John Rhodell brewery resides in a beautiful and historic building with a great view of the Illinois river. It’s a large space in the style of a Scottish pub, and it’s Peoria’s oldest existing Microbrewery; established in 1998. The longevity of the watering hole undoubtedly is a contributing factor to the quality of its brews. The co-owner/brewmaster Mark doesn’t make a bad beer. He consistently produces a large rotating tap list and can go toe to toe with any brewmaster in the country; I’m not exaggerating. With a large variety of styles and seasonal favorites there is a beer for everyone.
Rhodell Brewery was formed with community in mind. It’s a great place to gather with friends or coworkers and have a conversation. Additionally, there is a pool table, and a couple of comfy couches . One of my favorite aspects of this place is the knowledge and friendliness of the bartenders. They know the ins and outs of the beers they offer, and they are proud of them. Over the period of a couple of hours, I watched a steady line of customers come to the bar, ask for detail about the beer list, and walk away happy and well informed; the customer service is top notch.
One of the unique things about Rhodell Brewery is the opportunity for customers to brew their own beer utilizing brewery supplied equipment (for a fee of course). Locals enjoy coming in with a group of friends or a work group to have a few quality brews while making a beer of their own. This is a great opportunity for someone who may want to learn to brew their own beer, without investing in their own equipment. A variety of grain, hops, and yeast are available for brewing. Additionally, as much or as little professional assistance, if requested, is available.
There are currently 12 beers on tap, the beers rotate out often. On this visit I enjoyed a Mojo Strong Ale and a Vienna Amber. The Mojo Strong Ale is a Belgian style ale. It boasts an 8.8% ABV while being smooth, creamy, and full of flavor. The Vienna Amber is a full-bodied brew and checks in at 6%. This brew has a toasted malt sweetness with toffee overtones. I recommend both beers. John S Rhodell brewery does not distribute, but it is more than worth a visit.
Mark Johnstone the brewmaster was on a local Peoria Journal Star podcast in the recent past. It is full of information on his approach to brewing and how John S Rhodell Brewing came to be. You can view it here.
Rhodell Brewery is located at 100 Walnut street suite 111 in Peoria Il.
Only a short three-hour drive from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, Peoria is a great option for a weekend get-away for beer lovers. Every brew pub in town is producing great beer and they complement each other well. I encourage you to spend a weekend there and visit all of them. You can read my impressions of the other Peoria area breweries here. Bearded Owl Brewing, Industry Brewing Company, Obed and Isaacs.