Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
422 Beers
2,867 Ratings
Place Score: 82
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

115 Stuart Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116
United States
phone: (617) 742-BREW
// CLOSED //



Notes:
(Linked Listing) None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is a fun diversion for lunch or dinner near Boston's theatre district, and close to the Tufts New England Medical Center area. Also conveniently located relative to the Boston Common. The Rock Bottom Breweries vary a lot, with the best being affiliated with the Gordon-Biersch group of brewpubs. This one is not affiliated, and its quality is a notch below some, like the Rock Bottom in Buckhead-Atlanta or in downtown Seattle. However, it's a good crowd, good brews crafted on the premises, good food, and reasonable service. Also, you can grab a growler to take home for a pretty good price. So, overall, it's well worth stopping by to quaff a good brew, down a meal, and feel the local flavor.

Photo of fitzy84
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

After a whole day of job interviews in Boston, I thought I deserved a well needed meal and drinks. My last interview literally was around the corner from this place. I walked on in and found it quite spacious: large roofs with hanging pipes and air ducts, long dining room areas, somewhat average bar size and some high tables scattered around the bar. I even noticed they had a summer outside deck. Loud, contemporary pop music blared across the restaurant as I sat at the bar with 3 TV's across the area. I noticed a ton of "after-work early on a Friday" crowd there so it definitely was a fun atmosphere to come after a long day with friends.

My bartender/waiter was excellently friendly and informative about the brewery's beverages even as he seemed very busy serving people across the restaurant. I decided to go with the sampler which was a great, eclectic mix of the brews. I ordered the Reuben sandwich which was quite good. The rest of the menu was good too, with burgers, pasta, soups and sandwiches. Selection-wise, besides Guinness I really did not see other brews offered except their own. One man came in and sat near me and was aghast they did not have Sam Adams. They did, however, have an impressive liquor selection. So I imagine they offer quite the amount of mix drinks and even wine perhaps. But as for beer, I really only noticed their own, which were good.

For Boston, I was expecting a lot, but my bill was just around $15. So that was really great. Overall, I would not mind going back there again and again, especially since they offer more beers throughout the year it seemed.

Photo of madmanjf
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My friends and I were in town and stopped in on a Sunday afternoon for some beers and eats before heading back to NYS.

It was fairly quiet when we got there, we sat at the bar and were only one of two groups sitting there. The bartender was nice but not very attentive. One of my friends waited over 10 minutes just to catch his eye to get his long-empty pint glass refilled. We didn't understand the lack of attention and absenteeism considering that the place wasn't all that busy.

The food was a great value. I got their Titan Toothpick appetizer which was great. One of my friends got the hugest plate of nachos I've ever seen, and my other friend got a rather large ham sandwich.

Let's see, am I forgetting anything? Oh yes, the beer!

Since this was my first exposure to Rock Bottom, I felt the sampler was the best way to go. I had their light lager, Munich export, an amber, an IPA, a stout, a brown, a strong Belgian, and a maibock.

The brewer has some talent. All of the beers were close or on par with their styles. The IPA lacked aroma; however, it was a great IPA in flavor. The Maibock was a little over-powering in aroma and taste regarding alcohol content. My favorite would've been a toss-up between the IPA and their Amber, but I'd like to thrown in a good note for the Munich Export.

I'd be happy to go back again and see what's on tap and try some other dishes off the menu.

Photo of Bierman9
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had been here once before, with Artied2, after working a whole day at a BA fest. Needless to say, I was not with full faculties that night. So, after stopping in yesterday with Alewife, I was in better condition to put in a review.

This was a Saturday afternoon, about 230PM or so... Place was not too full at this point. It's located in a rather new building on Stuart St, about 1 block up from the Jacob Wirth. Situated on the ground-level floor, it is a long establishment, from left to right. Entering about mid-room from the street, there are numerous booths ahead and to the left, with tables also scattered about and to the right. The bar is in the right rear, seating about a dozen or so. There are lots of windows along the street, though not much light filters in. The room itself is furnished with mostly modern decor and furniture, save for the ceiling, which looks industrial with bare venting and fans. Some bier-related pics hang here and there... It gets somewhat loud when more populated, though I think it's a good thing - drowns out the newish, pop-music (give me classic rock anytime, bitte!). We hung at the bar and enjoyed a few pints each of their Toppler Maibock, one of 6 regulars and 2 casks they had flowing from the taps. Service was solid, friendly and attentive; no probs at all. A plate of nachos with carnitas was huge, and more than filled both of us. Biers seemed a bit pricey ($6.00 for a pint of the Toppler), but costs for the food seemed in line with what a big-city asks. Can't speak for the other biers, but the Maibock hit the spot. Atmosphere was a bit meh, but we still had a good time.

