Tom Swanson doesn't usually need an extra reason to make a toast.

But during Quad-Cities Craft Beer Week, which is happening today through Saturday, he might throw a few more glasses in the air than usual. 

The fourth annual week-long celebration hosted by area craft beer fans is bigger than ever, with a lineup of tastings, classes, tap takeovers and other drinking-themed fun. 

"Craft beer has been a movement for a while and will continue to be a movement," Swanson said. "This week shows that our culture is actually catching up." 

And that's a good feeling. The true craft beer boom happened roughly a decade ago, and the Quad-City scene is officially finding its groove. 

Swanson estimates there are about 60 breweries in Iowa. A decade ago, a fraction of that number existed. 

"Tastes have evolved, and palates have expanded," Swanson said. "It seems like we have people's attention now, and we just have to keep it."

Read on for eight ways to celebrate Quad-Cities Craft Beer Week. Don't forget to make a beer-themed toast. 

1. Beer class: Check out a beer class and dinner Wednesday at the Milan Hy-Vee, 201 10th Ave. W. Chef Brandon Zawada will cook up a several course meal while teaching about beer history, the brewing process and what styles go well with what foods. Tickets, $30. 

2. Specialty beers: Great River Brewery, 332 E. 2nd St, Davenport, has two specialty beers ready to tap for you. Get a taste of the latest cask beer, called the Honey Hemp, at 5 p.m. Wednesday. On Friday, try the Stone Fruit Ale, a light brew featuring notes of apricot, peach and cherry. There's a limited quantity, so get there early to buy some pints before they run out. 

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3. Tap takeover: Radicle Effect Brewerks, 1340 31st St., Rock Island, will host a tap takeover at 6 p.m. Thursday. Try local brews and meet brewers from Bluecat Brew Pub, Bent River Brewing Co., Lionstone Brewery and Great River Brewery.

4. Another tap takeover: Sam Adams is getting in on the craft beer scene. Try the brand's Cinder Blonde Gratzer, Nitro White Ale, Summer Ale and Rye IPA at the Barrel House Utica location, 5141 Utica Ridge Road, Davenport. 

5. Collaborative beer: What happens you get three local breweries together for one brew? Iron Spike Brewing Company, Geneseo Brewing Company and Somethings Brewn' will unveil a beer they created together, called the Atomic Choo Choo. It's a Belgian IPA and 8.4 percent ABV and 60 IBUs. You can try it at Iron Spike Thursday at 150 E. Simmons St., Galesburg.

6. Try an out-of-town flavor: Kavanaugh’s Hilltop, 1228 30th St., Rock Island, will welcome Potosi Brewing Company, based in Potosi, Wis., for a tap takeover starting at 6 p.m.

7. Wrap-up party: The Wrap-Up Party for Quad-Cities Beer Week is Saturday at RIBCO in the District of Rock Island. Kegs wills start flowing at 7 p.m. and live music, featuring Subatlantic, Waking Robot and Satellite Heart, will perform at 9 p.m. $5 cover.

8. Beer fest: The inaugural Quad-Cities Craft Beer Fest also is slated for Saturday at Bass Street Landing located at the intersection of 17th Street and River Drive in Moline. About 15 breweries will offer up their goods. The fest runs from 1-4 p.m. Tickets, $25 in advance and $30 at the door, are available at


Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).