1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
BA SCORE
87
very good

62 Ratings
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.62%
Active Beers: 467
Beer Ratings: 2,826
Beer Avg: 3.72
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1001 16th Street
Denver, Colorado, 80265
United States
phone: (303) 534-7616

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rbdenver

Notes:
(Linked Listing) None, yet.

(Place added by: marc77)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Todd
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Todd, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

jaydoc, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of msubulldog25
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%

Visit 6/22/2013, 3:00-4:00pm

After two days of work at the the AIA Expo (at the nearby Convention Center), my co-worker and I needed a beer ASAP! This Rock Bottom (only the second one I've been to, the other being in Portland, OR) is easy to find, as it anchors a corner of the 16th Street mall at Curtis St. Outside there's a spacious and well-shaded patio; inside is darker and cooler on a sunny and very warm day, a pair of dining rooms and a stretch of TV-laced bartop. A glass-enclosed brewhouse divides the space, with an array of fermenting tanks presiding over the bar space. At mid-afternoon on a Saturday the space looked to be less than half-full, although many had chosen outdoor seating in lieu of indoor confinement. Tall ceiling, warm wall colors, wood galore - has the feel of an old and well-worn pub despite being in a fairly modern building.

What drew me/us to RB was the proximity to the convention and, also, the promise of free beer. Yes, FREE - the Colorado AIA chapter had handed out a limited number of coasters hyping the "crafted exclusively for the 2013 AIA National Convention" helles bock called "Building Bock" (clever, get it?). DS & I each ordered a pint of this malty 6.6%abv special and chilled to some baseball and golf on the tubes. Whether it was the hot weather and exhaustion or not, that beer was delicious! Satisfying maltiness, good spice, drier finish. It was good enough that we had two apiece. I also was able to try the rotating IPA ("Wimpy" - a Belgian white), the unnamed German Hefeweizen and the Liquid Sun Saison. All very solid options.

I counted 15 beers on the menu, including a rotating IPA, a rotating "Dark", and 2 casks. Pints are priced at $5.25-5.50, growlers (refills around $10 - a very good deal) and kegs available, too.

Our server, Sonya, was friendly and attentive, offering the samples willing (no charge, either...) and apologizing for bringing me a second Bock when I'd said I wanted to "think about" my choice (she offered to return with something else, but the Bock was plenty good!). She pointed out a group of brewers chatting nearby, including brewmaster John McClure, but I wasn't able to get to him before he left. Oh well, I'd have just said I enjoyed his beer and that we were glad to have visited, I suppose...

A good stop when in downtown Denver... I'd probably return next time I'm in the city.

msubulldog25, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of divineaudio
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

i had no idea that this was a chain before visiting, but now it kind of makes sense. the denver location has a nicer, upscale atmosphere inside that almost makes me feel like i'm not classy enough to be there. open ceilings, fancy light fixtures, and not too loud even though the place is packed and has music playing over the radio.

tons of menu options - i went with the brewery club sandwich and a side of mac and cheese, both of which were fantastic. seriously one of the best sandwiches i have ever had. i think there were 5 beers on tap, but i only had one - the mad cow milk stout - listed as the specialty dark. it was pretty darn good too (see my review).

our server was friendly and knowledgable despite refusing to serve one of our party over an expired id. can't really blame them for sticking to the policy though.

i did find it to be on the pricey side, but it was worth the visit. highly recommended if you're in denver and looking for great food and beer.

divineaudio, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of spdyfire83
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%

I'll toss out a general disclaimer that this isn't my favorite place to go hang out with beer geeks because, well, there aren't too many beer geeks that frequent Rock Bottom. More often than not, I'm visiting this establishment as a result of happy hour with co-workers (usually catering to a wide variety of drinkers).

With that said...the location of this Rock Bottom is awesome. Right in the heart of downtown Denver on the 16 Street Mall. Centrally located it is easy to meet up with folks or even grab a beer before heading to the Performing Arts Center to watch theater or a musical (my wife loves that and I love beer - so we compromise!).

The selection here is ever-changing as they are always introducing new releases/seasonals for folks to try. Their regular beers are nothing to write home about, but they aren't bad while their one-offs are kind of hit-or-miss. Sometimes they really surprise me with a good hop bomb or barrel-aged stout.

