Blue Cat Brew Pub

Down in the heart of downtown Rock Island sits Blue Cat Brew Pub, Illinois’ second oldest operating brew pub. The establishment opened in 1994, and is owned and operated by brother-sister duo Dan and Martha Cleveland.


Dan is the gentleman behind the tasty craft brews served at Blue Cat. Not only has he been brewing for over 20 years here in the QCA, he also hosts home brew competitions and judges several beer events throughout the year. Try one of their class beers like the Wigged Pig Wheat or Off the Rail Pale Ale, or ask about their seasonal offerings.


Martha is the lady behind the fantastic food. Blue Cat recently came out with a new menu that has something for everyone. There are several new vegetarian additions for the non-meat eaters, though the meat lovers will also be pleased; Blue Cat cures their own bacon and uses their rib eye trimmings for their burger patties.

Martha Cleveland grinds up a hamburger.

Intrigued by the burger idea, that is what I ordered during my visit to try out the new menu. Martha ground the beef up just before hand patting together and grilling my burger. I couldn’t resist the house bacon either so I added that on top, needless to say the burger was divine. I had a bowl of Moroccan Meatball Soup because Martha also makes wonderful soups and her offerings are always changing.

The Sirloin Burger

Another new change at Blue Cat Brew Pub is their new General Manager, Tyler Cleveland, Martha’s son. He has spent the last several years in Chicago working in the bar and restaurant and industry and has returned home to join the family business.


Tyler has been doing some creative things behind the bar. Blue Cat now has a new, set drink menu, with cool ingredients like their own house tonic and home made bitters. In talking with him about these new ideas, Tyler said, “We’re trying to be more crafty without being fussy; approachable, thoughtful food without being pretentious, all from scratch.”

Moroccan Meatball Soup

Blue Cat Brew Pub is located at 113 18th Street in Rock Island, Illinois. It is one of the area’s longest running brewpubs for so many reasons; they make solid beers served alongside great homemade food by a local family. Check them out!



About the author

Deborah Davis Deborah Davis, otherwise known as QCAlegirl, was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, where she currently resides. A self-proclaimed craft beer fanatic, she spends her days either working at a local nano-brewery or researching and writing for her blog, While she’s not traveling around the Midwest in search of new experiences, she also enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

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2 comments on “Blue Cat Brew Pub

  1. We ate there tonight, a group of 4. The fries and the soup was very tasty. Extremely cold and had to eat with our coats on. My daughter and I were unable to eat our meal. Hers had no flavor. Mine was so salty that I choked on it and unable to finish after a 20 minute coughing spell. My future son in law hamburger was rare, and we had to wait quite some time to get our food. I enjoyed the setting as far as the brewery affect etc. Just difficult to enjoy a meal when so cold. Everyone seated around us had their coats on. I don’t like paying $80 this included tip for a meal that we each ate less than a 1/4 of our meal. I will try again when the weather is warmer.

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