Bent River Brewing Company

Bent River Brewing CompanyBent River Brewing Company
Bent River Brewing CompanyBent River Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1413 5th Ave
Moline, Illinois, 61265-1335
United States

(309) 797-2722 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 58 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Better then decent beer, friendly athmosphere (tho a bit on the "old school"/dated side), effecient service and pretty good pub grub....worth a visit if you are in the Quad Cities of Illinois/Iowa for a visit or if you are local. Better beer here then we encountered at several other local brew pubs

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Photo of solsonwiu
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Great place to hang out and have a beer. They keep about 10 beers on tap at a time, with four or five year-rounds and four or five seasonals. Plenty of space to sit, nice copper tanks behind the bar. Food is just okay and service is pretty spotty for food. Many quality beers, especially the Uncommon Stout, with seasonals always being worth a try.

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Photo of pakman08
4.09/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The birthplace of my love for craft beer. Gorgeous bar top with fermenters set behind. Seen it go through multiple changes, but still feels like home. This is a great dive with friemdly atmosphere, good bar food, and a solid selection of original brews. Highlights include the dry hopped ale, oatmeal stout, and sweet potato ale. The patio space is nice and they have fun music events. Definitely worth a stop and sample

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Photo of BirdmanJohn
3.55/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

I loved the atmosphere at Bent River. It is a pretty small place but very comfortable.Easy place to sit, talk and have a good brew. Beer Selection didn't blow me away but the dry-hopped had a really good flavor to it. I would definitely go back if I am ever in that neck of the woods again.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped and did a sampler here... I thought the Dry Hopped beer really stood out. The imperial stout was also good, but not great. They had a reasonable amount of selection, although not special. The staff was helpful, the patrons very personable, and the place also did have an accommodating feel to it. I did not try any food and am unsure if they have any. If you're in the area it would be worth at least a stop, especially after a long drive through Iowa or some of the boring areas of Illinois.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Walking in you'll find the brewing equipment right behind the bar that stretches the length of the establishment. The look of the place was a bit disconjointed but the music playing in the background set an easy locale.

The beer was good. They had a great variety so those who wanted a dark brew order a stout or porter. Those looking for a paler brew could choose from a blonde or pale ale. The also pushed some limits by offering a jalapano beer, and a beer they claim is a brewed with sweet potatoes. Of course a dry-hopped pale ale was available for my taste.

The service was friendly enough to make my group and I feel welcome and the bartender was great at making sure our food and beverage needs were well met.

I had a simple burger, as did most of my fellow patrons. The meal was worth the price and I didn't feel like I was hungry or stuffed as I left.

If you are in the Quad-Cities and have the chance, this is the brewpub to try. Especially if you're looking for a good variety of beers made with care and effort.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.63/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Lively Midwest Micro-brewery with a hippie atmosphere. I rated the atmosphere higher than some may, because I enjoy some Allman Brothers on the jukebox. The quality of the beer was 'meh', so I tried both of the stouts on tap. The "Uncommon Stout" was tastier than the Oatmeal Stout. To mean, the Oatmeal Stout was a little off. The guest tap was Founders Breakfast Stout, and even though I felt bad doing so, I had to order one. We drive from Iowa City to the Ill. boarder to get some Founders, so I'm gonna treat myself to some Founders. They had other bottled beers in the cooler aside from their own Micros on tap. We order some Chipolte wings, and they were tasty, and spice. Good meat on the wings. I'd go back, and bring friends!

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

Visited around 8 PM on a Tuesday night to find it surprising crowded with a mostly younger crowd. Comfortably loud groovy-jam music matched the clientele (playing "Gone Phishin'" on Sirrius XM
later in the night).

Located in a/the downtown historic area. It appears they combined two buildings and with one being the dining room and the other being the bar and brewing area - the brewing operation is impressively displayed behind the bar.
On tap were: blonde, pale, wheat, hefe, stout, IPA, oatmeal stout, raspberry wheat, and jalapeño pepper ale.

I had a hefe and the IPA. The hefe was well undercarbonated. The IPA was one of the best brewpub IPA's I've had in quite some time. In fact, they blew the IPA and I got the second or third beer off the new batch. Fruity with nice and clean hop aroma. I would have had another but I needed to get back to my hotel and get some work done.

I ordered the wings and they were some of the worst I've ever had. After the fact I checked Urban Spoon and their rating is 44% like it which is miserable. Go for the beer not the food.
Pretty busy and the bartenders were working hard and together to keep on top of things.

