Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
2.9/5 rDev -18.1%
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.
02-05-2007 21:51:16 | More by morebeergood
3.36/5 rDev -5.1%
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".
Packed with people not drinking house beers. Still, not bad for what they do here (unless you're about using that cold strip).
12-20-2006 03:19:21 | More by slander
3.5/5 rDev -1.1%
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.
10-20-2006 21:29:51 | More by ODBRIP
3.78/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
09-09-2006 16:24:04 | More by commie
3.6/5 rDev +1.7%
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.
07-01-2006 23:18:23 | More by jmz62565
3.08/5 rDev -13%
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.
03-08-2006 04:55:35 | More by Prufrock
4.08/5 rDev +15.3%
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.
02-24-2006 23:48:00 | More by edchicma
3.95/5 rDev +11.6%
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!
11-11-2005 23:27:36 | More by arizcards
3.75/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
10-15-2005 00:24:24 | More by Hibernator
3.41/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
08-20-2005 23:20:07 | More by Denali
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Boston, MA
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.