Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Active Beers: 438
Beer Ratings: 2,611
Beer Avg: 3.74
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
3.94/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
06-26-2013 15:22:51 | More by msubulldog25
4.22/5 rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
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.
08-23-2011 02:40:48 | More by divineaudio
3.63/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I'll toss out a general disclaimer that this isn't my favorite place to go hang out with beer geeks because, well, there aren't too many beer geeks that frequent Rock Bottom. More often than not, I'm visiting this establishment as a result of happy hour with co-workers (usually catering to a wide variety of drinkers).
With that said...the location of this Rock Bottom is awesome. Right in the heart of downtown Denver on the 16 Street Mall. Centrally located it is easy to meet up with folks or even grab a beer before heading to the Performing Arts Center to watch theater or a musical (my wife loves that and I love beer - so we compromise!).
The selection here is ever-changing as they are always introducing new releases/seasonals for folks to try. Their regular beers are nothing to write home about, but they aren't bad while their one-offs are kind of hit-or-miss. Sometimes they really surprise me with a good hop bomb or barrel-aged stout.
The service is always friendly and prompt (i.e. chain restaurant), but that's what has made them successful - stick with what you're good at. Usually, the wait staff is decently knowledgeable about the offerings, but at times it can be less the par.
The variety of food here is quite amazing, but...again...that's because it is a chain. They had good apps as well as pub grub to go along with a proper Mug Club pour and they even recently introduced the "pour-it-yourself" taps at a couple of seating spots within the bar.
07-06-2011 03:46:20 | More by spdyfire83
3.7/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.
05-11-2011 15:27:13 | More by dhartogs
3.2/5 rDev -16.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
On the plus side, I stayed at the Marriott across the street and got a few free beer on them. The place is a nice looking brewery/restaurant with a sports bar theme. The bartender pointed out the taps and said, "That's what we got." 8 taps isn't great but I later found out they had a much larger selection of their beers (which were decent but not great). Nobody knew about pairing food and beer but the chili was excellent so... Worth a trip for some decent beer and food, with a few idiots pretending that it's more than a job and not pretending that well.
04-08-2011 04:42:55 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
3.94/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
03-26-2011 15:36:25 | More by Hibernator
3.95/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Rock Bottom consistantly has the same styles throughout the country, but each style varies from restaurant to restaurant depending on the brewer's inspiration. I like that. It sort of makes up a bit for being a chain. The food is always good and they do have some more interesting things on the menu, not your normal chain pub fare. Once again a notch on the positive side. I guess my reccuring theme here is that Rock Bottom seems to go out of their way to avoid seeming like a chain, which is probably why they are as popular amoung the beer geeks as they are. The Denver location is, in my opinion, better than the Downtown Chicago restaurant. The atmosphere is nicer, better view and the dining area seems much more roomy and flows a lot better. The beers are good, nothing great, but nothing poor. I suggest a flight since some of the styles change from season to season. I find RB's hoppier ales seem to be some of their better brews and I have had a couple of their stouts that just didn't do it for me. Good place to go in downtown Denver where, surprisingly to me, there are not as many places to find good beer as I thought there would be.
10-15-2010 02:09:19 | More by Czap
3.5/5 rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
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.
08-08-2010 22:29:12 | More by david131
3.25/5 rDev -15.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
As I walk in on a Sunday afternoon, I am greeted by the hostess and seated promptly. My server comes shortly after, and I order the sampler of all their beers, and a pulled pork sandwich for lunch. The sampler came out quick, and the server knew the styles and what was what. The food came out before I knew it. Overall very good service, and they seemed generally enthusiastic about their products.
As I get a chance to take in the atmosphere, I see it is a typical chain brewpub. A relatively long wood bar goes along the left, with brewing equipment displayed in glass on top of that. Lots of TV's surround the bar, and crappy FM radio hits are playing. There are some wood tables and booths, with a patio outside. It has that sterile chain restaurant feel to it. The food is decent. Nothing special about my pulled pork, and the coleslaw that topped the sandwich was not very good. Just average for what this place is.
On to the beer. There are 9 beers in all. The year round offerings are Kolsch, Gold, Wheat, Pale Ale, Red, and Brown. Not bad, but a little on the lighter side. They had a special summer IPA seasonal, a cask of the red, and a special stout. Pretty much by the books. The Kolsch and the IPA were my two favorites. Everything else was just watery and thin, or to much diacetyl.
Overall, just a little above average. A little better than what I was expecting to be honest. My score is probably lower than should be, but I am just not a fan of the cookie cutter brewpubs like this. Still, not a bad experience at all. I just don't like to be reminded of Applebees and Chilies while at a brewpub.
07-18-2010 21:36:02 | More by champ103
3.55/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
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.
12-09-2009 20:57:26 | More by Dogbrick
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Denver, CO
87 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.