Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bent River Brewing Co (Moline, IL)


Feels like going homenorthwest Iowa in farm country—small town bar except brew tanks and fermenters are crammed behind the bar. Coming in the back door, I walk right into the brewery. Overall feel of the place is a bit run down, or not completely refurbished from an older place—like I said, homey. Good lunch crowd, many seemed to know each other and all seemed very loyal to BR.  At Great Taste a week later, I saw a lot of BR t-shirts sported, so a good following.

Bartender was very friendly and helpfuloffered to switch samples out for the four at a time I wanted.  Fourteen on tap with a full range of styles. Brewer Rick ended giving me several additional samples as well and doing a very good job of selling his product.

All of the beers were solid for the most part. I didn't like the Replica Ale, but that's not a regular brew but a part of the state organization group brew, so that doesn't matter much. The Pale Ale is regular and dry hopped version were both good, though I preferred the standardscleaner and better balanced. The UnCommon Stout was voted best beer in the Quad Cities and the guy beside me was a very enthusiastic supporter of it and at least two other people came in and got growlers while I had lunchthough I wasn't crazy about it myself.  Adequate but not great.

Veggie burger was on the menu of general pub fare, but I wasn't  in the mood so got the cheese quesadilla—did the job but not mind blowing.

Overall a fine local and I'm curious what the evening atmosphere is like. Seems like Bent River is working hard to do a good job, and generally is; it's a brewpub with serious potential that will continue to improve because of their attitude.

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