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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
419 Beers
2,857 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 6.28%
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1 W Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60654-4806
United States
phone: (312) 755-9339

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rockbottom

Notes:
(Linked Listing) None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Xadoor
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I've been to various Rock Bottom locations around the country and they've never disappointed. It turned out to be our evening-ending place after spending the afternoon at The Hop Leaf. The front bar was pretty packed and noisy, but the back area around the pool tables was empty and quieter. Service was quick and attentive with the waitress making constant rounds to check on us. The waitress sold us on trying the Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale which I was certainly not a fan of at all once it began to warm. Soper2000 seemed to be enjoying his, so I filled his glass with mine when he wasn't looking and proceeded to order something else. After a few games of pool, a few more pints and an amusing time of watching Soper2000 wander around the place looking for the bathrooms (they're upstairs), we decided to call it a night and grabbed a growler of their Chicago Gold and headed back to our hotel. Unfortunately, a full day of drinking took its toll and the growler had to wait until the next night.

Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Our party made it back to the Rock Bottom after stops at G.I. Wrigleyville and the Hopleaf. The place was packed upon walking in at about 9 o'clock. The only free space was by a surprisingly vacant pool table in the back. A waitress came by asking for orders before we even had a chance to set our coats down. We split some nachos which hit the spot and myself and Xadoor each got a pint of the Bourbon Barrel aged brown ale.

My first impression of the brown was very favorable as I was on a bit of a bourbon kick. The whiskey flavors and aromas were very much up front but it wasn't a one trick pony like the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout at Two Rows in Houston. You could still tell that this was a brown ale. The beer did start to lose its appeal as we were playing pool. The warming process made the beer a little too boozey. At this point in the evening I was definitely ready for something lightweight so I decided to give their wheat a go. It was a decent enough example of an American wheat and surpremely drinkable after a long day of heavy beers and palate bruising Belgians.

Overall I think my initial review of the Rock Bottom Chicago was on the low side. I only wish we had this place in Houston.

*Original review 3/14/2005 - Original score: 3.51*
I hit up the Chicago Rock Bottom as a nightcap after a fine early afternoon/evening at the Hopleaf. Great location, being only a half a block away from my hotel and literally steps away from the red line. My girlfriend and I we seated right away in the bar area. This RB feels more open than it's cousin in Indy (I must admit that I liked Indy's layout a lot better). Prices are reasonable but they seemed to be lacking the selection that the Indy location has. Possibly 8 beers on-tap with half of the selection being rather boring in my opinion. I had their Irish Stout in honor of St. Pat's day and it was decent enough with a nice roastiness but nothing to write home about. My second beer was a "juiced up" version of their "Eric the Red." The waitress claimed that this beer had twice the hops and twice the malt of the regular version, but it ended being overly alcoholic with not much else going on. Other than these quelms about selection and quality of the brews, the Rock Bottom was pretty solid. Great service and decent atmosphere (bonus points for playing 10 Rush songs in a row!!!) make this a nice place to enjoy a nightcap. If I stay in the same hotel again, the RB will be seeing more business from me.

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

a) the beer
yes its a chain, but the brewers at each location have the opportunity to brew outside the standard selections at their own discretion. Pete Crowley does an excellent job and there's usually an interesting special brew or two on tap. Right now there is an especially stellar selection including a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout (red line), a bourbon barrel aged doppelbock (doppelbarrel -- absolutely lovely, $6 snifter, worth every penny) and a bourbon aged stout.

In addition there is also a selection of special brews available including a strong scotch ale, hefe, imperial pilsner and an oatmeal stout. The scotch ale was served in a pint for $4.50 and was nice, sweet and malty (although it didn't seem as strong as in previous years if this is the scotch usually availble over the holidays).

The seasonal beer selections are on par with Goose Clybourn although selection may be a tad more limited (atleast that generally seems to be the case, although not this week!). This is the best beer destination in downtown. They also do regulars right with their mug club and affordable growlers.

b) the food
we usually get the pretzels and ahi tuna appetizers. Both are decent size servings and make a dinner with a few strong beers. The nachos are also quite ample. The entrees are typically oversized as well. The food here is quite good, especially for a brewpub. They often win the Chicago Beer Society Brewpub Shootout beer and food pairing, and for good reason. The entrees are a bit pricey but they are also good sized, so its still a good value. Also if you consider its downtown location, the prices are reasonable for the area.

c) the atmosphere
its a large space but thurs and fri after work the place gets PACKED with an after work crowd. Times other than that are better for relaxed beer enjoyment.

d) directions
Take the red line to grand.
Take the south/west side exit.
As you emerge, Rock Bottom will appear before you.
The bar is on your right as you enter through the spinning door.
Don't drive here. Parking is difficult.
Use public transportation if at all possble.

Photo of ndekke39
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Looked up this place while visiting Chicago for a conference. It's both a restaurant and a bar - the bar is a nice sports bar with TVs, pictures and posters of their beer. Nice brick walls and wood accents. There's seating up on the patio, although I didn't sit there. The place was busy, but I still found a table near the bar, even though it was the Friday lunch hour. Behind the bar you can see their fermentation tanks and other inner workings.

