The classic brews from Blue Cat are set to return in late 2021.
Blue Cat Brew Pub is making its way back to the District of Rock Island. The owners of Big Swing Brewing on 18th Street, which formerly housed Blue Cat, will be bringing back the original recipes and name.
Blue Cat’s original owners retired in 2017. The brother and sister business partners, Dan and Martha Cleveland, originally opened back in 1994.
Big Swing Brewing came from the sale of Blue Cat, when John Timmer and Shane Scott bought the business. They moved into the space in 2019. As of 2021, they have partnered with Head Brewer Charlie Cole to take on Blue Cat’s classic recipes and reinstate the name.
“I’ve been heavily involved in the local brewing community since I moved to the Quad Cities in 2017,” said Charlie. “Since Blue Cat closed I always hear stories from people about how unique the place was, especially being one of the longest operating brewpubs in the state. Dan and Martha really left a legacy behind. I’m fortunate to have connected with John and Shane to take on the challenge and adventure of bringing back the Blue Cat brand. There’s so much history in this building.”
Cole has brewed for five different breweries in his career. These include Bent River Brewing Company, Geneseo Brewing Company, and Midwest Ale Works in the Quad Cities area.
“I love being a part of the brewing community in the Quad Cities. It’s only going to continue to grow,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything different or being in a different area. This brewing community is very special.”
Charlie said he’s looking forward to “resurrect some classic, award winning beers.” He said he also plans to come up with a few new recipes as well.
On Friday, November 5, Blue Cat Brewing Co. will reopen in Rock Island with a new food menu and a full lineup of craft beers.