It must be a very good beer. This Quad City brewery went up against more than 700 beers from over 15 different countries this year and brought home the gold.

We were one of the very few that got a gold medal. So we got to see that pretty early on the list,” the brewmaster said. Then the further on I went down the list, every beer that we entered won an award.

Blue Cat Brew Pub opened in downtown Rock Island, IL back in 1994. The brewery/restaurant changed hands and brands in 2017 when a new owner stepped in. The restaurant and brewery under the name Big Swing, didn't make it and closed a few years later.

After a few bumps in the road brewmaster, Charlie Cole returned the brewery to its original brand, Blue Cat Brewing Company.

The Quad City community was thrilled and Cole decided to start brewing some old favorites and some new brews that went on to win several medals at this year’s New York International Beer Competition held earlier this month.

Charlie spoke to KWQC-TV and said he was thrilled to win his first professional awards, only months after going back to the Blue Cat name.

The brewery won bronze medals for its Vino #2 Wild Ale and its Papa Bear Scotch Ale. It also won a silver medal for its Emersyn Juliet Hefeweizen. The big prize was gold and it was awarded to Finnegan’s Dry Irish Stout and was named “Illinois Irish-Style Brewery of the Year”. 

Get our free mobile app

That's kind of a big deal, but when you talk to Charlie Cole, he stays pretty cool about it all and just smiles. He said this to KWQC:

We were one of the very few that got a gold medal. So we got to see that pretty early on the list,” Cole said. Then the further on I went down the list, every beer that we entered won an award.

That's pretty impressive. Also impressive is the beer isn't just appreciated by casual beer drinkers, according to Cole, this competition stands out because the brews were judged by trade buyers. Those are the people who buy beer on an international level and are very select about who they choose to distribute.
In other competitions, drinks may be judged by other breweries or certified beer experts. Clearly, Cole is doing everything the right way. Want to learn more about Blue Cat, its history, and beer?

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Iowa

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Iowa using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

More From 104-5 KDAT