In the days leading up to our “South of 80” event at The Green Lady, we wanted to make you a little more familiar with the attending breweries, most of which are being made available in Chicago for the first time. Today we take a look at Moline’s Bent River Brewing Company.
Named for the only section of the Mississippi River to run east to west, Bent River has been serving beer to the Quad Cities area (which consists of five cities in close proximity; Davenport, IA, Bettendorf, IA, Rock Island, IL, Moline, IL and East Moline, IL) from their historic-district located brewpub since 1997. Brewer Steve Radcliff’s offerings have earned medals at the Brew Ha Ha event in Davenport, IA and the Great American Brew Fest, but despite that they remain mostly off the radar for Chicagoans.
We hope to help change that. Bent River brews have never been north of I-80…until Tuesday, that is.
Available, on tap, at the event:
- Uncommon Stout: One of the Quad City’s most popular beers, it’s flanked by Bud Light and Miller Light as the top-three sellers in the area. (What other craft beer can say that?) When we tried it, it offered some interesting flavors of wheatgrass, balanced with tastes of mint and licorice, making this an interesting and entertaining stout indeed. Not too heavy, either – a pint of this goes down as well as an ale on a summer’s day.
- Jalapeño Pepper Ale: A special offering from Bent River and rarely available even at their tasting room, this uncompromising beer has so much jalapeno in it you’d swear from the taste it would be colored green. However, the look of the golden beer offers no hint of the extreme spice and heat within. As someone who loves beers brewed with spices and who will try any beer with ancho, jalapeno or habanero within, I can state that this is the second-hottest beer I’ve ever tried – and the hottest beer I’d ever recommend to anyone. (The Sculpin IPA with habaneros on cask blew this away for heat – but I wouldn’t suggest trying a full pint).
- Dry-Hopped Pale Ale: The bright burst of citrus-y hops of this sub 6% ABV pale ale offer an initial greeting on the nose. While lemon rind, grapefruit and orange peel quench the palate. A touch of caramel on the finish provides for the right amount of balance to vault this beer to the top-tier of pale ale’s.
At least one of Bent River’s head honcho’s will be here on Tuesday, so look for the guys in the logo’d t-shirts and get the skinny on all of their beers and the production brewery opening in Rock Island.
It would also be worth your time to find out when their Sweet Potato Ale is tapped in the Fall in order to plan your Quad Cities trip appropriately. Trust us, you’re not going to want to miss that one.