Davenport’s Bootleg Hill meadery celebrates first anniversary, laments flooding

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A local business is marking its first anniversary after a year of operation, even though that year was often distressing.

Bootleg Hill Honey Meads threw a party to celebrate its birthday on Saturday, Nov. 16. On the tap for the evening, among many options, was the business's first product: their blueberry mead.

However, underlying the party was a sense of frustration of certain events that made the meadery's first year a challenging one.

The business suffered a huge blow in April 2019 when flood walls broke and downtown Davenport was under water. Bootleg Hills was forced to close for six weeks and according to the owner, sales dropped by 50% after the flood wall failed, and the recovery process is still ongoing.

Owner Rick Harris expresses his disappointment with the city of Davenport, saying, "You know, you'd think the city would step up to the plate and help the businesses. I keep asking 'when's the city gonna help these businesses?' and I keep getting a blank stare like there's no help."


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