Google+ Followers

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Road Pubs

Road Pubs
There was no BOTB meeting in March, alas. Members were scattered to the four winds (mostly those that blew South). We headed West for a final trip to Springfield, Illinois. We meandered our way there, hitting a few brew pubs along the way. Thought I'd give you the highlights, just in case you happen to be in these various areas.


It's a rustic Irish-themed room with a bar at one end and a few tables around a fireplace.  They have a small but interesting pub-style menu and an intriguing line-up of beers. Unfortunately, no wine which made it a no-go for dinner as far as my wife was concerned. We grabbed an appetizer and I ordered their Dulachan India Pale Ale. It was delicious. I picked up a six-pack to go. "Dulachan," by the way, is the Celtic Grim Reaper.

The Brewerie at Union Station
Erie, PA

The Brewerie at Union Station,which opened in 2006, was Erie's first brewpub. They have five "regulars" on tap all the time: Railway Hefeweizen, Uncle Jackson's Blonde Ale, Hopness Monster IPA, Apparition American Ale, and Major McNair's Nut Brown Ale. They combine this with rotating seasonals. The seasonal selection the night we were there included: Koehler Pre-Prohibition Lager, Big Easy, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. Along with their own brews, they have a nice selection of  bottled beers all from Pennsylvania breweries. On the bottled beer menu is a caveat: " Bud, Miller or Coors here! Just bottled beer from Pennsylvania's finest microbreweries." You gotta love that!

 Those breweries included: Erie, Lavery, Penn, Stoudt's, Troeg's, Lancaster, Yards, Victory, Voodoo, Otto's, Weyerbacher, and Fox. If you couldn't find a beer you liked here, then you just don't like beer. Not surprisingly, I had their Hopness Monster IPA. Very good.

Front Street Brewery
Davenport, Iowa

This place is easy to miss. We parked at a small community park along the Mississippi River and followed a path that ran between some railroad tracks and the Mississippi. Not the most picturesque of areas and particularly not in early March. But we spotted this place and made our way over to it. It's a cozy little room dominated by the bar on the right, some booths lining the left wall and some high-top tables scattered between. Apparently there is a larger basement room for receptions etc. We ordered their spinach artichoke dip as an app and I had their IPA which was sort of an easy-drinking IPA without a huge hop bite to it.

Bent River Brewing Company
Moline, Iowa

We were looking for a brewpub for supper and this place looked promising. When we arrived, however, we found they didn't serve food other than limited bar snacks. I mentioned to the bartender that we were under the impression that they were a brewpub and he pointed out that this place was strictly the brewery and bar. The brewpub was a few blocks away. As it turned out, our mistake was fortuitous as I ordered an Undercurrent IPA. I mentioned to the bartender that I'd love to sample their Jalepeno Pepper Ale. He poured me a sample and it was a very unique beer. The jalepenos give it a nice bite without being too hot to enjoy. The bartender then handed me a half and half - half Jalepeno Pepper Ale and half Undercurrent IPA. He said, "You like hoppy beers and you like the pepper ale, you're going to love this." And he was right. It was a great combination where the hops complimented the pepper and the pepper complimented the hops. 

We then went to the other Bent River for dinner where I was able to get an Undercurrent IPA in a seriously large mug (pictured at the right) because we happened to be there on a night when they ran a special on 24 oz "pints." Pretty awesome.

Below is a shot of their beer lineup. Definitely a place to visit if you ever happen to be in Moline, Il.

We`ll be back soon with a look at some of Sam Adams latest brews.
The BOTB Guys