Raise a glass to the return of a hoppy, happy event — QC Craft Beer Week is coming up May 16-21.

The Quad Cities has a rich brewing history dating back to 1847, when the first regional brewery opened in Rock Island. And today, the QC area is home to the QC Ale Trail and nearly 20 breweries producing handcrafted beers, according to a Visit Quad Cities release Thursday.

To celebrate these innovative brewers, QC Craft Beer Week has become an annual event highlighting the flavors and culture of independent craft brewing.  This year’s week is made possible through a partnership with the Visit Quad Cities’ QC Ale Trail, Craft Quad Cities, and local breweries.

Dave Herrell is president/CEO of Visit Quad Cities.

“Our craft beer community, industry and its story continue to create a lot of value for our tourism product and visitor experience, said Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “Our craft breweries, the QC Ale Trail, and the product that is produced in the Quad Cities regional destination is amazing and I would stack it up against anyone in the country.  QC Craft Beer Week is important as we celebrate, gather, and raise a glass to the importance of craft beer to the Quad Cities.”

QC Craft Beer Week falls during the third anniversary of the QC Ale Trail—a year-round, self-guided, gamified tour of the local craft beer scene. Hundreds of craft beer lovers from 23 states have already blazed the trail. Find out more at www.qcaletrail.com.

You can visit craft breweries on the QC Ale Trail and win prizes.

Each day of QC Craft Beer Week brings a new adventure for craft brew lovers as different breweries in different parts of the QCs are featured to visit, taste and support.  For more information about QC Craft Beer Week, visit qcaletrail.com or craftqc.com.  You can also follow the Facebook event to get updates about specials, tappings, or events from each brewery on their designated day.

As an added bonus, you can do the Check-in Challenge.  People can enter to win a Grand Prize basket on www.qcaletrail.com if they visit a brewery every day M-F and check-in for the QC Ale Trail. There is an entry form to show which breweries you visited.

On Friday, May 20, wear your favorite craft brewery shirt and share on social media using #qccraftbeerweek. Check out these local breweries during the week —

Monday, May 16 – East Moline/Geneseo:

  • Midwest Ale Works
  • Geneseo Brewing Co.
  • Great Revivalist Brew Lab

Tuesday, May 17 – Davenport/Muscatine:

  • Front Street Brewery
  • Stompbox Brewing
  • Contrary Brewing Co.

Wednesday, May 18 – Bettendorf/LeClaire:

  • Crawford Brew Works
  • Five Cities Brewing
  • Nerdspeak Brewery
  • Twin Span Brewing
  • Adventurous Brewing
  • Green Tree Brewery

Thursday, May 19 – Moline:

  • Bent River Brew Pub
  • Galena Brewing Co. Ale House
  • Rebels & Lions Brewing/Rebellion Brew Haus

Friday, May 20 – Rock Island:

  • Bent River Brewery
  • Blue Cat Brewing Co.
  • Radicle Effect
  • Wake Brewing

To close out QC Craft Beer Week, there are two local events on Saturday, May 21.

Green Tree Brewery in downtown LeClaire has a Cinco De Mayo special today, where you can get $1 off pints of Rojo Red and free samples of chili lime pretzels.

Local and regional breweries will be pouring samples of their beer in the shops of downtown LeClaire, during Shops with Hops on Saturday, May 21. Purchase a $25 ticket in advance at www.shopswithhops.com and pick up your souvenir tasting glass at Green Tree Brewery in LeClaire. Sip, sample and shop from 3-6 p.m. before the after-party from 6-7 p.m. at Green Tree Brewery, with raffle prizes with proceeds going to Getting Heroes Home.

The QC Beer Battle on the Belle is a new event that gives attendees a Mississippi River cruise from 12-3 p.m. on the Celebration Belle riverboat while they enjoy samples of craft beer from 14 different regional brewers.  This event is currently sold out. For more information, visit www.celebrationbelle.com.

A new QC Beer Battle on Celebration Belle May 21 is already sold out.

QC Beer Week began in 2011 by the local home brewing club, MUGZ, to highlight the great places in the Quad Cities that celebrated craft beer, with different tapping events at both bars and breweries. 

As the local brewing landscape changed so has the event itself to focus on QC-crafted brews. This riverfront region has a long history of brewing beer, and the QC Ale Trail invites Quad Citizens and visitors to taste the top-quality pints from our current batch of brewers.

Check in at participating breweries using a QC Ale Trail mobile or paper passport to earn the commemorative QC Ale Trail items. Visit four breweries to earn an engraved bottle opener; visit all the breweries to earn a commemorative QC Ale Trail pint glass.

Go to qcaletrail.com to register and visit the online store for QC Ale Trail merchandise. Join the conversation with fellow Trailblazers in the Facebook group as well.