The service was very welcoming, friendly, and fast. The server knew the beers quite well, especially some good beer and food pairings. She also told me about their tapping events, when they tap a new barrel of their bourbon-barrel brews.

I tried the Hickory Burger and the Triple Chocolate Stout Cheesecake. Both were excellent, and went well with my pints of the Bourbon Brown Bear Brown Ale and the Oatmeal Stout.

Overall, a very nice brewery/restaurant visit. I would definitely recommend it if you're in the downtown Chicago area looking for some good eats and beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited on a recent trip to Chicago on the recommendation of Kmpitz2. And he is right, this is a better Rock Bottom than most (thought I have enjoyed all Rock Bottom's that I have visited). Located convenient to the Red Line, the Rock Bottom has a distinct urban flare that I think is key for the survival of any Micro-brewery. Has a blend of true rustic architecture and pseudo rustic architecture, but vast and spacious. Even with the crowd of the Cubs game, I was able to find a bar table relatively easy. Less interested in the game, I enjoyed watching the activity on the sidewalk and street. The service was also surprisingly attentive despite the crowd. They were knowlegable and interested in my interpretation of each brew. Though I did not eat (I hit Giordono's earlier) the food looked very appealing. After the sampler, I hit a special release IPA, ESB, an Double Stout. The bar seems to cater to everyone from tourists to locals, from beer enthuziests to just dinners, from sports fans to pool players. This can be good or bad; for me, I found this a posative. None of the beers were bad. Most were crowd-pleasers, but there were some beers there that are meant for the serious beer guys. Can't wait to visit again.

Photo of martinhunter
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Just got back from a week in Chicago. We came here every night.
Beer of the month was American Dream IPA, one of the best I have ever had, amazing flavour and smell. Friends enjoyed the other styles, in particular the APA and Red.
Their pizza crust, made using ale, is fabulous. Forget about the deep-dish stuff, a well-made regular crust beats it every time.
Happy hour food prices in the bar from 4-6, Mon to Thurs.
Make sure to join the mug club, you get larger size beer glasses.
Unfortunately, it took a few days for a server to suggest this to us.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.28/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I found this place bustling at 11:30 on a thursday night. I was herded right to the bar, so I didn't get to check the place out much but right behind the bar some very proud, huge FVs stand spotless for one to admire. I hear theres dining on the roof, that must be cool. The croud was loud and rowdy, but it was fun rowdy, either singing along with the cranked music (80's rock mostly) or cheering on the Cubs on TV.

I tried a beer sampler and I'll say these are extremley well-made but fairly uninteresting beers. Its almost like they're so perfect it's boring. They actually had one of the best light beers I've ever tasted (which isn't saying that much, but hey) and some of the seasonals were review-worthy. Go for the bourbon-barrel stout. While there were like12 beers on tap, I found some to be nearly indestigiushable from one another but they were all good. Also, its worth mentioning that this place only sells their own beer, which is ballsy since I hear most brewpubs can't get their wares to outsell Miller Lite.

The service I had here was some of the best I've ever had at a bar.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Rock Bottom was the 2nd stop on the BA/CTA Pubcrawl and it's located right off the red line, only a few steps away. Upon entering you get the familiar restaurant vibe that comes with most Rock Bottom locations. The bar area wraps around like an L in the center of the restaurant and you can see some of the brewing tanks behind glass that is behind the bar. The restaurant and bar portion were both pretty crowded so it was hard to find somewhere to sit.

They had probably about 10 regular selections on tap, like their pale ale, oatmeal stout (yum), and more. Then, they also had a few limited selections like a bourbon barrel aged brown and a double IPA. I decided to grab a big mug of the double IPA which was nothing short of fantastic. The Oatmeal Stout was equally tasty and the few sips of the bourbon beers I tried were yummy as well. I can't fault the brews here at all. Service to our table was really non-existant and I had to go to the bar to get more beer, which also took a bit of waiting to get someone's attention. However, I was keeping in mind that it was busy and it is downtown Chicago!

I didn't try any food here, maybe next time. Overall, this is easily the best Rock Bottom I've ever been to and it's cool that Pete puts out so many interesting barrel aged brews. I will definetly be making my way back here...the sooner the better. Well worth checking out if you're in the city.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Been here a few times this month. Upon entering, there is a bar and small seating area to the right and restaurant style seating to the left. I've only been in the bar and pool area. There is quite a bit of seating at the bar, with a nice view of some of the equipment behind the bar. Not sure the exact number, but it seemed they had about a dozen house beers on with at least 3-5 special brews each time I was there. Everything I had was pretty darn good, but I only sampled special releases. It was a little difficult to get a beer the first time I was there, but the second, I sat at the bar and the server payed very good attention to me, even taking time to strike up a conversation with me. I've yet to have food here, so I have no comment there. This is easily going to be one of my favorite stops when I move back to the city in a few months. It seems to be nice and relaxed, with just a great vibe to the location. Not to mention that its literally a few steps from the red line, making it easy as anything to get there.

