VisitQuadCities.com recently asked me to write up a story about the QC Breweries and I happily obliged.
However, I believe I’m going to take this idea and expand upon it, work on the history of the area, post 1992, and grow this document into something bigger than what it is now. Check back for updates and let me know if there’s anything I should include or anyone I should talk to, as I take on this new endeavor.
The Quad Cities’ Craft Breweries
The Quad Cities has had a vibrant craft-brewing scene since the 1990’s. There are several to visit on both sides of the river, each offering a unique experience for visitors.
Front Street Brewery – 208 E. River Drive – Davenport, Iowa
Front Street is the oldest brewery in the Quad Cities as well as the whole state of Iowa. Known for it’s Old Davenport Golden Ale and their Vanilla Porter; Front Street always has a nice line-up of delicious brews on tap and a kitchen that serves fantastic food.
Because of it’s popularity and growth, Front Street has expanded to a second location at 421 W. River Drive, just down the bike path from the original spot. Both are on the river, with outdoor seating, and are family friendly.
Blue Cat Brew Pub – 113 18th Street – Rock Island, Illinois
Blue Cat Brew Pub is the second oldest brewery in the Quad Cities as well as the state of Illinois. Their brews have a more traditional, European-style flair, known for their Off the Rail Pale Ale and the Big Bad Dog Olde English Ale.
Blue Cat also has a great kitchen that puts out homemade soups, hand-pressed hamburgers and house-cured bacon. It is a nice balance between well-crafted and homemade, a perfect place for lunch or dinner. It is a beautiful location on the river, also just off the bicycle path.
Bent River Brewing Company – 1413 5th Ave – Moline, Illinois
Bent River Brewing Company is the QCA’s largest brewing company, as far as amount produced per year and the width of their distribution network. Bent River is known for it’s Mississippi Blonde and the Uncommon Coffee Stout, the Quad Cities most popular, locally brewed beer.
This inspired the opening of their second location, at 512 24th Street in Rock Island, Illinois, where their bottling line and distribution center is located. There is a tap room and special events hall there as well. Both locations have outdoor seating and are a close-distance from the bike path, but Moline is the only one that serves food.
Great River Brewery – 332 E. Second Street – Davenport, Iowa
Great River is the second largest brewing operation in the QCA. It is located in downtown, Davenport, at the foot of the Arsenal Bridge on the river. Great River is known for its’ Roller Dam Red Ale and the 483 Pale Ale.
Great River has a great outdoor seating area and is dog, family, and bicycle-friendly, as it too is just off of the bicycle path. Though they do not have a kitchen of their own, they often have food trucks serving fare during the warmer months.
Radicle Effect Brewerks – 1340 31st Street – Rock Island, Illinois
Radicle Effect is the Quad Cities’ first nano brewery, meaning they make small batches of beer. Their operation uses their 4-barrel system as a way to be a bit more creative with their brews, such as their most popular release: the Roasted Garlic Stout.
As they make smaller batches of beer, Radicle Effect typically has 2-3 beers of their own on tap then a variety of well-crafted, often hard-to-find brews and also the constant staple of Schlitz. They offer a nice selection of spirits, a variety of bottled and canned craft brews, and make one of the best Bloody Mary’s you’ll have.
Rebellion Brew Haus – 1529 3rd Avenue A – Moline, Illinois
Rebellion Brew Haus is the newest addition to the Quad Cities craft beer community. They, too, are a nano brewery operation on a one-barrel system; they typically have 3 beers of theirs to taste and offer craft brews on tap as well as in bottles.
Rebellion also has a nice selection of bourbons and tequilas. To pair with all their fare, they offer street tacos with a few other items to snack on.
Baked Beer & Bread Co. – 1113 Mound St. Davenport, Iowa
Baked Beer & Bread Co. is located in the Village of East Davenport and the newest to the Quad Cities craft beer scene. They have a brewery nestled in the middle of a bakery, as well as a bar and a live entertainment space.
They just hired on a full-time brewer and their kitchen is open and serving some delicious food.
Wake Brewing Co. is set to open up in July 2017 in Rock Island, Illinois.
If you have time to step outside of the Quad Cities both Le Claire, Iowa, and Geneseo, Illinois, have great places to visit.
Green Tree Brewery – 309 N. Cody Road – Le Claire, Iowa
Green Tree Brewery is located right on the Mississippi River at the end of the main street that runs right through Le Claire, Iowa. Green Tree has caught the local beer lovers’ attention with their Mintery Knight, a coffee mint stout, and their Mango Me Hoppy IPA.
The taproom overlooks the river and has outdoor seating. Though the brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, one can bring food in from other surrounding businesses.
Geneseo Brewing Co. – 102 S. State Street – Geneseo, Illinois
Geneseo Brewing Co. is one of two breweries located in the town of Geneseo, just outside of the QCA. It is has comforting atmosphere, cozy and warm, with welcoming staff, a nice kitchen, and great brews on tap.
The Squirrel’s Nuts Peanut Butter Porter is a local favorite as well as the Yep Yep IPA. Their brewer turned his long time hobby into a career and always has something new and creative available.
Lionstone Brewing Company – 1225 S. Oakwood Ave – Geneseo, Illinois
Lionstone Brewing is located just off the Interstate and is a great place to visit whether as a destination or as a stop off the beaten path. They offer a wide range of their brews on tap, as well as packaged goods to go, and have a great big wood fired oven in the corner. And while they do serve pizza, they have a wide selection of other food items as well.
Whether you want to have a beer in the afternoon or plan a weekend trip visiting several different breweries, the Quad Cities Area has something for all types of craft brew enthusiasts!