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Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Fairly typical brewpub setup, occupying two storefronts in downtown Moline. Large fermenters loomed large behind the long bar. Tile floors in the bar room, wood in the dining room. Nice patio in the back, lights strung overhead, and a large outdoor storage vessel. Satellite radio was tuned to a Greatful Dead station. Seemed to be a steady stream of growler-fill traffic in and out on a Saturday afternoon.

Beer selection was pretty good, including a dry hopped pale ale, hefeweizen, jalapeno ale, oatmeal stout, strawberry ale, and others.

Service was pretty much just the bartender, no servers on the patio. Samples were offered when asked. Quality of the 3 beers I tried was good. Nothing mindblowing for beer geeks, but solidly executed beers. Crowd seemed to be older, but an eclectic mix of people, friendly overall.

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Photo of nightcrawler
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I've been to Bent River a few times and have always had great service. While I have seen their board listing 12 different beers, I have had only 7 different ones but always take home a growler or two (or three) when I am in town. The beers are pretty decent, with some edging on being great. I have yet to have a beer I *didn't* like.

While the food selection is pretty normal for a bar, it has been pretty good both times I ate there.

The atmosphere is pretty laid back but I have always had the bartender asking me what I want within a minute or so of sitting on the stool, even during crowded weekend nights when they have bands playing. The bartenders are always game to tell you about the beers they like, even the pepper beers.

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Photo of Rayek
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I stopped here for lunch while on my way to Chicago. Very neat little place.

Bent River is in two old store fronts in downtown Moline. The entire place is quite cozy. The bar takes up an entire wall on one side of the brewpub. Behind it is all of the brewing equipment. The other side of the pub has a seating area made up of small tables. There are a few video games available and they have live music some nights of the week.

When I was there, they had 11 of their beers on-tap, plus Old Style for the die-hard Cubs fans. I had the Wit and Trappist, which were both pretty nice.

Food here, at lunch anyway, is simple sandwitchs and burgers. I ordered the breaded tenderloin. It was huge, if a bit bland. As I was one of very few people there, I pretty much had the waitress to myself. She was quite friendly and also knowlegeable about the beers.

Prices are very low. I spent less on the food than on beer. If I'm ever in Moline again, I'll be back.

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Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Easy enough to find with plenty of parking nearby. The place is kinda dingy and stunk of cooking grease from the kitchen. Very busy for a weeknight. I thought the beer selection was a bit slim. Three stouts and three wheat beer variations. They also had Schell's 1919 Root Beer on tap. The beers I did have were very good. The oatmeal stout being the highlight. Sitting at the bar you get a good look at the brewing equipment and the fermenters. The beer is good but the smells coming from the kitchen turned my stomach and I had enough after 45 minutes.

Edit: Four years later and I return. The various scores would change but my overall impression of the place has not. Service was horrible. The bartenders were on the opposite end of the bar doing shots with their friends instead of tending to their customers. I tried the food this time and thought it was palateable. Interesting mix of beers available but did not get to try much because the service was so uncaring. By far the worst service I ever experienced in the Quad Cities.

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Photo of curiamagna
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

My wife and I visit Bent River at least once a year. For her review from several years ago, scroll down. As always, the bartenders provided excellent service and were knowledgeable about the beers. We also talked for some time with a local guy who is working on his first batch of homebrew. Good luck to him.

In the past, I really enjoyed their dry-hopped APA. We would get a growler each visit, in addition to one or two at the bar. I'm not a huge fan of APAs, specifically one of the plethora of APAs and AIPAs that taste like the brewer dumped a ton of cascade hops in a kettle of Miller Lite wort. The dry-hopped APA was wonderful though, and I was briefly disappointed when they didn't have it during my annual visit last weekend.

I say briefly because my disappointment disappeared after one sip of Bent River's Imperial Stout. I asked for a sample after ordering my second favorite - Oatmeal Stout, and immediately I wished I had gone with the Imperial. As Imperial Stouts are supposed to be, the beer was dark, dark brown (opaque) with a lingering, dark tan head. The first taste was noticeably sweet with a velvety mouthfeel, transitioning to a nice, smoky, but not sharp or too bitter aftertaste. It was heavenly. No one could tell me the ABV, but it did not seem extremely high like some other Imperials, which is a good thing. It lacked the distracting, high-alcohol "burn" some more extreme beers have.