The service is always friendly and prompt (i.e. chain restaurant), but that's what has made them successful - stick with what you're good at. Usually, the wait staff is decently knowledgeable about the offerings, but at times it can be less the par.

The variety of food here is quite amazing, but...again...that's because it is a chain. They had good apps as well as pub grub to go along with a proper Mug Club pour and they even recently introduced the "pour-it-yourself" taps at a couple of seating spots within the bar.

spdyfire83, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of dhartogs
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

I live near a Rock Bottom in Arlington, VA but heard this was the first one and they sample new menu items at this one. Went here with two co-workers. I thought the beer was just OK, I like the one by me better, but I had a Saisson, which was good, an IPA, which was just OK, and a red ale that wasn't meh. Food was good but not great. As it's right on the 16th St. Mall it gets pretty crowded, we had a wait of about 15 minutes and we got there early. I'd go to Wynkoop and others before this place but over all it's solid.

dhartogs, May 11, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%

On the plus side, I stayed at the Marriott across the street and got a few free beer on them. The place is a nice looking brewery/restaurant with a sports bar theme. The bartender pointed out the taps and said, "That's what we got." 8 taps isn't great but I later found out they had a much larger selection of their beers (which were decent but not great). Nobody knew about pairing food and beer but the chili was excellent so... Worth a trip for some decent beer and food, with a few idiots pretending that it's more than a job and not pretending that well.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of Hibernator
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%

This Rock Bottom location is huge and spacious. Located on busy 16th Street, we decided to stop by for a couple of drinks before heading to a Denver Nuggets game.

The place was packed, which is to be expected at 5 PM on a Friday. Tons of TV's all over the place that showcased March Madness games.

Rock Bottom offered about 15 drafts with a great deal of styles represented. They had a Barleywine, Porter, IPA, Kolsch, Wheat, Oatmeal & Milk Stouts, German Alt, Irish Red, Pilsner, Dubbel, etc. They also had two cask beers too.

Probably the best Rock Bottom that I've been to and I would say this place is a viable option for some craft beers if you're the area (the location is great and it's easy to find), but there is something about the sterile atmosphere that detracts from the overall experience for me.

Hibernator, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of Czap
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

Rock Bottom consistantly has the same styles throughout the country, but each style varies from restaurant to restaurant depending on the brewer's inspiration. I like that. It sort of makes up a bit for being a chain. The food is always good and they do have some more interesting things on the menu, not your normal chain pub fare. Once again a notch on the positive side. I guess my reccuring theme here is that Rock Bottom seems to go out of their way to avoid seeming like a chain, which is probably why they are as popular amoung the beer geeks as they are. The Denver location is, in my opinion, better than the Downtown Chicago restaurant. The atmosphere is nicer, better view and the dining area seems much more roomy and flows a lot better. The beers are good, nothing great, but nothing poor. I suggest a flight since some of the styles change from season to season. I find RB's hoppier ales seem to be some of their better brews and I have had a couple of their stouts that just didn't do it for me. Good place to go in downtown Denver where, surprisingly to me, there are not as many places to find good beer as I thought there would be.

Czap, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of david131
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Stopped by here on the drive through Denver. The place is on a corner in downtown Denver and has a lot of light coming in. The fermenters are behind windows behind the bar which is nice for visual appeal. It does have a strange chain restaurant feel to it, but if you can get past that it can be enjoyable. The beer selection seemed pretty standard, but they did have some cool bottled offerings for purchase. The service was pretty standard and I could tell there were some regulars around. Overall, worth going to, but not going out of the way for.

david131, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

As I walk in on a Sunday afternoon, I am greeted by the hostess and seated promptly. My server comes shortly after, and I order the sampler of all their beers, and a pulled pork sandwich for lunch. The sampler came out quick, and the server knew the styles and what was what. The food came out before I knew it. Overall very good service, and they seemed generally enthusiastic about their products.