Prosit!!

3.95
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 - $$$

161

Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Visited during a recent business trip and caught part of a Patriots game during our stop.

Lively crowd with the ensuing Pats game and plenty of room to get a table near the bar up to 30 minutes prior to gametime.

Beer quality was pretty good. I tried the Improper Hopper, Liquid Happiness, and Munich Gold, all of which I enjoyed. Above average, but served too cold. 8 beers available and 1 cask offering.

Service was actually pretty good although it wasn't at all busy on Sunday afternoon.

Food was run of of the mill appetizers which were pretty pricey.

Overall, I had a good time catching part of the game and having a few pints. The beers were better than I remembered from previous Rock Bottom visits.

Photo of auxiliary
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What! Make Food and cook it with Beer! Awesome. I went to go and see Blue Man group that is about a block away. We needed to a place to eat so we stopped in by accident. Has noidea what I was in for. All that I knew was I saw th words Brewery on the sign.
I ordered a rack of rib that was cooked in a stout, yummy. Even the desert was made with beer. I think everything but the salad and fries were made with beer, when I was looking in the menu.
good beer and great food. Was seated and served real fast for a Wednesday night.

Photo of YonderWanderer
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've stopped in here many times, and it's always been a good spot to have a bite to eat and grab a beer. In addition to their standard array of beers, they typically have a few seasonals, and usually 1-2 beers on cask as well. The beer is pretty tasty and fairly fresh. The food is good as well- standard pub fare with their own twists. Their Chicken Mac N' Cheese is damn good. Service is usually pretty fast and efficient. Never had a problem. If you're down in the theatre district and looking for a bite to eat or to grab a good beer, it's definitely worth a stop.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I had the chance to visit the pub this past monday. A drab drisly spring evening. The pub was quite, clean and warmly lit. Our waitress was top notch and a pleasure to speak with.

The spicy shrimp appetizer and the side of baked beans as an appetizer went quite well with the strong ale I started off with.

The main course was the pub tips and mashed potatos. Good, not great. the gravy was the downfall.

Price wise, for two it came out to $65. Maybe reasonable for boston, not my area of expertise. For me it was very expensive. For $65 I'd like to come home with a pint glass or a growler.

Photo of Gavage
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located in the Theatre District along side plenty of fast food restuarants and other chains. Last time I was here was when this was the old Brew Moon. This place looks like any other Rock Bottom brewpub, with plenty of TVs and hightops in the bar area off to one side, and a restaurant area in the other. Typical warehouse feel. Some fermentation tanks are visible in the bar area.

Service was a bit slow, as it took a few minutes for a waitress to get to our table. We ordered some appetizers which were OK, but the pretzels with the jalepneo cheese dip was my favorite.

There were 7 beers on tap - Lumpy Dog, Munich Gold, Northstar Ale, Improper Hopper, Freedom Trail Stout, Cranberry Ale, and Liquid Hoppiness which was listed as an English strong ale. The beers we had were decent and fresh, with the special strong ale being my favorite. Don't expect to be blown away with the beers here, but they seem to work with the crowds as most customers were drinking the beers.

This was a good place to meet up with some family members as we assembled in Boston. The Bud Lite drinkers in the crowd were happy with Lumpy Dog, and the other beers don't overwhelm the food.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Stopped by with the missus and two friends who are just starting to escape bad beer. It was crowded and awful 80's music was blasted at you from all directions. TVs were showing sports all around. The beer was just average and none of the brews caught my attention. Eight drafts plus one on cask. The IPA was drinkable but nothing special. Despite the crowd, our server hustled and was good at keeping the food and drink flowing. The food was surprisingly good. Prices were what you would expect in downtown Boston.

Overall, Rock Bottom Boston would be OK in a pinch but not worth a special trip.

