Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Omaha Tap House

Where: 1403 Farnam St, Omaha (former Crane Coffee location)

Upon entering the tap house, I was greeted and shown to my table where Travis (part of our 4-man team) was already sitting.  The first thing I noticed was how upbeat the staff and fellow customers were.  Great service, and willing to help (which is what you expect for a soft-opening).

I quickly checked the tap handles...great selection, even without taking into consideration they were getting the wholesalers’ left-overs.  Until they can put some orders in (months in advance), there probably won’t be any of those great ‘one-offs’ the beer mavens look for.  But, that didn’t matter.  What did matter, was they didn’t have a lot of the pseudo-craft beers on tap (e.g., Shock Top).  That’s a good sign and holds promise for this place.

Our appetizer was stuffed mushrooms...quite a tasty dish.  I got the bacon, BBQ, cheddar burger (you can tell the owners are from Wisconsin).  That was good too.  Actually, the menu looked pretty good and was reasonably priced.

Okay, now to the beer.  I had a St. Bernardus Triple and a New Belgium Lips of Faith Metric (10% ABV Belgian Strong Golden that came out last year).  I wanted a Green Flash Hop Head Red, but the wholesaler didn’t get them that to them in time.

Some construction items were still visible on the way to the restroom.  Also, a few of the tap handles were reversed, since the 3rd party tap tech was rushed before they opened that day.  Otherwise, I think they did surprisingly well for their first day open.

The view from the location was very nice that time of night.  You look northeast toward Gene Leahy Mall.  I can see myself enjoying this place on many different types of occasions.

Towards the end of the event, I was talking with some of the managers and owners.  I got the impression this place should only get better.  We (the craft beer community) need to ensure that too.  We have to be vigilant, and keep this place on their toes.  We should expect great craft beer and knowledgeable staff.

They open to the public today.  Give them a try and report back on your own experience.

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