As I get a chance to take in the atmosphere, I see it is a typical chain brewpub. A relatively long wood bar goes along the left, with brewing equipment displayed in glass on top of that. Lots of TV's surround the bar, and crappy FM radio hits are playing. There are some wood tables and booths, with a patio outside. It has that sterile chain restaurant feel to it. The food is decent. Nothing special about my pulled pork, and the coleslaw that topped the sandwich was not very good. Just average for what this place is.

On to the beer. There are 9 beers in all. The year round offerings are Kolsch, Gold, Wheat, Pale Ale, Red, and Brown. Not bad, but a little on the lighter side. They had a special summer IPA seasonal, a cask of the red, and a special stout. Pretty much by the books. The Kolsch and the IPA were my two favorites. Everything else was just watery and thin, or to much diacetyl.

Overall, just a little above average. A little better than what I was expecting to be honest. My score is probably lower than should be, but I am just not a fan of the cookie cutter brewpubs like this. Still, not a bad experience at all. I just don't like to be reminded of Applebees and Chilies while at a brewpub.

champ103, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of Dogbrick
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%

This Rock Bottom location is in downtown Denver on 16th Street not too far from the Convention Center. Not sure what the parking options are as I was on foot the whole time I was in Denver.

The interior contains several dining areas and offers a view of the brewing equipment. The bar is located in the back of the establishment, and they display a few items of Rock Bottom memorabilia here and there. There is also a patio that is situated right off the sidewalk.

The beer selection contains around 10 taps, all of which are available in a sampler. They follow the same pattern as most other Rock Bottom locations - Kolsh, Wheat, Pale, Red, Brown, Stout. They do rotate one or two seasonals at any given time.

Service was decent on a weekday lunch. The server explained the beers on the sampler and was keeping up with the lunch crowd just fine.

The food at Rock Bottom is consistently above average. My burger was good, but suffered from being enjoyed the day after going to Cherry Cricket.

Overall Rock Bottom is worth a stop on a brewpub crawl through Denver, but I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top of the list.

Dogbrick, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of jt31914
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

I went to Rock Bottom the other day, it was a pretty cool place; the atmosphere was fun - very similar to the other Rock Bottom's I've been to. Our waiter was good, but wasn't extremely knowledgeable about beer.

The beer selection was solid with around 10 brews to choose from; the beer itself was decent, the hefeweizen, rocktoberfest, and brown ale were among my favorites (I got the 9 beer sampler), while the kolz weizen and pale ale were among the worst - the rye porter was also fairly weak.

The beer was decent but it was far too mild and lacked any complex or intriguing flavors. Rock Bottom is a pretty fun place with okay beer, but it would have been much better if the brewmaster went for more flavor (maybe like the Founders guys...).

jt31914, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of Clembo1957
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%

Having visited Rock Bottom's Chicago pub a few days earlier a visit to the Denver establishment was a must. I know Rock bottom are a chain and tend to be a bit on the corporate side but being a visitor from the UK i've only visited the Chicago and Denver pubs and i've enjoyed both.

We were seated very quickly and the servers and staff were friendly and informative, when we told our server we'd been to Rock bottom in Chicago he gave us an history of the Denver branch.

To try as many beers as i could i had a beer sampler which included Bottoms Up Kolsch, Buffalo Gold, 16th Street Wheat, Falcon Pale Ale, Red Rocks Red, Molly's Titanic Brown Ale and a North Star Stout. I particularly enjoyed the 16th Street Wheat and Falcon Pale Ale. The food here was excellent and fairly good value for money. well worth a visit if in Denver.

Clembo1957, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.83/5  rDev 0%

In a recent trip to Denver, a work counter part thought this would be the perfect place to take me given my affinity for beer. We went on a Friday evening around 6-6:30ish. Given the time and day, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly we were seated. The atmosphere is typical chain decor, but was clean and the staff seemed friendly. The menu wasn't too overly brazen, but had some interesting items. I was extremely disappointed with my food (and that's an understatement) - wild rice, mushroom and chicken. The chicken was flavorless and wild rice and mushroom combo left a bit to be desired. My dining companion was impressed with the enchiladas though - so perhaps my selection was the poor choice.
The service was phenomenal - our waitress was attentive without being overbearing. At no time did we wait for drinks (be it alcohol or water) and she was extremely pleasant.
I got the Brewmaster's Smoked Porter. My initial plan was to try the Smoked Porter and then sample another beer or two from their menu as I hadn't been to a Rock Bottom before. That was the plan anyway - the Smoked Porter was fantastic and found myself sticking with that rather than branching out.
I am not sure that I would eat here again, but I would definitely be up to trying additional beers here.