Photo of morebeergood
2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Stopped by here for a few drinks and apps on Saturday night. I haven't been here in 1.5 years after three visits that featured bad food or poor service. I figured I would give it another shot to see if things changed. Got some seats at the bar and order a few pints. Had the Freedom Trial Stout and the Cleeland Scotch Ale. The stout's taste seemed to fade away by about mid glass, but the ale was nice, and had a kick at 8.1% abv. Overall, the beers were good. The atmosphere here is decent, pretty lively and upbeat. The bartender was a bit hard of hearing, as she asked every person to repeat their order at least twice. I had two really gross dinner entrees here before, so I decide to just go the app route and we got some nachos. They were so-so, I've had better. The salsa was a bit blah. This is not a bad place to grab a quick beer, but I should just learn to go anywhere other than the Theater District if I want to enjoy dinner and beer.

Photo of slander
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

List of things to do on Saturday:
1) Drive to Boston in the goddamn rain for the Belgian Beer Festival. (check).
2) Belly up to the B United table as soon as you get in the door and get the skinny on the Stille Nacht Reserva 2000 (1 bottle and it's being cracked at 4 PM? Um... okay, we'll tag this as "in progress").
3) Park yourself at the Shelton Brothers table. Sample, sample, sample, sample, rinse, repeat (check).
4) Ommegang Ommegedon & Bier de Mars, Allagash Interlude, crazy good bret beers from Alchemist, sour things from the Shed (check).
5) Revisit that guy at the B United table to make sure that he was talking 4 PM Eastern Standard Time. (check).
6) Return to the Shelton Brothers table, sample, sample, try to talk them into adopting me. (in progress).
7) Relieve harried overworked staff at the Southampton table. Pour one for you, one for me, two for you, and a one two for me (check).
8) Turn the reins of the Southampton table back over to Spencer so I can be back at the B United table promptly at 3:52 PM. (check).
9) Enjoy beautiful Still Nacht Reserva 2000. (check).
10) Be nice to Phil by taking him to one of them chain brewpubs he likes so much...

We'd grabbed a bite at the secret pizza place, and now young Kenneth was heading back for session 2, while Phil and I were going to hit Rockbottom. It was a brisk little walk, for me, anyways (I'm almost old, you know), but I didn't mind because the rain had stopped and you could see that Phil was so excited. He was pointing out the sites along the way and yammering like he does. The park, the hotel, the place with the food, and then Rock Bottom. It's a vast rectangular room with large windows with slat blinds running the front from end to end, brick red, olive and yellow ochre walls with the standard Rock Bottom Southwestern motif pics and 40'X 60' prints of the 4 house standards on the far wall. Exposed duct work, drop lamps throughout and TV's in the corners. Roughly 4 dozen tables and booths to the one side and flowing to the rear. They're somewhat separated out into smaller seating areas by dividers holding kegs and plants. On the other side, an angled bar seating a dozen split by a large pillar in the back corner and nearly a dozen and a half bar tables in the adjacent area. Fermenters visible in a corner glass front room behind the bar. Tiered booze in a pyramid on the bar back, a wine rack with a GABF metal above, drop cone lighting over the bar, and a "fresh beer" board mounted listing names, ABV's, birthdays, OG's, and beer descriptions. "Oh, look, the Pumpkin Ale has the same birthday as I do", spoke Phil kind of solemnly, with a sudden kinship for another gourd who shared his day.

8 taps on a single tower on the bar; 4 standards (Lumpy Dog Light Lager, Munich Gold German Lager, Improper Hopper IPA, Northstar American Amber), a rotating dark (Shea's Extra Stout), and some brewmaster's reserves (Pumpkin Ale, Liquid Happiness English Strong Ale, Weizenbock), and 2 casks on the bar back (Improper Hopper & Shea's Extra Stout). The IPA was more like an APA, but the Pumpkin Ale was solid. The bartender asked me if I wanted brown sugar and cinnamon on the rim of the glass. I declined, but thought it was good that she asked. It was a fine Pumpkin Ale in and of itself, spicy, nice. I thought things were going pretty good, I hadn't noticed...

The bar had a bubbled copper sheet under plexy bar top, with a wood trim and a sunken "cold strip". Maybe I had seen it but it just hadn't registered, I don't know, but it sure had Phil ticked. All of a sudden, "See!! This is my issue with Rock Bottom! It's asinine and they shouldn't be encouraging this sort of behavior, seeking the coldest beer on Earth!!" I thought he was going to get all "Hulk smash!!"

