Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Active Beers: 438
Beer Ratings: 2,603
Beer Avg: 3.74
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
3.1/5 rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
rock bottom is a notable stop in downtown milwaukee.
atmosphere was pretty good. the place has good character, with a pseudo-sportsbar/irish pub feel. if this place gets full during a sporting event, it would be wonderful.
quality was decent. the brews were above average and the food was great.
service was sub-par. the server was slow and unfriendly, without any knowledge of beer.
selection was normal. six or seven brews on tap and a few stales in bottles.
food was the best attracter to this place. great quality and perfect portion size.
04-23-2008 02:05:21 | More by botham
3.11/5 rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
For those passing by the river in downtown Milwaukee, this is a convenient stop. And for those who work nearby, I certainly understand the positives. It is a large, bright space, that is good for groups. And they have a full bar, so your colleagues who do not like beer, can order a scotch, cosmo or whatever.
Beer was alright, but nothing great that I tried while there. The scotch ale, I feel was one of their better offerings. A good way to start a bar crawl and maybe eat some pub grub. Friendly staff helped make the visit a positive one.
05-23-2012 01:39:49 | More by mltobin
3.13/5 rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Visited here with me paps and mum while moving into Mil-town. Beautiful day so we sat outside. Lots of people, not much beer being consumed. Blame lunchtime or Rock Bottom atmosphere?
Yuppyish. Amazing difference between the clietele here and the clientele at the bar we visited next to my apartment. Must check out nighttime.
I got the sampler. 7 offerings, plastic cups half full. Quite a bit. Nothing too good. Seasonals were a hefe and a nail polish flavored IPA. Only beer I would buy a pint of was the Scotch, maybe the Light actually as well.
Service was nothing really, even if this were just a restaurant. But I hear good things about the bartender so I'll have to check that out. She did pour me well.
Rock Bottom food is always good to me. Buffalo fajitas were the bomb and something one doesn't see too often. I must come here some night and see the difference. Riverboat tour looks interesting.
Go for the food, have a beer while there, that's about it.
08-09-2006 21:16:59 | More by granger10
3.23/5 rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $
I made a visit to the Rock Bottom Brewery in Milwaukee last weekend. Yes, I know, it's corporate. But I figured that I'd give it a try.
The building is very stately, being directly next to the river. And the neighborhood seems nice with a boardwalk district. The large neon "Rock Bottom" lights would look great on a gentle summer evening, but the forbidding winter temperatures didn't allow me to fully appreciate the atmosphere.
Inside the heavy wooden doors, we were greeted by a clean interior that was made to look like an old neighborhood brewpub. As our host walked us to our table as if he were crawling, the atmosphere took on a more sports bar theme. Flat screen televisions were strategically hung from the ceiling showing ESPN2. At the time that was a track meet and then golf.
The booths are very long and comfortable. They're raised above the floor level slightly, which adds a nice touch. Unfortunately, it was also very cold in the restaurant and all three of us wore our winter coats for much of the meal.
It took so long for the waitress to show up at our table that we were beginning to wonder if she was on break. When she arrived, she clearly had the "let's be friends" style of serving that I find annoying and inappropriate. The menu is too long and doesn't stick to any sort of theme. I ordered a pint of their Stillwater Stout ($4).
The beer was good, although I could swear that it's a clone brew of Guinness. In other words, it has virtually no roasted flavor and plays a strong hand of malts. There's little to no bittering hops either. The beer only carried a modest head. This beer was fine, but I prefer my stouts flintily dry and crammed full of roasted flavors. On the other hand, this beer has a good sessionability to it.
We had an appetizer of nachos. It came out on a huge oval plate piled at least six inches high with greasy tortillas held together by cheese. The chips themselves were very greasy, and indeed we found a lake of fat on the bottom of the plate. The salsa was timid, as if it didn't want to offend anyone. It didn't have a good balance of flavor, and wasn't even slightly spicy.
