Local IPA launched for a cause: The Levee Breach Rye-it

Local News

Great River Brewery, Radicle Effect Brewerks team up to sell IPA for flood victims

There’s a special local IPA available now in Rock Island.

It’s a special brew designed to do something for the community.

Great River Brewery in Downtown Davenport joined forces with Radicle Effect Brewerks in Rock Island to make it happen.

Great River closed when the floodwater rushed into Downtown Davenport.

It’s been cleaning up ever since.

Great River Brewery has been closed since the levy broke in Downtown Davenport.

“These guys have been an integral part of that downtown area for a long time; just bringing people in, putting smiles on people’s faces and contributing to the community. So, when they went down along with everybody else it was sad to see that they wouldn’t be around for a while,” says Rich Nunez, owner of Radicle Effect Brwerks in Rock Island.

That’s when he reached out to his friends across the river at Great River Brewery.

“I’m a brewer and if I’m not brewing beer then what am I doing?” says Great River Brewery owner Scott Lehnert.

“So it means a lot just to have somebody reach out and say, ‘Hey, let’s do this together.'”

For more than two months now, Nunez and Lehnert have been working to come up with a brew that would represent the historic flooding and give back to those the Mississippi River impacted most.

“When that levy broke, a lot of people upset, the businesses, that things weren’t managed the way they should’ve, could’ve been, if you would, so kind of like a riot could ensue. So brewing a darker brown colored beer that kind of represents the muddy Mississippi. At the same time putting the rye in there and calling it Levy breach Rye-it, it just made sense. It clicked for both of us,” Nunez says.

“Sometimes we have sick senses of humor,” says Lehnert.

The batch benefits more than just Lehnert’s business.

“It wasn’t just Great River Brewery. There’s so many not only businesses but individuals that either lost everything or lost a great deal during this flood, and displaced everything,” Lehnert says.

That’s why all proceeds go to the Downtown Davenport Partnership’s flood relief fund.

“We live in one of the greatest communities, ever. Everybody that’s around here just really, they put their heart and soul into their community and there’s such great support, it’s fantastic,” Lehnert says.

He says he still has a few months to go before reopening but support like this keeps him going.

“It gives you faith in humanity,” Lehnert says.

The Levy Breach Riot goes for five dollars a glass and will be available until all four kegs sell out.

Lehnert says he hopes to reopen in the fall.

It’s one of four businesses still closed after the April flooding; 23 others have reopened.

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