Quad Cities Craft Breweries

The Quad Cities has had a vibrant craft-brewing scene since the early 1990s. There are several to visit on both sides of the river, each offering a unique experience for visitors.

Front Street Brewery – 208 E. River Drive, Davenport, Iowa

Front Street is the oldest brewery in the Quad Cities, and the second oldest in the State of Iowa. Known for its Old Davenport Golden Ale and their Cherry Bomb Blonde; Front Street always has a nice line-up of delicious brews on tap and a kitchen that serves fantastic food.

Because of its popularity and growth, Front Street has expanded to a second location in Davenport with its Tap Room at 421 W. River Drive, just down the bike path from the original spot. Both are on the river, with outdoor seating, and are family friendly.

Bent River Brewing Company – 1413 5th Avenue, Moline, Illinois

Bent River Brewing Company is the Quad Cities’ largest brewing company, as far as amount of beer produced per year and the width of their distribution network. Bent River is known for its Mississippi Blonde and the Uncommon Coffee Stout–the Quad Cities most popular, locally brewed beer.

This inspired the opening of their second location, at 512 24th Street in Rock Island, Illinois, where their bottling line and distribution center is located. There is a taproom, a dog-friendly patio and a special event hall available to rent. Both locations have outdoor seating and are a close-distance from the bike path, but Moline is the only one that serves food.

Great River Brewery – 332 E. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa

Great River is the second largest brewery in the Quad Cities Area. Situated right off the Arsenal Bridge, it has easy access to the bicycle paths on the both sides of the river and is popular with the bicycling community of the area.

Great River is also known for it’s “Golden Keg” tapping parties. Typically the first Saturday of the month, the brewers tap a new brew and the first keg is free! There is often a potluck and live music as well. Great River has a smaller bar area but one of the best patios in town. They don’t serve food of their own but often welcome food trucks.

Radicle Effect Brewerks – 1340 31st Street, Rock Island, Illinois

Radicle Effect is the Quad Cities’ first nano brewery, meaning they make small batches of beer. Their operation uses a 4-barrel system as a way to be a bit more creative with their brews, such as their most popular release: the Roasted Garlic Stout.

As they make smaller batches of beer, Radicle Effect typically has 3-4 beers of their own on tap then a variety of well crafted, often hard-to-find brews and the constant staple of Schlitz. They offer a nice selection of spirits, a variety of bottled and canned craft brews, and make one of the best Bloody Mary’s you’ll have.

Rebellion Brew Haus – 1529 3rd Avenue A, Moline, Illinois

Rebellion Brew Haus in downtown Moline is also a nano brewery, operating on a one-barrel system; they typically have 3 beers of theirs to taste and offer craft brews on tap as well as in bottles.  Rebellion also has a nice selection of bourbons and tequilas. To pair with all their fare, they offer street tacos with a few other delicious treats to snack on.

Baked Beer & Bread Co. – 1113 Mound Street, Davenport, Iowa

Baked Beer & Bread Co. is located in the Village of East Davenport with a brewery nestled in the middle of a bakery, as well as a, restaurant, bar and a live entertainment space.

Baked typically has a few of their house beers on tap alongside other craft draft beers and a smaller selection of wine and cocktails. Their food menu does rotate but you can’t go wrong with anything from their kitchen! A crowd favorite is the Hot Chicken Sandwich or anything on their Brunch menu.

Wake Brewing 2529 5th Ave, Rock Island, Illinois

Wake Brewing is a great spot for well-crafted beer and conversation. Wake typically has 7-8 beers of their own on tap as well as a nice selection of spirits. There is indoor and outdoor seating, no dogs allowed.  Their taproom is free of any televisions, games, or jukeboxes with a heavy metal theme to most of the tunes played. This is to encourage enjoying the atmosphere and the dank brews they have to offer.

Five (5ive) Cities Brewing – 2255 Falcon Ave, Bettendorf, Iowa

5ive Cities is one of the newest breweries to open up in the Quad Cities, the first in Bettendorf. The same people as Central Standard Craft Burgers & Beer and Crust Stove Over pizza, located right in the middle of the two, own the brewery. So while 5ive Cities doesn’t serve food, you can order from either establishment while there.

5ive Cities has a cool atmosphere with different, free games like picks, darts, and foosball. There is some seating outside, it is all dog-friendly, with their own brewery dog hanging around, and offer things to drink other than just beer. As for the house brews, the Pale Ale and the Porter have been the most popular.

Crawford Brew Works – 3659 Devils Glen Rd, Bettendorf, Iowa

Crawford Brew Works is the newest and, now, one of the biggest breweries in the QCA. It is situated on the bicycle path and attached to Healthy Habits Bicycle Shop, encouraging the already strong culture of bicycles and craft brews.

Crawford doesn’t have a kitchen itself but plans to have a regular food truck presence. Regardless, children are allowed until 10pm. They have a huge outdoor patio as well as plenty of seating inside. Fan favorites so far of the brews are the Kolsh and Raspberry Wheat.

Big Swing Brewing Co. – 113 18th Street, Rock Island, Illinois

Big Swing Brewing Co. is now open in Downtown Rock Island, Illinois. Big Swing is located in the old Blue Cat Brew Pub building.  They opened in March 2019 and they just started brewing beer again.  Blue Cat fans will recognize some familiar recipes.  The food is top notch. The chef behind the menu has done a great job of taking traditional bar food – such as Grilled Cheese – and adding a twist to it – like adding Buffalo Chicken.

If you have time to step outside of the Quad Cities metro, both LeClaire, Iowa, and Geneseo, Illinois, have great places to visit.

Green Tree Brewery – 309 N. Cody Road, LeClaire, Iowa

green tree brewery

Green Tree Brewery is located right on the Mississippi River at the end of the main street that runs right through LeClaire, Iowa. Green Tree has caught the local beer lovers’ attention with their Mintery Knight, a coffee mint stout, and the Mango Me Hoppy IPA.

The taproom overlooks the river and has outdoor seating, with the occasional live entertainment. Though the brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, one can bring food in from other surrounding businesses.

Geneseo Brewing Co. – 102 S. State Street, Geneseo, Illinois

Geneseo Brewing Co. is one of two breweries located in the town of Geneseo, just outside of the QCA. It is has comforting atmosphere, cozy and warm, with welcoming staff, a nice kitchen, and great brews on tap.

The Squirrel’s Nuts Peanut Butter Porter is a local favorite as well as the Yep Yep IPA. Their brewer turned his long time hobby into a career and always has something new and creative available.

Lionstone Brewing Company – 1225 S. Oakwood Avenue, Geneseo, Illinois

Lionstone Brewing is located just off the Interstate and is a great place to visit whether as a destination or as a stop off the beaten path. They offer a wide range of their brews on tap, as well as packaged goods to go, and have a great big wood fired oven in the corner. And while they do serve pizza, they have a wide selection of other food items as well.

Whether you want to have a beer in the afternoon or plan a weekend trip visiting several different breweries, the Quad Cities Area has something for all types of craft brew enthusiasts!

Tell us your favorite local brew!



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, qcalegirl.com. 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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