I visit brewpubs all over the midwest and occasionally beyond. This Imperial is hands down the best beer I have ever had at a brewpub and in the top 5 beers I have ever tasted. I would not normally consider buying a growler of an Imperial Stout, but this one was worth it. BTW, kudos to Bent River for sealing their growlers well. The beer was not flat when I opened the growler 48 hours later. Now if they could just find a supplier of brown glass growlers (the beer was not skunked, but clear glass is a risk) or better yet bottle!!!

Finally, all good things must come to an end. The Imperial was apparently on a closeout special ($2.50/pint, I think). That means, of course, that it won't be around much longer. If you are in, or passing through the Quad Cities area, don't miss this beer!

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Photo of Mdog
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This was the second stop on the "try the local brewpubs" visit over the holidays. It's a kind of dingy looking place but had some good beer.

I sat at the bar and had a good view of the fermenters. They had eight beers on tap, I tried the Pale Ale and the Uncommon Stout, the stout was good and probably the most coffee taste I've had in a beer.

I had the smothered fries and tried the habanero ketchup, it was fine and the menu was normal bar fare.

Service was fine though I was here when they weren't busy, a friend of mine who lives in the area said when they are busy they rarely would see a waitress. He also said they are trying to become more of a local music hangout, so there is often a cover charge to enter.

Overall, a pretty good place with pretty good beer.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Feels like going home--northwest Iowa in farm country--local bar except brew tanks and fermenters crammed behind the bar--and working at lunch. Coming in the back door, you walk right into the brewery. Overall feel of the place is a bit run down, or not completely refurbished from an older place--but like I said--homey. Good lunch crowd, many seemed to know each other and all seemed very loyal to BR. At Great Taste a week later, I saw a lot of BR t-shirts sported, so a good following.

Bartender was very friendly and helpful--offered to switch sample out for the four at a time I wanted--14 on tap with a full range of styles. Brewer Rick ended giving me several additional samples as well and doing a very good job of selling his product.

All of the beers were good for the most part. I didn't like the Replica Ale, but that's not a regular brew but a part of the state organization group brew, so that doesn't matter much. The Pale Ale is regular and dry hopped version were both good, though I preferred the standard--cleaner and better balanced. The UnCommon Stout was voted best beer in the Quad Cities, and the guy beside me was a very ethusiastic supporter of it and at least two other people came in and got growlers while I had lunch--though I wasn't crazy about it myself. Good, but not great.

Veggie burger was on the menu of general pub fare, but I wasnt' in the mood so got the cheese quesadilla--also good but not mind blowing.

Overall a good place, and I'm curious what the evening atmosphere is like. Seems like a great local place that is working hard to do a good job, and generally is. Seems like a place with good potential that will continue to improve from the good attitude.

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Photo of Stoutsman
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Bent River Handcrafted Lagers & Ales Brewing Company

13 beers on tap.
Mississippi Blonde Light Golden Ale 4%
American Wheat Ale light bodied American style ale easy on the hops4.4%
American Pale Ale 5.5%
Oatmeal Stout 5.5%
Strawberry Ale 4%
Dry-Hopped Pale Ale 5.5%
Jalapeno Pepper Ale 4.45
O’Ship ESB 4.95
Raspberry Wheat Ale 4.4%
Uncommon Stout 5.5%
Painted Moon Pilsner 4.8%
Whitewater Wit 4.9%
Imperial Sweet Stout 5.5%
Replica Red
1919 Draft Root beer

Outside looking at the building one can tell that the building is very old. Opened 1997, You walk in the door and bam! 3 fermenters greet you with 13 beers and 1 draft Root Beer on tap. The brewing equipment stands behind the 40+ foot bar. Very knowledgeable girl behind the bar. The last one is called Replica Red. They are in a contest with 11 other brewpubs in Illinois to brew the same recipe and meet in a suburb of Chicago to judge each breweries rendition. They brew several ales and an occasional lager. A must stop for any brewpub traveler.

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Photo of mynie
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

Downtown Moline, right up the street from the bierstube. The area is full of rundown houses and trendy, nicely decorated restaurants. Bent River combines the two.

The decor is great. Lightly smoky, rundown feel. It feels geniune, like a forest fire or a water stain. The fermenting tanks are huge and right beind the bar, which is covered in a cool copper plate that looks nice and feels even nicer. The whole place looks copper, come to think of it. Varnished wood and bright, proud age.