While Phil ducked out for a smoke and rage, a few people bellied up and ordered some beers right next to me. I wasn't paying any mind, but I did notice the bartender giving them a small glass with orange and lemon wedges with their beers. After they left, I leaned in and said, "Okay, I've got to know, why did you give them the fruit?" She offered confidently, "You put the fruit in the beer, it compliments them". I had to look up at the beer board to make sure I had this right before I countered, "Yeah, but you don't have a Weisse beer and you don't have a Wit beer?" and she replied, "They're for the IPA". I got loud. "You would never, ever, put a piece of fruit in an IPA! EVER!" She then tried to convince me , "It's true, an IPA is borderline for fruit in it".
"Um, no".

Packed with people not drinking house beers. Still, not bad for what they do here (unless you're about using that cold strip).

Photo of ODBRIP
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Certainly better quality and selection than your typical Boston pub which only generally has the standard mega-craft brews (Harpoon, Sam Adams, Guiness, Stella etc.) on tap.

Their house-made beers are all at least pretty good. Their IPA was good, as was their blonde type ale. they had a Belgian-style ale that was very good.

The food was above average pub fare. We just ordered a bunch of appetizers; Nice variety of stuff, pretty tasty, and large portions.

Overall, well worth a visit, I just don't know if I'd make a special trip.

Photo of commie
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I have been back to the Rock Bottom a few times lately, and I have to say that their ales have shown great improvement. I was very impressed with their brown ales, and my lady friend thinks that their IPA is the best IPA in town; while I still think that the IPA at the beer works is better, and I like the Stone IPA on draft at the Linwood a little better too, I have to admit that the Improper Hopper that they sell at Rock Bottom is much improved. I will say that their Brown Ale is better than any brown ale that I have had in the last couple of years. The food is still good, and the fish and chips that my friend had looked better than Legal Seafoods'. My friend John liked the Brown Ale as much as I did. Their Amber Ale, like most amber ales, was boring and uninspiring; I don't know why they would bother making it, but it wasn't bad, so it too has improved.

I will say that I think that the cooling strip is a little more annoying to me than before; perhaps lager drinkers appreciate it, but I don't like it. Also, there is a big column that obstructs the bar, and I don't like sitting behind it and leaning around it to ask for my beer, so the usable bar space is quite limited for me. Otherwise the place is very nicely decorated.

I found the ale prices to be a little higher than I would like, but they are in line with the other brewpubs in town, and I find their food to be a priced a bit better than the other brewpubs.

Their selection isn't as good as the Beer Works, but they still have a decent range to choose from. I was disappointed that they didn't have any Belgian styles.

The place is still on the edge of the combat zone, and you can dress it up and call it the theatre district if you want, but there are still undesirables in the area. Unlike my previous experiences, I haven't been approached by the whores and drug dealers on Stuart Street lately, but an extremely agitated and angry vagrant did scream at me and my lady friend when exiting the Rock Bottom after we refused to give him a dollar after he shoved a free newspaper into each of our hands. There were other vagrants in the area, but they were polite and non-threatening, and they didn't frighten us.

The service is just as polite, courteous, and prompt as before.

Photo of jmz62565
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped here after the Beerfest and thought it was just OK. This was pretty packed with a number of people at the bar who were all drinking the micro beers,but it is a chain and doesn't have a real personality. The quality of the beers was average to below average,some were OK some not. The service was very friendly with the bartenders all knowledgable. They had 7 beers on tap with 2 cask, so I would say the selection was decent with a good variety of beers. The food was very good with giant portions,although it was pretty much standard pub fare. We ordered an appetizer then was told they were out of it and received another appitizer free. For a pub in Boston I thought the price was fair. Not a bad place to enjoy a pint,but some beers aren't that great and I'm not crazy about chain resturants.

Photo of Prufrock
3.08/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Visited 7-Mar-06.

Decent atmosphere, if lacking in personality. Spacious with a large bar area.

Food is slightly expensive for what you get, but OK. Had a couple appetizers and the pulled pork sandwich, which was nice but pretty salty.

Seven beers on tap, plus two on cask. I tried the amber and the IPA, both of which were decent but nothing spectacular. The beer selection is not that adventurous: brown ale, amber ale, light ale, IPA. Their list of prizes mentions imperial stout, hefeweizen, ESB, but none of those were available.

Seems to be the same theme throughout: nothing fantastic but nothing to complain about. A good place to get dinner and a beer.

