Rock Island, IL - Brewery expansions on both sides of the river are pouring money into the Quad Cities economy with every pull of the tap. Front Street Brewery in Davenport just expanded into the Freight House and in Rock Island Bent River Brewery is opening a brand new distribution center. It is helping to revitalize an area that neighbors used to call an eye sore.
"Just enjoying a great beer, it's the best beer in the area. It's easy to drink and tastes good," claims Marcel Deblieck, a new patron at Bent River Brewery's newest location. Deblieck is one of many who enjoy the Brewery's selection of craft beers. Over the last 25 years people have come to love Mississippi Blonde and Uncommon Stout.
"We couldn't keep up with demand and it was time to start looking for a distribution center," said Nikki Jones, the operations manager for Bent River Brewery.
What used to be an old car wash is transforming into a state of the art brewery.
"We've got garage doors that make it easy for distributors to load in and out. Obviously, the water hook ups, so this turned out to be a great space for us," said Jones.
The five brand new fermenting vats hold about 60 kegs of beer each giving the new location the ability to make more than 600 kegs of beer a month. Once they fill the demand in the Quad Cities they plan to start bottling and distributing to surrounding areas. Inside the new 10,000 square foot location there is a full bar and every Bent River beer is on tap.
"Good stuff all around," proclaimed Deblieck.
As uncommon as the popular stout is the first of it's kind drive thru in the Quad Cities. It features coffee and beer served in a grinder.
"It was just a joke and then someone said, 'can we really do this' and people were really supportive even the city of Rock Island," remembered Jones.
"It's great for me because I live right down the street so now I don't have to go all the way to Moline! I can stop by after work and grab the after work beer," said Deblieck.
Bent River Brewery's Rock Island location is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. and Saturday from 12 noon - 2 a.m. The Uncommon Beverage Station is open Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.