Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +3.6%
much much better than the Charlotte location
i imagine this place is usually full of tourists due to its location in the magnificent mile district. It was definately a good night to be a 23 year old male though since there was plenty of 20 something females in the room. The place was absolutely packed and was a bit trendy for a brewpub.
i liked the fact that they have rotating stouts and wheats. they had the oatmeal stout when i was there and it was pretty good. they also had a specialty IPA on tap. It seemed like they have a rotating stock of specialty brews as well.
service was good, especially due to the packed house.
we hit this place up after a long day at the intonation music festival at Union park and were quite hungry. Maybe it was the conditions but I thought my burger was phenomenal. I forget the name of it but it had 3 types of shrooms with swiss/cheddar melted, and that baby was huge.
seems like a solid place to grab a bite and have a few beers but unless you want to deal with the crowds, I would go early.
07-19-2005 20:14:23 | More by dirtylou
3.05/5 rDev -21%
Rock Bottom is in the near north side which means that is it is located very close to all the shopping trendy parts that tourist love to hit part of town. Take a cab or expect to valet part cause you won't find a parking spot unless you are a local and you now the secret prime locations. When you get into RB they have your typical sports bar/ brewpub schlock on the walls like "olde time" beer signs and giant TVs play any sports that are on at that time.
They usually have the standard 4-5 beers on tap with 1 seasonal and they are all are within style guidelines but still appeal to the masses. If I'm in the area I usually stop in for the seasonal but I don't go out of my way for the usual suspects.
They wait staff is used to dealing with high volume so they are really good at getting what you need and moving on. They always seem nice but they never stay around to answer questions.
The food is typical pub grub and if also appeals to the masses so you are pretty safe with anything you order.
It is a fun place to go if a company has rented out the private rooms and they foot the bill but with so many choices in Chicago it is not one of my typical hangouts.
03-24-2005 02:54:29 | More by rhoadsrage
4/5 rDev +3.6%
Long overdue, my thrice postponed work stint is finally scheduled for a few days in Chicago. After dinner at Giordano's, everyone's heading back to the hotel, everyone 'cept me, that is. Yeah, and Shelley. She knows what's up, she's seen this show in Houston so she's coming too. I've got the area all mapped out on this little map I drew, of the places, with the beer, so we do the 4 blocks walk to Clark Street to find them closed for a private party, so beaten but not defeated, we opt for that Rock Bottom halfway back to the...
Nicely spacious room with an "L" shaped wood bar seating a dozen. A dozen tables are housed in an elevated seating area along the large front windows looking out over West Grand Avenue, with another 6 below that in a center area, another 6 beyond that adjacent to the bar, and another 6 along the far wall heading back towards the rear room amongst a few bar counters.
The far wall running the length of the room is all brick as are the columns throughout the room, otherwise it's wood lowers and beige uppers, and spot lighting overhead. A big screen and TV's everywhere. Behind the bar is a room with a row of 30 BBL fermenters visible behind glass.
I opted for the sampler, which gives you all 8 beers (Light, Gold, Wit, Red, Brown, Porter, Schwartz, Belgian Strong Ale). The Wit, which was their "wheat beer in rotation", was my favorite of the lot of 'em, nicely sweet, corriander and orange. I also enjoyed the Brown Ale, deeply chocolatey and rich, all Willamette hopped.
The Shwartz was bitter, and kind of plain, the Porter was Dry Irish Stoutlike, and the Red was well dryhopped. As to the Belgian Strong Ale... at 12%, well, all I've got to say is "sweet warming alcohol!!!"
How long do you think it took me to ask about the conspicuous hand pump? It's been dead for a year. I hung my head low and wept silently. Well, I would've if Shelley weren't with me. They've got these really cool red metal racks for delivering samplers. They look like the heads of metal rakes with curvatures for holding and lifting multiple glasses at once.
Throughout and about...
There's a spacious back room, with 4 pool tables, a half dozen bar tables, and Phil's golf game.
A side dining room holds a dozen booths and 2 dozen tables, mostly hugging the walls along the 2-front windows hugging this corner room. A handful of mashers lie behind glass here as well.
And upstairs, there's a rooftop beer garden I would've liked to have seen, although that wasn't happening this January evening.
Beers were solid overall and service was pleasant and attentative.
02-06-2005 17:34:23 | More by slander
4.45/5 rDev +15.3%
I have had the opportunity to have been part of a party the first time I was at the Downtown Chicago location. The many craft beers on hand are award winning and compliment the wonderful food on the menu perfectly. The staff at this location bend over backwards to make sure you are having a great time. And I've returned many times since my first experience because of that. But each beer I had (Erik the Red Ale, Brown Bear Brown, and the Terminal Stout) were perfect examples of hitting the bullseye on each style brewed.
Fun to go watch football games on Sundays, televisions, pool tables, etc come together for a great place to have fun and drink some really outstanding craft beer.
