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Beer billboard battle: Quad Cities breweries duke it out through signs on opposite sides of the river

Near Wake Brewing and Front Street Brewery, you might see a billboard for their competitor in what they describe as a fun, interstate game of poking the bear.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — If you've passed by Front Street Brewery or Wake Brewing recently, you might have caught sight of some billboards directing you across the river for a taste of local beer.

The rival billboards are part of a fun game of poking the bear being played by the two businesses on opposite sides of the Mississippi River.

According to Davenport's Front Street Brewery, they noticed a few months ago that a competitor from Rock Island, Wake Brewing, had put up a cheeky sign telling potential customers to "Choose Your Path", pointing across the Mississippi River to Illinois.

That sign is located right before Government Bridge on LeClaire Street just around the corner from Front Street Pub & Eatery and only a few blocks away from the Taproom.

Credit: WQAD
A sign for Wake Brewing on LeClaire Street in Davenport

At about the same time, Front Street welcomed a new marketing director, Brandon Mavis. Seeing the billboard every day on the way to his new job and being friends with many people on the Wake Brewing team, Mavis got an idea.

"My first thought was if Wake is telling people to go drink beer in Rock Island, I am going to tell people to come drink beer in Davenport!" said Mavis. "I ran this by a few others at Front Street and they thought it would be hilarious as well, like we were feuding breweries via a billboard war!"

After doing some research, he found there were two open billboards next to Wake's new parking lot.

Mavis commented on a Wake Brewing Facebook post celebrating the new parking lot, saying that it would look better with an ad for Front Street, and Wake dared him to make it happen.

Credit: Wake Brewing

About two weeks later, drivers in the area on 4th Avenue in Rock Island could catch a glimpse of a new ad for Front Street Brewing just a stone's throw away from Wake.

Credit: WQAD
A sign for Front Street Brewery on 4th Avenue in Rock Island

"We hope that others get a quick laugh out of it, appreciate the humor as we do," said Mavis. "While our breweries are competitors in the local market, we're also industry professionals and friends that have known each other for many years. We support each other by visiting the other taprooms and enjoying their beers as often as we can. It's all good-natured fun, literally poking the bear to see who makes the next move."

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