Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blue Cat Brew Pub (Rock Island, IL)


Blue Cat is in an older building down by the river and across the street from a riverboat casino. The place is refurbished to urban chic painted ceiling, exposed duct work, stone tile bar, etc. Nice atmosphere but a little sterile. Good crowd after lunch and the menu looked tantalizing with some veggie options and upscale pub fare.

The brewhouse is enclosed behind glass on the other side of the bar. A brewer named Bernard was working and gave me some background on their beers. Looks like they good with the standard five plus a seasonal which was a peat smoked scotch ale that is brewed and aged for the local highland games every year.

Overall the beers were a bit thin and not to my liking. The Coriander and Orange is obviously going for the spice of a wit but the mouthfeel was too light even for an American wheat beer. Others suffered similar problems. The Mississippi Mocha Stout was a passable coffee stout. The Scotch Terrier was good, but you really gotta love smoke and peat for this onea bit much for me in spite of liking big flavor to compensate for my under-performing taste buds.

Blue Cat has some solid beers and a decent place to hang out. Not exceptional but a good local pub. My expectations were high from tasting at the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison over the years.  But, like other breweries, the one-offs served at a festival don't always match up to the everyday taps.  If in town though, I wouldn't go out of my way; I might stop at Bent River, but probably not here. But, if there for other reasons, a perfectly ok place to drink.

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