Photo of murphysbleachers
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been to the Rock Bottom in Milwaukee and the one in Chicago and this is definately the better of the two. The decor is standard for the chain. The bartender was friendly and very knowledgable about the beer. The food was above average bar fare. This one really shines in the beer dept. Tried the Blitzen (Belgian X-mas style ale), Oatmeal Stout, Doppelbock, and Double IPA and all were great. My only disappointment was they had nothing on cask for my visit, but you can't win 'em all. I'll be trying to stop here for lunch when I'm in the neighborhood more often.

Photo of beerceller99
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Basically in downtown Chicago a few blocks from every place, this Rock Bottom is typically clean with wood and shiny brass like a hotel lobby. To the left of the entry it has a dozen or so stools at a bar with table seating that looks out to the street through large windows. An equally large bar area with tables and a big screen tv is to the right of the entrance.Upstairs is a roof top lounge with a great view of the city streets with all the people walking around.This Thursday night in July the roof was basically a meat market, with 20 somethings sucking down yellow beers and margaritas while trying not to look too self conscious.
Service was good and savvy to the beer offerings. We had the brewery beer and cheese taster which offers 3 beers along with some tasty cheese, sausage, and crackers.
The beers are pretty good all around, this visit they offered up a coffee porter and the American Dream IPA as the seasonals.
A good place to go if you're downtown on a trip or something , but the Chi town cabbies and expensive parking would keep me from driving here very often.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of slander
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of mkopera24
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of granger10
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of beerinator
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of BeerZack
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

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.

Photo of drewbage
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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.

Photo of TheJudge
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

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.

Photo of Redrover
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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!

Photo of Longstaff
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This place is incredibly huge! The bar itself is not that large, maybe 20 seats, but there was a dining area near the bar that would be as big as most brewpubs. Then they have another large dining area to the left as you walk in, an upstairs hall, and a rooftop beer garden. Most of the regular beers were in the somewhat boring range expected at a big chain brewpub. But I had an Oktoberfest lager that was very good and the Dunkleweizen they had while I was there was outstanding. I would go back just for this beer alone. Food was typical of the Rock Bottom menus elsewhere. Sevice was very attentive without being too in your face. Bartender let me sample most of the beer and was very knowledgeable about the beer and ingredients used. Sidewalk on Grand smells like young punks who can't handle their beer throw up out there on a regular basis.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Brewmaster Pete Crowley has done what he can to improve the beer selection. Not much he can do with the regular taps, that seem to be the same across the chain, but his specials have been impressive. His Double Barrel IPA was a good competitor in the IBU wars, and his Illinois Common (part of a cometition among the Illinois Craft Brewers to create a beer from the same recipe, in this case Steam) was a nice surprise. Pete's helped support the local homebrew scene, and once I just wandered in after work and he invited me up to the roof where they were sampling mead. Lots of mead.
The food is indeed a notch above a typical Chili's; meaning it's very serviceable, but priced very reasonably considering its yuppie location. The roof garden is a great place to enjoy a beer, even as the view is becoming blocked by more and more overpriced condo high-rises. Parking is very pricey in that region, but there's also a CTA station right at that corner. The waitstaff was very good, and made an effort to know about the beer. A worthwhile dining place, and you've got a chance at a good beer, too.

Photo of jackndan
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Rock Bottom/Chicago: I used to hit this place quite frequently, but stopped because the beer was just so-so. However, Rock Bottom hired a new head brewer (Pete Crowley), and rededicated themselves to making fine beers. I was impressed with their offerings at the real ale festival, and much more impressed with their offerings last night (reviews to come).

The place is quite large, but unfortunately the bar itself is kind of small, with not much seating. There is a wonderful beer garden on the roof, and it is definitely worth a stop.

I sat down with a pint of Mai Bock, and asked a few questions of the waiter in anticipation of buying a sampler. Not only did the waiter know his stuff, he substituted an oatmeal stout for the light, and brought me a total of NINE samples, including the barleywine that they were just tapping. All were above average and some were exceptional.

Rock Bottom was hosting the American Homebrewers Association that night, and I had a chance to meet fellow BA Drew, and Pete Crowley and his fairly new assistant brewer (whose name I’ve forgotten) were there and I had quite an amiable chat with them, while sampling more barleywine. I understand Rock Bottom frequently hosts such gatherings, which is terrific.

The food I had was quite tasty, and some of the other diners around me had nice looking chops and steaks. They have a full menu as far as I could tell.

I had a wonderful time, and this place is now on my short list of places to recommend to friends and visitors.

Photo of AudioGilz
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is pretty damn large. It's very "tourist oriented". Great beer is to be drank nonetheless. I tried an irish-style dry stout, hefeweizen, and their new maibock...all of which were wonderful. The service was pretty good considering how crowded it was. Don't go there on the weekend nights to enjoy beer. It'll be loud and crowded. They have a couple rotating cask-conditioned beers, and a few specialties that rotate, which is nice since the regular beer menu only has six to choose from.

The food is great, amazing salads and one heluva chicken sandwich. I prefer Goose Island's brewpub over this one since it's not as touristy. But this place is not to be overlooked when visiting Chicago.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Chicago, IL
87 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.