A couple of years ago, businessman Rob Mathisen took a look at the City of Moline. He so liked the “history and blue collar bones the city offered” that he decided to expand his pour-your-own-craft-beer business here. That business – the Pour Bros. Craft Taproom – opened in early January at 1209 Fourth Ave., Suite […]
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A couple of years ago, businessman Rob Mathisen took a look at the City of Moline. He so liked the “history and blue collar bones the city offered” that he decided to expand his pour-your-own-craft-beer business here.
That business – the Pour Bros. Craft Taproom – opened in early January at 1209 Fourth Ave., Suite 2, and is off to a great start, said Mr. Mathisen, who is the taproom’s co-founder and co-owner along with Nathan Monroe. (Their other two Pour Bros. locations are in Peoria Heights and Champaign, Illinois.)
“You can get beers here that you can’t get anywhere else. … Everytime you walk in here, there will be something new,” added Mr. Mathisen.
The centerpiece of the business – at least, it’s the focal point for beer lovers – is the row of 28 automated beer taps that cover a wall in the business. From those taps, customers pour their own beer “to the tenth of an ounce” so they get a quick taste to see if they like or dislike a beer flavor without spending much money, he said.
Those beer brands and flavors along the wall are changing almost daily, but in early March some of the selections included: Zombie Killer, Purple Reign, Todd the Axeman, Space Dust, Blood Orange Bohemian and Blackberry Wheat. Mr. Mathisen said customer favorites include the fruited beers, hazy IPAs and the beers made by local breweries.
Customers also like the look of the new business, which is co-located in the building housing The Element Moline hotel. That look includes a big Neon sign stating “Pour The Experience” above the beer taps and a large banner in front of the business stating “Now pouring beer, cider, mead, wine, seltzer” and “Pay by the ounce.”
But perhaps the most unique feature at Pour Bros. is the large decorative pipes near the ceiling. At the opening ends of the pipes are seven pieces of custom-made glass artwork that appear to be big drops of beer running out of the pipes.
Mr. Mathisen said that Pour Bros. worked with a Des Moines company called West End Architectural Salvage in bringing the unique art feature to the downtown location.
But Pour Bros is not just about the beers and decorations. Mr. Mathisen said he also is proud of the lineup of cocktails. They include: Cucumber Collins, Moscow Mule, Blackberry Rum Mule, Whiskey Sour, and a zero-proof cocktail called the “Staycation,” which the menu describes as “a vacation in your glass – no flight necessary.”
The new business already is attracting the attention and praise of the Quad Cities’ business and tourism communities.
“Pour Bros. Craft Taproom is a fantastic new place and a great addition to the Quad Cities regional destination,” said Dave Herrell, Visit Quad Cities’ president and CEO. “The location within the Element Moline coupled with the proximity to the TaxSlayer Center adds significant value to downtown Moline and our overall tourism product in the QC.”
He added that with Pour Bros.’ proven track record “having them here is a win for the region as they offer customers a unique experience within the craft industry space.”
Pour Bros. Craft Taproom occupies about 5,500 square feet in the downtown Moline building that is home to the Element, the Urbane Farmhouse gift shop and has been planned as the future station for passenger rail. The former warehouse building also neighbors the John Deere Commons and TaxSlayer Center.
Currently, Pour Bros. has about nine employees and it could be adding more workers in the future, said Mr. Mathisen.
In fact, the business owners have big plans for the future. First, an outdoor beer garden is in the works and could open in late spring. Also, Mr. Mathisen wants to convert 1,600 square feet of Pour Bros. into a restaurant space. The possible opening date is still up in the air, but he is confident that it will eventually happen.
While pleased with the direction his new Moline business is taking now, he said it was a big struggle to get the Pour Bros. to the Quad Cities.
The Germantown Hills, Illinois, businessman first began looking to expand to Moline about two and a half years ago. The planning stages were going great – and then the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
“COVID hit and nobody was talking about growth. … We were terrified because nobody knew how long it would last. Is this COVID going to be a five-year deal?” Mr. Mathisen recalled.
And not long after the global pandemic began, prices for just about everything started to escalate. Suddenly, the new Moline Pour Bros. project went from costing an estimated $600,000 to “just north of $800,000,” he added.
But after all those roadblocks, the business expansion finally got moving and “we opened in the heart of winter,” Mr. Mathisen added. “We are doing great in the winter. I can’t wait until the spring and summer.”
Pour Bros. Craft Taproom’s hours are: Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, noon to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.pourbrosmoline.com.