I ordered the "meatloaf and mashers." It comes with a nice helping of two slices of meatloaf, a pile of mashed potatoes, and buttery green beans. The meatloaf can be sauced with either stout tomato sauce or brown ale mushroom sauce, and I picked the former because the ketchup-meatloaf combination is traditional. The meatloaf is juicy (they let it rest) and filled with pieces of sautéd mushrooms, which imparted a nice flavor to an otherwise bland dish. The sauce, however, was truly one of the worst sauces I've ever tasted. And believe me, I have an open mind when it comes to experiencing new things. It just tasted bad. The flavor consists of a full-scale battle between the stout reduction component and the tomato component. The stout reduction tasted stale, as if a pan had been sitting on the stove for the last three days. And the tomatoes tasted like they were rotting in the back of their fridge. As I said, the flavors didn't parter either by similarity or contrast in the slightest. To make things worse, the menu boasted that the meatloaf is "made from scratch." If a restaurant has toclaim that they make their own food, you know there are serious problems.
The mash was good, although bland. The menu boasted that the potatoes had white cheddar in them, but I assume they meant the processed cheese variety.
The menu also said the dish would be served with "seasonal vegetables." Since it's January, I was expecting celeriac, squash, or maybe sweet potato. What vegetable did they consider seasonal? Green beans. At least they were well prepared. The vegetables felt firm and were crisp, unlike most green beans that are available at this time of year. Moreover, they had been blanched and shocked in the French manner. Unfortunately, unlike the French they didn't reheat their green beans after shocking them and instead served them cold. Serving them this way should be reserved for hot and humid summer days when you want something light and cool, not in the middle of the winter where it's even cold inside. The green beans were sauced with melted butter. I would have prefered sauce beurre blanc myself. Still, the green beans were the best part of the meal.
With my dinner, I ordered my first tripel. The nose was full of banana and bubble gum. The flavor had a nice balance of banana, bubble gum, and malts. It had a pleasant bitterness to it that I appreciated. Even better, they served it in an appropriate glass. It raised a nice white head that just wouldn't quit. It went great with the green beans. But at over 9% (typical for the style), it was a gracefully big beer.
I'd go there again for beer, but I'm not sure if I'd go there again for food.
02-09-2006 01:15:47 | More by aschbren
3.25/5 rDev -10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
I met my wife here for lunch. There seemed to be nothing truly outstanding about the place from a BA perspective, but our food was pretty solid.
It is January in Milwaukee, so I feel I'm likely short-changing this place on the "atmosphere" dimension, as it is right along the walk-way on the river, so I imagine its atmostphere is much cooler in the summertime. Interior is nice, although I found parking to be a hastle. Only later did I learn that the lot store has valet service to Rock Bottom, and after validation parking is only $0.50.
The food was good. My wife and I both had pizza and we split a salad. The pizza crust was particularly good. Beers (IPA and a dubbel, reviewed separately) were OK, but not particularly outstanding. I've been to less nicely appointed brewpubs with worse food and much better beer.
They have a pretty good selection of beer...maybe 8 brews, two of which rotate.
Lunch was about $30 between the two of us...2 x pizzas, 1 x salad, 1 x iced tea, and 2 x beers, which is right on the edge of what I'd consider reasonable.
Not bad, but I probably won't be back.
01-26-2007 22:12:45 | More by BeerBelcher
3.3/5 rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This one has a great location; the best one from their chain I know, and the best location in town. Right in front of the water, in a sunny afternoon, a nice place to have a beer, and watch the boats and people passing.
The place inside is quite standard, and I am not sure I would go on a rainy or cold day.
Usual pub fare, nothing special. Decent beer selection covering most major styles, not bad, not great either. Otherwise, a mediocre selection.
Staff has memorized the beer descriptions, but really know nothing about it.
Worthwhile for the location.
05-04-2009 03:18:07 | More by brdc
3.35/5 rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Located in downtown Milwaukee, right on the river, a hip spot, plenty of wood, the usual mix of sports bar and pub atmosphere. Really cool to be out on the patio during the summer. Quality of the brews is decent, especially considering some of the chain breweries on the west coast (not Rock Bottom).
Service was nothing special, nothing terrible. Selection, this rock bottom doesn't branch out as adventurous as some of the ones in California, but the staple styles are usually available and decent enough. Love the chicken wings here, go here on the all you can eat/drink night on Thursday I think if they still do that.
02-02-2011 19:58:43 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Milwaukee, WI
84 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.