Rock Island, IL. Bent River Brewing Co. began 2014 on an unexpected high note. Their Flagship Brew, the Uncommon Stout, was awarded a gold medal in the 2013 International Craft Awards Competition. General Manager, Nick Bowes, submitted the brewery in the summer of 2013 and was informed shortly after New Years of their achievement. This marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a successful year for the local company.
Bent River Brewing Co. started brewing for the Quad Cities in 1997 in downtown Moline and the beer was so popular that the demand grew and so did they. The second location was opened in early 2012 at 512 - 24th Street in Rock Island and is the main distribution hub, where all the bottled and kegged beer is packaged and sent out into now three states; Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
So much of their success is due to the Uncommon Stout; Bent River sells twice as much of the coffee-infused oatmeal stout over any of their other beers. This is why it was the one chosen to be submitted into the competition.
The brewery found out about the opportunity through an advertisement on the Brewer's Association website - a page for those in the trade - and submitted the brew that has made Bent River a household name in the Quad Cities Area. Bent River is always looking for ways it could spread its name and great beers nationwide, welcoming creative avenues as well as the unexpected. Last year, for example, they sent out 45 pallets of product to a beer of the month club that then shipped its wares all over the country to participating members.
The International Craft Awards Competition, based out of Los Angeles, California, claims the upmost respect and standards for their judging process. In the email Bent River received, they were informed of their award and how it was decided:
"Our credible process is executed by two dozen respected and influential judges, ensuring competitive integrity in selecting beer to be awarded. Beers are scored on a 100 point scale, evaluated on dozens of characteristics (i.e., appearance, taste, aromatics, flavor, mouthfeel and finish) over a multilevel blind tasting procedure."
The beloved, local brew that has taken on the Quad Cities by storm is already nearing regional status, if Bent River Brewing Co. keeps up the good work, the sky just may truly be the limit.