A full beer menu hangs huge behind the bar. The music was totally decent (Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, Primus...not exactly OMG UNDERGROUND type of music, but better than what you'd get just about everywhere else). The crowd was mostly in their 30s and 40s. This is good, because twenty somethings like myself tend to be the absolute worst people on earth.

Excellent beer. The dry hopped IPA was great--actually boldly hoppy, instead of just claiming to be boldly hoppy, like so many other run of the mill brewpub IPAs. The Uncommon Sout was even better, and even the chick beers were solid.

The waiter was a bit of a dick at first, but that might have been because 1)My girlfriend and I were each at ;east ten years younger than everyone else there, and 2)The first thing I ordered was the raspberry and he might have thought I was a sissy. The staffed warmed up, though. But they lose points for refilling my pint glass when I switched from one beer to another. You don't pour an IPA into a glass that still has the dregs of a stout in it!

Selection was great, about a dozen beers including some really off the wall (Sweet Potato!) and X-treme (Dry hopped) selections. There was also a great bottle selection featuring the standard crafts available in Illinois--3 Floyds, Bell's, etc.

No food to try. Pints were a little expensive, but not egregious. Certainly worth checking out if you're in the Quad Cities.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped by while in town to visit my Grandparents. We came in the back way, walked past some fermenting tanks and the display case of bottled beers. The selection of bottle was pretty impressive, with 3F's, Bell's, DFH, etc. represented. The brewery selection was very good too, with a stout, oatmeal stout, pale ale, IPA, blonde, raspberry beer, and a few others. I had the dry-hopped pale ale, which was very nice and super-hoppy, as well as some IPA (good, but rather mild on the hops), and the oatmeal stout which was just ok. Didn't have any food, but the selection and prices looked pretty good. $3.50 for a pint of beer. Service was ok, but the pours could have been better (more head). Overall a good place that I would certainly go to again and a very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I stopped into Bent River while taking a 'tour' of the Quad Cities brewpubs. I found Bent River to be a nice place to belly up to the bar and try some micro brews. Their craft brews are quality, but fairly standard overall. However, occasionally they do have something unusual such as their sweet potatoe beer and Jerr's honey bear porter. Prices are in line. the bartender was adequate, but not overly freindly or helpful.

Their micro brew selection is very nice. A large selection of brews that are a little off the beaten path.

One word to the wise... Keep an eye on your change.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I stopped in to Bent River on the way back to my home, coming from the airport in Moline. After spending two weeks in Austria, I was a bit 'bummed' about the quality produced by the mega-breweries of the US (you know the ones...) as compared to those in the Styrian region of Austria.

I had to stop in and 'reaffirm' my faith in the micro and craft brewing revolution going on in the states.

The waitress supplied my wife and I with a sampler selection, eight beers in total. The most curious of those were the raspberry wheat, the jalepeno ale and the java stout.

The burgers were excellent and an excellent deal for the price.

We didn't stay long, as I was severely jet lagged, but next time I am in Moline, this is a definite stop.

Viva la revolution!

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Photo of Reneejane
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

My husband and I were in Moline this weekend, and we tried out the Bent River Brewing company. We made reservations on Thursday for a Saturday evening dinner, and our table was there, but we didn't really need the reservation, the place was full, but not overfull. It seemed more like a neighborhood/local establishment. They had beer coasters from all over the world and flags for decoration. It's in downtown Moline, and fairly easy to find. It seemed to have been an old building and it had a patina of age on the outside and inside. Behind the bar were the kettles and mash tuns, and brewing equipment, not behind glass or anything, just behind the bartenders. The crowd was very local, and there was a live blues band setting up that started playing right about when we left.

Our waitor was fabulous, he gave us samples of every beer, for free. When we asked him beer questions, he found out the answers for us. The food was standard bar fare that was "bent." They had a build a burger section of the menu, where you could customize to your heart's content, and my burger was excellent.

The price was very reasonable. We had some beers at the bar before we sat down, but for 2 entres, an appetizer, and 2 beers it was $22. Which is a nice price.

We tried many of the beers, excellent choices for diverse beer drinkers. Go to Moline to go to Bent River.

*edit* Original review written in 1/2004, this edit is 2/2009. I was disappointed to learn over the summer they have had a bit of turnover with the brewmasters (apparently the brewers keep leaving to get jobs with benefits... I think it's sad, because they're losing talent because they're not competitive.) This winter, the number of beers on tap have been decreased, the menu seems to have shrunk. Still good burgers.

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Bent River Brewing Company in Moline, IL
Brewery rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 1242 ratings