QUAD CITY AREA, ILLINOIS / IOWA
Moline’s friendly hardwood-floored old-style pub, BENT RIVER BREWING, is tucked in next to disco bar, Pulse, and Portabella’s Italian Restaurant on the Mississippi River banks of Illinois. Sundry brewpub growlers, beer labels, and glass-framed brewers’ insignias strewn busy walls of tiny blue-collar dive, visited August ‘06. Great bottled selection included Rogue, Dogfish Head, Avery, and Belgian beers while pub fare comprised fabulous burgers and catfish.
My Chi-town college friends, Jeff, Doug, and Dave (a Moline transplant) helped plow down ten varied beers siphoned from fermentation tanks behind left side bar. Sharp-fruited citric-hopped cereal-grained American Wheat, subtly lemon-hopped grapefruit-juiced light-bodied session beer Mississippi Blonde, and English-styled honey-grained cornmeal-tinged Steamboat Ale were approachable and not without bite.
Better were caramelized red-fruited Pale Ale (with surging burnt orange afterburner), its acetous pine-oak-smoked citric hop-embittered Dry-Hop Pale Ale sibling, maple-honeyed berry-sugared Raspberry Wheat, and peppy-hopped candied-citric pineapple-doused light body Strawberry Ale.
Buttery banana-clove-centered, zesty mandarin orange-soaked, peach-nectar-papaya-tinged Hefeweizen countered the perfectly descriptive Jalapeno Pepper Ale (its balmy chili barb topping woody tequila illusion).
Amiable iced coffee, black chocolate, and cola-walnut illusions outlined the contrarily sweet Oatmeal Stout while profound coffee grain depth supplemented preferred knockoff, Uncommon Stout.