Photo of edchicma
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere was a tad noisy...however, I went on a very bsuy night. Waited about 20 minutes to be seated, but the booth was a nice corner area that screened a lot of the noise. Food and brew were above average. All in the party had generous portions that we all agreed were very tasty and represented a good value. Service was very friendly and considerate...very good for such a busy time. Food was fairly standard with beef and chicken as the predominant types of offerings. This was complemented by a generous selection of beer types from light to Belgian. In total there were 7 of their own offerings on tap. I would definitely go back for another helping of fine food and beverage.

Photo of arizcards
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Jumped off a tour bus to grab lunch and a brew in late September.

Atmosphere outside was wonderful on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Inside was nothing out of the ordinairy, Red Sox were on the tube. Quality was good as there was a warm feeling both inside and out. Service was good as our server was friendly. Beer and food selection was good. There was the typical Rock Bottom menu but with some twists not normally seen in Az such as the crab cakes (which I had to sample). There were six or so beers on tap. Food was OK, but have had better elsewhere. TWe paid a bit more here in Boston than what we do in the Phoenix area. It was nice to enjoy an RB in another city!

Photo of Hibernator
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This Rock Bottom location is located at the corner of Tremont & Stuart Street in the Theater District of Boston. Decided to stop by on a rainy Friday afternoon with a good friend.

Tables and booths to your left as you enter via rotating door. The bar, which rather spacious is located to your right. There is a nice placement of TV's around that will mostly likely be carrying a good variety of sports.

Around 10 beers on tap with two of those being cask options. There is a consistent rotation of regular beers on tap like the Munich Gold, Improper Hopper, Lumpy Dog Light, Shea's Extra Stout and others. The two cask options during my visit were the Improper Hopper and Shea's Extra Stout. I had the opportunity to try both and they were great. The Improper Hopper was a true highlight. Awesome IPA and so enjoyable.

Service was good. Our waitress doubled as bartender and she did a great job. The service was attentive, friendly and responsive. A highlight of my visit for sure. Food was good as well. Typically pub options like nachos, burgers, salads, etc. Maybe slightly better options with some flair too. Tried appetizers and sandwiches, both were tasty.

This Rock Bottom location is without a doubt a solid option if in the area. How many other bars in this area of Boston do you have the option of two cask ales on tap? Not many, if any. I was happy with my visit and pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Denali
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The first time I was here was right before the Extreme Beer Fest. I most recently went again a few weeks ago.

The first time I went I was not impressed with any of the beer. I had a sampler and I found many of them to taste alike with little distinguishing characteristics. However, they had very good beers at the EBF (especially their Scotch Ale).

The second time I went, I had a very good cask Stout, and the tap Improper Hopper IPA was very good as well. The cask IPA however was not very good.

The place is located in the theater district and is wide open with lots of tables and huge posters of their standard beers on the wall. Large bar seats around 20 people but it is always very crowded.

Selection of beer is very good, with a lot of different varieties offered.
Beer prices were reasonable.

Although the beer can be hit or miss, the ones that are hits are worth coming in for. Perhaps try a few small samples to find whats good.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Saw the mixed reviews here in BeerFly but this place was close enough that I decided to give it a go for myself and see how it stacked up with other's comments. I was pleasently surprised, certainly no end all of beer establishments, but a nice new place and one to which I'll return.

A big but not huge seating area divided into a dining room, pub table area, and the bar. Some beer decorations adorned the walls and wood paneling filled in where decor lacked. A busy buzz to it on a Thursday night. Mostly fileld with pre-theatre goers. Was seated with no wait (party of two) and the wait staff quickly dropped by.

Wait staff was very friendly, explained the non-menu listed beer selections and took my order. Beer was brought back to me very quickly (less than a minute).

Food selection is fairly standard pizzeria uno, tgi friday's, applebee's type stuff. Burgers, clubs, ribs, and a few exotic choices. Had the Asiagio Chees appitizer = quite good.

Food was brought out quickly but not quite piping hot. Very big portions and the wait staff was attentive in asking how everything was and if I wanted another beer.

Didn't finish my meal and had the rest wrapped to take home, waitress came back with the to-go bag as well as the check. A little abrupt with the check, I would have liked to have a liquid dessert of their Belgium Style Strong Ale.

A little expensive but not too bad - all pints were $4.50 - dinners between 8 and 15 bucks. For two people with two beers, two dinners and an appetizer it was 41 bucks.

All in all it was pretty good - I'll visit it again.

