Though I’ve yet to experience Peoria’s GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREWERY, my friend Dennis has perused this trusty midwest chain brewery on several occasions during 2008-2013 stints at Caterpillar. In an exquisite brown and beige freestanding building along the Illinois River on the revitalized light industrial East Peoria section next to Logan’s Roadhouse, this spacious riverfront joint’s large back patio overlooks the westside’s cosmopolitan downtown area. Cultured stone and earthen wood tones give the homey interior a lodge-like ambiance.
A variegated food menu features steaks, burgers, pasta, sandwiches and salads while the beer menu offers familiar chain brews alongside a few seasonal or one-off libations. Brunch buffets are affordable and recommended to out-of-towners visiting this mid-sized midwest hub.
During August ’13, Dennis brought back to Jersey a growler of Granite City’s worthy Batch 1,000 Double IPA, an easygoing soft-watered turnabout less interested in monstrous stylistic bittering than affable fruited subtlety. Its creamy caramel malting contrasted grassy floral hops as mellow grapefruit, orange, red apple, Bartlett pear and white peach illusions began protruding above the earthen vegetal bottom.
After Labor Day ’13, Dennis came by Jersey pad with four more Granite pleasantries for Thursday eve Patriots-Jets football game.
Polite White Ale snuck sweet navel orange peel tartness into quaint coriander-clove-allspice seasoning and delicate white-breaded spine of easygoing summertime session beer. Lemon zest, orange pith and tangerine undertones wisp by.
Mild German-styled dark lager, The Bennie’s Bock, pushed soft coffee-roasted mochaccino alacrity across black-breaded pecan, walnut and hazelnut illusions, finishing with an unassumingly dry Baker’s chocolate whim.
Dewy tea-like Oktoberfest retained reedy-hopped autumnal foliage above pumpernickel-honeyed Russian rye breading and mild orange-grapefruit-fig dessication, picking up distant cocoa bean influence at the earthen finish of highly sessionable seasonal.
Soft-toned Duke Of Wellington IPA brought English-styled resin-hopped dewy earthiness and musty cellared fungi waft to roasted hop char, leaving a tinge of grapefruit upon the centrist dry-bodied moderation.