I hate it when a couple of keyboard jockeys put out a list of the 'Best This' or 'The Top 10 of These...' because it always means one thing--they are going to completely ignore us. This latest random article is "The 17 Best Cities in the U.S. For Beer Lovers." Great places to make a trip to, and sample the local beers.

And guess which cities get completely ignored? Yep. While they boast about Milwaukee's beer reputation, and Chicago's surge in craft breweries, and calculate some arbitrary score that ranks them all, they should maybe get out of their think tank windowless office and head out to actually visit some places.

They could see that in the Quad Cities alone, we have nearly as many craft brewers as Milwaukee and a Beer tradition that goes back as far as Chicago. Add a little day trip to visit Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Waterloo, and you have access to almost 50 Breweries. That's the same number as Chicago, with about one-tenth the population. But they won't because they're based in Germany, of all places. (Also wie wäre es, wenn du dir deine Liste in den Arsch steckst?)

I think any place with a Brew Pub or two is a place worth visiting. But especially around here, because you'll always bump into a friendly face, or a regular willing to make a few suggestions. As for mine, here is a small list of places I've been to, sampled the fare, and will likely return. It's by no means complete, but a great representation of what we have to offer around here--

1. SingleSpeed Brewing Co. in Waterloo, IA.

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Let's start up north, eh? Discovered these guys while playing DekHockey, as the Brewhouse and restaurant are steps away from the downtown square. Lemme tell ya, you can build up quite a thirst chasing around players half your age, and the variety of brews there will quench any one of them! Favorite Beverage: Tip The Cow

2. 7 Hills Brew Pub in Dubuque, IA.

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Do yourself a favor and have a few 7-Headed Monsters with lunch and let the day get away from you. If you've stayed long enough for the band to start--you're doing it right. Then, take home a case for the family. Favorite Beverage: 7 Headed Monster

3. Clock House Brewing Co. in Cedar Rapids, IA.

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This was a Brewery I had to visit because I had one of their beers while lunching at 30 Hop in Coralville. Witch Slap is a great IPA wherever you see it on the menu, but having it where it was born with their Jumbo Pretzel and the Jalapeno Mustard is a can't miss. Favorite Beverage: Witch Slap

4. Green Tree Brewery in LeClaire, IA

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The views from the patio give you the Mississippi River in all its glory. But it's best to enjoy their beers with the boat launchers trying to back their boats into the water. Some look like maybe they have already had a few of Green Trees' unique offerings. It's drinks, and a show! Favorite Beverage: Ceiling Zero--honorable mention--Storm Chaser.

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5. Bent River Brewing Co. in Moline (Also Rock Island Il.)

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The Uncommon Stout has been a long time favorite of mine, and it goes with everything. From a great burger on the patio, to a growler at home with trick-or-treat candy. Favorite Beverage: I just told you--Uncommon Stout.

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So there's five to get you started--but here's a better idea--discover your own favorites, and send me a heads up! We'll drink together--while apart! Cheers to beers!

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