Photo of Truh
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stanton…

Stanton 1197…

That was the final item my memory was allowed, as my mind’s pupils dilated to pinpoint pricks, needling wires of pulsating neon the only things left to contend with.

We made our fitful way up the block from Jacob Wirths to Rock Bottom like a cloud of atomic fallout, atoms colliding and splitting outside of our direct circumference, like the detritus that surrounded Charles Schultz’s Pigpen. Only, instead of dust and grime, our cloud was composed of expletives, wind-milling arms, dragging coats, and a single white, high-top sneaker that arced through the air, jettrails extending against the skyline.

One glance at Rock Bottom’s revolving front door and I knew we would have problems. Kumar entered first, half leering back at us, with Jim shoving in behind him, while I hurried along in the final spot. As I expected, with Kumar jabbering incoherently at us through the glass, Jim tried to force the door to a stop, but I shoved with equal force and miraculously we all ended up at the hostess station unscathed, just inside the door of death. The place was cavernous with a large dining area on the left comprised of tables and booths on two levels. Opposite, a large bar area with about fifteen tall tables spread about and an equal number of chairs at the bar proper beckoned, accessible down a sloping ramp in front of us. The western theme of brown and light gold that permeated the space prompted a slight chuckle from me, but I had little time to register it fully as Kumar and Jim loped down the ramp, Jim losing his balance but catching himself on the growler fridge near the end. With eyebrows raised and a shrug of my shoulders at the frowning, hair-pulled-back-tight-against-the-skull hostess, I too entered the fray and noted that Gerry O’Connell’s name was printed on each and every one of the growlers in the cooler.

Kumar was planted firmly at the far right end of the bar in front of the glass-enclosed brewing equipment, gesturing to me and pointing at the last seat on his right. Jim was seated to his left, already accosting a group of three women next to him, two sitting and a third standing. I glanced up at the chalkboard above me, also registering the many televisions, and noted that they had some of their usuals on – North Star Amber, Munich Gold, and Lumpy Dog Light Lager, all of them low octane beverages - as well as the seasonal Pumpkin Ale and a Freedom Trail Stout, which is what I ordered from the attentive bartender. Along with the three southern belles on Jim’s left, the place was fairly packed with Saturday night revelers, a mix of theater-goers, other tourists, and us.

“Hey Kumar, I dare you to lick that thing,” Jim said and pointed at a rectangular sheeting that ran the length of the bar top that was covered in a thin layer of frost and ice. The thing was supposed to keep your pint glass cold. Instead, Kumar started to run his index finger up and down against the ice, creating a rivulet of melted water while simultaneously hauling back on his Pumpkin. Jim clacked glasses with his lady friends while I perused a menu that would go unused in front of us. Typical pub fare, and Jim had already filled his gullet at Jacob Wirths. Time seemed to expand and contract simultaneously as we ordered another round, Jim insisting on wines all around “What the hell!” for the women he had befriended. I turned in my chair to take in some more of my surroundings. Windows fronted the entire street-side of the place, a safe tabula rasa from which to watch the battleground that is Stuart Street.

As I turned back to my friends, I was struck with dueling emotions: extreme horror and doubled over laughing humor. Kumar had extricated a hidden green dart from somewhere on his self, taken from the Overdraught, and was making like Bishop in Aliens, grasping Jim’s wrist in one hand, dart up and shaking in the other, yelling at him not to move his clamped hand, and specifically his fingers, lest he suffer a puncture wound of “fucking unimaginable proportions!” Without pausing in his conversation with the cohort next to him, Jim conked Kumar in the head with the sneaker he was still holding on to, and throttled his pint before making the last statement I would hear before leaving he and Kumar, unconsciously, for the night.

“Ladies, I would be more than happy to show you my southern cross,” Jim said matter-of-factly. With that, I tumbled off my seat at the bar, Kumar still gripping the dart and rubbing his head where Jim had connected. As I made my way over through the seating area, I wondered why it was we came here. The ales were not in the least bit interesting, even the seasonals were somewhat lackluster, and the atmosphere was overly contrived. However, as I swung through the bathroom door and sidled up to the wall-mounted urinal, piss flies lilting about the low lighting, I thought, we had had a good time, hadn’t we? Weaving, it was then that I noticed the red splash guard of the Crane plumbing was a Stanton 1197.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Session 1 of the Beer Advocate Belgium Beer Festival at the Cyclorama had ended and Session 2 was an hour away, what do to?!?