Jayli, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

I've been going here since they opened up back in the 90's. I'm guessing that Rock Bottom is one of the first "chain" brewpubs.

This place gets very crowded after work and on weekends. Especially when the weather is nice. Despite the crowds, service is good. I haven't had a bad experience yet.

Inside the place feels a bit like a chain restaurant. A little too sterile and corporatist for my tastes. That doesn't really bother me much since the food is good and the beers are above average. I'm a big fan of their IPA. The food menu isn't particularly daring, but there is nice variety to be had.

Overall, this is a nice place to go. Rock Bottom gets bonus points for being right down the street from where I work. Not a bad deal in my book.

Rayek, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of tpd975
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

Stopped in for lunch while in Denver.

Your standard upperscale chain type brewpub. The interior is clean and inviting. The place was packed so when took up a high boy in the bar.

There beers were standard offerings, nothing to bold or creative. They had 6 or 8 beers on draft and one on cask. I settled on the Mad Cow milk stout which is a brew master offering.

The waiter told me it was the best beer they were offering at that time. It was not real flavorful and rather thin. Just okay, my local brew pub puts out better brews, though it is not fair to slam them too bad as I had only one pint.

The menu was very creative and many of the items sounded downright tasty. I had the alder smoked salmon fish and chips which was quite tasty. The wife had a soup and homemade kettle chips.

The food was very good. I have the feeling most of the people who come here are there for the food.

Overall a real good restaurant that offers okay beer.

tpd975, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
4/5  rDev +4.4%

I spent several nights here during the GABF. There were always interesting people to talk to and the beer is pretty good. The food is excellent. We had everything from appetizers to steaks and didn't find anything that was less than good (and mostly excellent). The beer selection is fair for a brewpub and the quality tended to be on the (B+) side. Joining the mug club is free and you get a 20 oz pour instead of the standard pint. Overall, if I lived near this place, it would be a regular hangout. There are other great places in the area, but this one has something for everyone.

barefootbrewer, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

My wife and I stopped here for lunch on the Friday during our recent trip to the GABF. The interior is similar to just about every other Rock Bottom that I've been to - comfortable, clean and lots of wood decor; very long bar with a large bar seating area. What always strikes me when we come here during the GABF is the variety of beer selection; all of which are of very good quality. I also enjoyed seeing several cask selections; one of which I enjoyed on this occasion (the cask amber was really good). The staff was friendly and very fast.

Once again, this experience at Rock Bottom was a good one. I've always been impressed with the consistency and quality of this national chain. The do well in their niche and haven't disappointed me yet.

scoobybrew, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

You walk in and feel as if you are in a neighborhood bar, though the decor is a bit like a chain restaurant. Nevertheless it is open and inviting, clean but not sterile, warm and welcoming. The music is not too loud, and the TVs are few enough not to be distracting.

Service people are well trained - they are friendly in a sincere fashion, quick and alert. Food is pretty good and reasonably priced. Their beer - even if it not all of it is brewed right on premises (I saw some kegs being delivered to the restaurant in the morning) is very good and has a brewpub sincerity to it. Quality of the brews ranges from above average to darned good. So what if this is a chain.

Cyberkedi, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev 0%

This was the first time visiting a Rock Bottom (in Denver or elsewhere). I was close to the hotel, had some time on a Monday afternoon, so said why not.
Good atmosphere, its a chain restaurant with its own beer, so you know what to expect. Bright, open, clean. I found a corner spot to watch football and a good view of the whole place. Small selection (6), but a good variety of styles. All beers I saw were fresh, served in appropriate glassware, maybe served a bit too cold - but that is pretty minor compared to some placed I have been.
Attentive and knowledgable server who offered the current specialty Happy Pils (Beer of the Day - $2.50). Also tried the Molly Brown and Red Rocks, unfortunatley the Falcon Pale had just been emptied. Looking on the board, it seems they have lots of interesting seasonals (and the release date).
The Titan Toothpicks appetizer was good, nothing spectacular on the rest of the menu, but it all looked good.
I filled out an online survey and got a free appetizer voucher for next time, I will be back and will sign up for the Mug Club too.
Very similar to the Brewster chain here, prices are way better than I am used to paying.

