established the same decade as Omaha’s founding, to Heavy Brewing, the most recent entry into the brew pub scene, Omaha boasts a brew for every beer lover. Seek out a “hoppy hour,” raise a glass (or frosted mug), and toast with a hearty “Prost!” at one of these local taprooms. 

3669 N 129th St., Omaha
Despite their increasingly busy lives, three long-time buddies aspired to maintain connections  through a common passion: making hand-crafted beer. TJ Walker, Pat Simpson, and Cory Sinclair wanted to make beer that cut straight to the taste and not focus on trends. From a refreshing citrusy Kölsch to a hearty brown, Backswing Brewing Company achieves their goal with unpretentious, classic brews. Open: Wednesday—Friday 4 to 10pm; Saturday 12 to 10pm; Sunday 2 to 8pm.

1433 S 13th St., Omaha
Through countless hours spent in a basement, the brewers at Lumen Beer Company perfected their innovative “hoppy, sour, and high-gravity” beers. Their new flavors are served to consumers in fun and creative crowlers. This quirky, contemporary brewery has a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere, with an owner who enjoys banter and good conversation. Beer lovers can enjoy each other’s company—plus that of pups, IPAs, porters, and ales. Open: Wednesday 3 to 9pm; Thursday & Friday 3 to 10pm.; Saturday 12 to 10pm; Sunday 12 to 6pm.

6059 Maple St., Benson Neighborhood
Located in the heart of Benson, this homey microbrewery features a rooftop bar that is perfect for spending time with family and friends. Their brews range from limited edition series such as the Mexican lager “Luz D’vida” to mainstays like the light-bodied “Blonde Bunny.” Whether a crisp Weisse or a creamy stout, these small-batch and seasonal taps offer something for every taste preference. Open: Tuesday—Saturday 11am to close; Sunday 12pm to close. 

20333 Patton St., Gretna
When brewing early on, this company’s beers came out more alcoholic than planned—or heavy, in Scottish industry parlance. While owner Jeff Gude refined his brewing process, he still ended up creating “heavy” beers, and the moniker proved ideal for this new brewpub, opened last November. Yeasty IPAs, well-balanced ales, and rich stouts are all on offer in this family-friendly beer hall where kids play while adults quaff. Open: Monday & Wednesday—Friday 3 to 9pm.; Saturday 1 to 10pm; Sunday 3 to 8pm.

3501 Center St., Omaha
When Belgian farmers crushed and boiled their remaining grains in casks after harvest, wild yeast blew from the fields, fermented the contents, and created beers. The farmers believed this an act of God, or “Vis Major” in Latin. The artisans here share a similar belief in the alchemy of the brewing process to produce perfectly balanced sours, darks, porters, IPAs, and more. Each lends themselves to pleasurable time in this neighborhood beer hall, located in the heart of Field Club and Hanscom Park. Open: Sunday 2 to 8pm; Monday & Tuesday 3 to 9 pm; Wednesday & Thursday 3 to 10pm; Friday & Saturday 3 to 11pm.

6115 Maple St., Benson; 6271 S. 118th St., Omaha; 1406 S. 13th St., Little Bohemia
In 1996 Omaha brewery historian and craft beer enthusiast, Bill Baburek, opened Nebraska’s first craft beer bar, the Crescent Moon Ale House—which grew to include a German Bier Hall, Belgian-themed tasting room, a world-class craft beer store, and host over 100 beer festivals. But Baburek wasn’t content with just introducing craft beer to Nebraska. He was called to produce it here, too. And in 2013, he began crafting lagers, wheats, IPAs, Pilsners, porters, ales, and far more. Visit website for location hours.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To subscribe, click here. 
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