Well a small gathering including a hobbling Drewbage, Gentleman RoyalT, RokotGirl, djgonzalez and Moon0 outside of the Cyclorama decided that a short walk over to the nearby Rock Bottom was the way to go given the limited amount of time that we had. Probably somewhere between a good 5-10 minute walk from the Cyclorama, we were limited a little by the fact that the East Coast cold was wreaking havoc on the old shrapnel wounds in Drewbages Testicles and Knees, but we easily managed a Taxi back though; Hey never let it be said that we West Coasters don’t stick together in times of Temperatures below 65F!!

This one is on Stuart Street in Boston, and is one of the larger Rock Bottoms that I have frequented, a decent sized gathering outside had me thinking that we may struggle to get in, but as with other Rock Bottoms the people waiting outside, and some inside the entrance even, were waiting for seating in the Restaurant portion of this branch outlet.

Once inside the Restaurant area breaks off to your left and it was very busy during our visit as I mentioned earlier, but the high ceiling and tall massive windows that look out onto the Sidewalk gives a real impression of space here and didn’t make it feel crowded at all, even though it was. We headed down the little curved alleyway that ramped down and right into the general drinking area. The curved bar is all wood and set against the back wall, in front of which are many tall round tables surrounded with high stools. Plenty of TV’s with mixed Channels to keep the attention of American Sports Fans that have ADD busy. Our party grabbed one of these high tables immediately, and we were greeted in a half decent time by our Server whom appeared to have had a “Sense of Humor Lobotomy” only hours earlier. Still Service was punctual and polite so I cannot complain too much

Beer range is, well….Rock Bottom, so to speak. The usual range of Wheat, Brown, Red, Stout, Light Lager, blah, blah, blah…..they seem to rotate a little and may not all be on sale at the same time though. Thankfully, during our visit we had the fortune of being able to try the IPA Special/Seasonal, I forget what it was called but it was Cask, not bad but a tad lifeless [a regular bitch of mine with US Cask dispense] and nothing more than a barely hoppy Pale Ale really. We ordered shared snacks; Quesadilla and the Titan Toothpicks, which were standard RB fare, not bad, not great, but good enough.

The Rock Bottom served its purpose, it provided some consistent fare and a decent enough barely above average beer range to accompany it, but not much else. If you’ve seen one you really have seen them all I guess but the Downtown Boston “Branch” is a little larger than most and does have some redeeming, interesting and even tacky features like the ice-rink thingy on the bar for keeping your beverages cold, erm no thanks!

Whilst not worth a sole trek, it is worth popping in if you're passing by, it won’t let you down, but it ain’t gonna make yer dangly bits tingle either (unlike the Boston cold did to Drewbages).

Classic Rock Bottom; Dependable but Predictable.

Last Visit: Saturday 6th November, 2004.

Photo of rousee
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Until today (10-7-04), I had not been in this place for about 5 or 6 years. It was Brew Moon before, and after it first changed to Rock Bottom, it kinda stayed the same for a while--beers, food, and decor-wise. They were all pretty much the same as when it was Brew Moon which equates to very mediocre. Because BA has taught me to re-evaluate every so often, it was time for another try.

It seems so much smaller now-in the bar area especially.However, the decor is much more in line with the current time than it was before. It has gone from grey cement/granite/stone to a more wooden look. The windows are different and seem to have a better look onto the street than it used to. So they had about 8 beers if you include the casks. I tried them all. Ok--they're a little better than mediocre now. Not a whole lot. I still would rate it the lowest of the Boston brewpubs but that doesn't mean its bad. There used to be a place called Fort Hill brewery that was worse for beers and still wasn't too shabby. The staff was great and very amusing. I would go here again but I like CBC so much more. BBW too. I will make a return to JH very soon.

Photo of Jason
3/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The usual four brews with an average of two specials and a rotating dark. Nothing earth shattering but sometimes interesting. The Double Barrel IPA is standard and is probably your best bet.

Typical American style food ... it might be somewhat good but the portions are HUGE and everything tastes like butter and salt. Each meal is enough food for three people with prices to match.

If you want good service sit at the bar, table service and the tables near the bar can be anywhere from decent to horrible depending on how busy they are. Come in for a pint but if they are getting slammed by the theater crowd don't expect quick service.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Boston, MA
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.