BigBry, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of frazbri
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Rock Bottom was my first stop in Denver before the GABF.

This Rock Bottom looks very similar to the other RB locations I've been to. (glassed in brewhouse, exposed ductwork,...) If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The only real issue I had with this place was service. We were seated out on the patio and forgotten. We were served eventually, but things remained slow. I think we saw our server three times: taking the order, bringing the drinks, and bringing the check. (a 4th time if you count bring back the change) Everything else was fine.

frazbri, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%

I visited Rock Bottom after a late-night arrival in Denver. I was by myself and I sat at the bar, which was rather crowded for a Wednesday night. Decor was modern, with lots of outdoor seating on the 16th St pedestrian mall. I had 2 beers - the Red Rocks and the Molly's Titanic Brown Ale, which were both OK, but not outstanding. I had the jambalaya, which struck me as old and overpriced. Wait-staff was busy, and not much different than the staff at a non-brewing sit-down restaurant. Overall I wasn't too impressed with the place from a beer perspective, but I was impressed with the ambience and clientele. Slightly better than other Rock Bottoms I've visited.

BeerBelcher, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of marksto
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

Stopped in for a brew and a bite before the Thursday evening GABF session. I've been to a few other Rock Bottoms and I liked this one better than others.

Main reason was for the beer selection. In addition to the 5 or so beers they have year round, they had a very large selection of seasonals and specialties. They numbered about a dozen, and included a lot of variety in styles and a cask selection as well. Not sure if this was just related to the GABF weekend or if they have that number and variety year around, but I was impressed. I had a hefeweizen which was tasty and authentic. Food was reasonably priced and of good quality, and service was pleasant.

Overall, for a chain brewpub I thought this a pretty good place and an improvement over other locations. Worth a visit when in town.

marksto, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of Rhialistic
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

This is probably the place I frequent most often in Denver. Not necessarily because they have the best beer in town or anything, but it's just so dang consistant! And, I normally favor non-chain places to chain places, but Rock Bottom has it RIGHT.

Always excellent service, every single time. Always tasty food, every single time! And the beer, well it's always worth trying!

I love the Mug Club. Get yourself a card and start getting a bigger amount of beer for the same price as a pint (4-6 oz more beer?). Also, after 5 visits you get to pick out a pint glass, after 10 visits you get a hat, and i have yet to achieve the Growler cooler for 25 visits.

Unlike so many other places in Denver, i have not sat 5 minutes with an empty glass or an order untaken, even on the busiest nights. The servers are VERY attentive and personable yet not intrusive and know how to treat patrons to a good time. They can tell you a little about the beer, and if not, they'll find out for you.

Good beers to try are the Molly Brown, the Falcon Pale, and they always have some sort of interesting seasonal and a cask beer or two. The cask Falcon and cask Molly are GREAT too. I've also had a milk stout, cask Stout and a cask Porter up there, all solid offerings. One time i had an Imperial Red and it was excellent, probably the best offering i've had up here. Again, even if any one beer isn't to-die-for, there is usually a pretty huge selection and if you go once a month there's bound to be something new to try. I've never really had any beers there that i would call bad, that is for sure.

Their Rocktoberfest is decent- not as good as CB & Potts or Great Lakes Oktoberfest, but it's a nice change of pace from the sweet malty marzen styles. It's on the drier, crisper, lighter side.

The Titan Toothpicks appetizer and Chicken Fajitas are hands down my favorite things to get. My partner and i always split both things for a fun 2-course meal. I have had the smoked chicken enchiladas before and those are good, and so is the grilled Tuna sandwich...menu items are a tad pricy but are always pretty good.

Visit Rock Bottom in Denver (or Cleveland, that one is good too!) and i really don't think you'd regret it! Sign up for the Mug Club, too, because odds are, you'll be back.

Rhialistic, Sep 28, 2007
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Denver, CO
87 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.