12-02-2004 20:12:13 | More by mkopera24
4.4/5 rDev +14%
While in Chicago one of my friends told me he went to this place and wanted to go again. I figured it would be like a Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and nothing special, prolly bland beer with mediocre food and shoddy service. But it was lunchtime and my hangover was starting to kick in. I needed lunch and maybe a beer or two so a group of us went. Well, shit, I was way off the mark here! The service was quite knowledgable about their beers and he was very friendly, already better than the GRBC and their shitty service. Their sampler deal was a good deal so I went with that. The beer was exceptional for a national chain standards. This brewer knows his stuff, its obvious. Each beer had a solid flavor and some were exceptional. Plus, the best part, they had a bourbon barrel aged imp. stout and a bourbon barrel aged barleywine on tap!!! And they were both awesome, simply incredible. The food was solid and large in size. I had an chesse dip appetizer which was really thick and slightly spicy. Then the pulled pork sandwich which was really big and really juicy, not dry at all. The fries were weak and too greasy and thin. I liked this place so much I had to go back a few more times in my relatively short stay, it was also b/c of where i was staying and the fact i could walk there and back easily. Don't miss this place, next time I would like to meet the brewer and give him my congrats on such a good job.
11-24-2004 18:48:11 | More by granger10
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
I liked this location. There are quite a few neat things that I noticed they were doing. First off, they had this 'rake-like' device that they used to transport and pass out the samplers. You basically will have to visit and check it out, I couldn't do it justice. Also this is the first bar that I've seen that has coathangers mounted underneath the bar and bar tables. This is a good idea!
The beers were good. At the time we visited they had 7 beers on tap. From a golden ale to a porter and an American IPA. Most of the beers were brewed to style and none of them tasted stale or old. But they weren't anything too exciting either.
The food and the service were very good. Our server wasn't too learned in the ways of beer, but he sure did know how to get us our beer and our food in lickety split time.
Don't let the fact that this is a chain brewpub discourage you.
07-06-2004 16:59:25 | More by beerinator
3.34/5 rDev -13.5%
Really big, really busy restaurant/sportsbar type. Besides the big touristy feel to the place, the experience was nice. The sampler included about 8 different beers (but I was dissapointed the stout was out), so selection was acceptable. Erik the Red ale surprised me with its impressive hop crispness and drinkability and the Brown ale was rich and dark. This place can definately make a few good beers, but I doubt I would go back for them - at least not on any weekend or game nights, just too big of a hassle with the crowd and limited seating.
06-23-2004 18:50:38 | More by BeerZack
3.88/5 rDev +0.5%
I know.. this is a corporate brewpub. The thought of praising what is normally a monolithic chain is a bit anathema to my prefered style of thinking, but RB has done a lot to grant some more beer knowledge to the masses. Praise em for that..
And praise whoever unleashed brewmaster Pete Crowley at this location. Pete is easily one of the most creative guys working inside of a corporate structure these days. Where else could you go to a Rock Bottom and find that the guy has been making his own barrel aged lambics (which he kindly shared with us during the AHA pre-conference pub crawl) Every one of Pete's specialities is at the very least, not boring.
As for the particular location, this place is right in the heart of downtown and is fricking huge.Tons of space and big screens alond with an impressively sized main bar. During the warmer months there's a big upper deck that overlooks State and Grand.
This probably is the best location in the whole chain so don't pass it up just because it looks like another corporate location.
04-12-2004 11:45:39 | More by drewbage
2.9/5 rDev -24.9%
I guess the beer was above average. Part of the rockbottom chain. I wanted to know if the porter made here was the same as the porter made in Cleveland, but noone could answer my question. Even e-mailed to Rockbottom, but got no response.
The Chicago Gold was so/so. Kind of light bodied, low in flavor. The Erik the Red was pretty good, as were the brown bear ale and walleye wheat. So the beer was above average. But the selection was lacking. They were out of something (I don't remember what), so had only 5 beers on tap.
We sat for some time before someone came over to take our drink order. Then sat for some more time waiting for them to come. Then sat some more time waiting for food order to be taken. Then sat even more waiting for the food. It wasn't really worth the wait.
Took two growlers to go out with us. Probably the best move we made. Not bad price wise, but to go and drinking them in the hotel room certainly served us better.
02-19-2004 20:39:04 | More by TheJudge
4.08/5 rDev +5.7%
My company had an outing here. I'm glad the planer is a beer fan!.
Nice large space, plenty of room to stretch out. Nice lively crowd adds to the fun.
My bartender was very good. He was able to tell me about all the beers and did not get tired of my questions.
I liked the food. We were served from a buffet, but the food was tasty. Nice appetizers as well.
I had not been in a Rock Bottom for about 5 years and I was surprised about how much the beer has improved. I liked the Wheat & the red, but the IPA was the best in class. Unfortunately, they did not have a stout or porter available that evening.
This is well worth a stop if you find yourself downtown. Very enjoyable indeed!
01-15-2004 19:09:47 | More by Redrover
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Chicago, IL
87 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.