So it looks like there's going to be some caravans going up to the 'ha this week for the NCAA regionals. Since I'm a frequent visitor of Omaha I have a couple of suggestions for the beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers amongst you.

First off, the beer haunts. You'll want to do your drinking down in the Old Market near downtown or at least hang out down there for a little while. No trip to Omaha is complete for anyone with even a passing interest in good beer without going to the Upstream Brewery. Upstream has a cask most every time I've been there and I would recommend whatever they have on cask. Aside from the cask, Upstream has a very nice selection of seasonals and regular beers. I had a very nice vanilla porter seasonal one time when I went there. KU fans can probably afford to eat there too, KSU fans may want to grab a bite at Cubby's Corner Market before they find a parking place in the Old Market.

Another fine destination may be Beer Corner USA. It may remind the KC local of martini corner. The Beer Corner features the Cresenct Moon Ale House which is similar in look and feel to Harry's Country Club but with more beers on tap. Max & Joe's Belgian Beer Tavern is a German beer hall where you can taste the finest Belgian beers in the proper glassware. Just thinking about Max & Joe's makes me thirsty. For those untrustworthy Germans, the Beer Corner also features a German beer hall, the Huber Haus German Beer Hall, where you can get your beer in a 17 ounce, 34 ounce or the "your team got knocked out in the first round" das boot, a nice 68 ounce glass boot. I hope the KU fans are soothing their broken hearts on Friday night (or Thursday night) with das boot. Then, to top it off, Beer Corner has a great liquor store, Beertopia.

The main local brewery is called Empyrean and they own tap handles in many bars in Omaha. The Burning Skye Scottish Ale is one of my favorites. There may even be something in it for someone who will bring me a couple of sixers back down to KC. Also, a couple of small breweries may have some beers available in whatever bar you find your way to. Look for beers from Nebraska brewing and Spilker Ales. Empyrean also has a brewpub in Omaha called Laszlo's. The one in Omaha is really far west, almost to Lincoln. So, if you're staying in Lincoln it might be a nice place to get some nice beers.

Nebraskans have this fast food place that they worship called Runza. They specialize in what Nebraskans call a Runza and the rest of the world calls a bierock. KU fans who actually went to KU may be familiar with Runzas because they have a location in Lawrence. KU fans who didn't go to KU represent a betrayal to the human race. You can eat there or don't eat there, it doesn't matter, you aren't missing much. But, do not say anything negative about Runza within earshot of a Nebraskan. They're pretty simple people and only care about 3 things; Cornhusker football, Runzas and anything that Tom Osborne says. If you don't insult any of those 3 things you'll be alright in Nebraska.

If you want something familiar, yet a little different, hit up a Valentino's while you're there. Valentino's is a Pizza Hut type place with dinner buffets with pizza and pasta. The pasta is nothing special but the pizza is really pretty good. But, the best thing to do is just get some takeout of the shrimp pizza from one of the 40 or so Valentino's To Go stores in town. It is well worth it. Even if you don't end up liking the shrimp, you can pick it off and still be left with a pretty good cheese pizza.

If you need any other Omaha information I'm sure our buddies at the Nebraska Beer Blog will be able to help you out. Scroll through their archives or shoot him an email. Nate even has KU ties I think, so you KU guys will really like him.

Enjoy your time up in Omaha. It really is a nice city, in many ways equal to or superior to KC. KU fans, I hope you represent Kansas in a positive, undouchey way (but I'm not holding my breath). KSU fans, I'm expecting you to not pee in your hotel towels and speak proper English, not the "English" you've been using on the farm.

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