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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Not Rated.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
419 Beers
2,857 Ratings
Place Score: 83
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 10.89%
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

740 N Plankinton Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53203-2403
United States
phone: (414) 276-3030

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rockbottom

Notes:
(Linked Listing) None, yet.

(Place added by: Winter)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Yetiman420
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Stop #404 on my world brewery tour.

Yeah, it's a chain - I know. Been to quite a few RB's when there's not much else to choose from. Always liked the ability of the brewer to create some of their own creations. In this case, I went with a very well done spiced pumpkin ale. Imperial pint was too much as a night cap so while it was very good, I wasn't able to drink the whole thing.

Got the fish taco small plate which was tasty.

Server was nice but as is expected, not a beer connoisseur. There was a high school team of about 40 people who came in after me and she made sure my food order got in before them.

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Visited last spring with my brother. Seemed like a nice place to go for some food and a beer, although they had some good beers. Server was insincere though about knowledge of beer, when she called one I got an Imperial Stout and I said it tasted like a Barleywine, which she then said... like that is actually what it was. That particular drink I was very impressed with, knowing that this was sort of a microbrewery chain. I don't know if they're independently owned or corporate or whatever, but it was enjoyable and would consider going to one again. The selection was also good, if not better than good as many other smaller brew pubs probably would not even carry a barleywine.

Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of crossovert
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This place is your prototypical chain, and even a plainer one than most. It was packed to the gills on a Saturday night, at least 40-50 people waiting, all inside because it was pretty cold out.

I just stayed long enough to finish a sampler of the 9 beers with friends. It is actually not the worst brewpub stuff but the lager was diacetyl-ridden. The ales were all done to an average quality but nothing was really terrible.

The bartender I had was attractive and attentive, there was one other there that was not so much.

Overall a weak place if you are going for beer and atmosphere but good if you want a cheap fix.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stoped in here with a group of friends recently. It's a chain and everyone knows it. They aren't trying to be anything other than that so I give credit.

Typical brew pub. Tons of pub tables, high back chairs and booths. Smallish bar. Plenty of TV's to check the scores. We popped in downstairs to see what was happening. Unfortunately it was filled with what seemed like a frat party. Loud music, beer pong and a fullly packed bar. Immediate 180 back up the stairs we went.

Service in the main bar was decent. We didn't eat while visiting this time. However I have eaten here before and it's solid pub grub.

Overall I'm not a big fan of the place but it serves it's purpose.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of mltobin
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Visited 10/10/2010 (Sunday night). 9 house taps.

Surprisingly busy for a Sunday night. I parked about a half mile away near Milwaukee Ale house and hiked over to Rock Bottom afterwards. Sitting at the bar with my sampler set of course started some conversations and I ended up talking to a person that used to live where I live now, a couple from somewhere on the east coast (can't remember), and a local. Nice people.

The service was nice too. They were happy to answer any questions they could but for the most part left me alone to talk amongst themselves.

9 beers to choose from and some were decent. Didn't try the food. Great location, right on the water.

Photo of botham
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of stouts4me
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Same beers as at most of the franchise, but the location is great, right on the river walk.Food is very good.

Photo of Alpar
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of joedon
4/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Rock Bottom is sort of my "old reliable" when visiting Milwaukee. I know it's a "chain" but the spirit is still local; just like a small independent brew pub.

The food is excellent, creative and consistent. Fairly priced too, along with the beer.

The beer selection is similar to the "usuals" at most Rock Bottoms. Even so, it is well-made, tasty beer if not really big on flavor or innovation. My last visit the featured beer was a cask-conditioned Scottish ale which was outstanding. Prior to that it was a Belgian Tripel which was also very good. After I had complimented the beer, the bartender called out the brewer who had made it to take the compliement in person! He stayed and shared some beer and talked at length about high gravity brewing, yeast cultures etc.

I believe his attitude demonstrates that Rock Bottom has sincere, motivated, beer-loving employees; in spite of being a national franchise.

Photo of Eman17
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of granger10
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of brdc
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of atone315
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of blue-dream
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of derkfromwi
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of BillyB
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is one of the big Brew Pub chains that have lasted and seems to be doing well because they keep popping up.

The atmosphere was nice. Big spacious bar with nice elegant but earthy interior.

Our bartender was very nice and didn't even charge us for a sampler.

I noticed that the food portions were huge and pretty interesting. A taquito the size of a tire iron.

The beers were just medicre at best though; Greenfield American Light and Seasonal wheat were typical examples of their styles but not impressive.
Honey creek pale ale, raccoon red, naughty scot scotch ale, dark lager, and catcher in the rye beer were all just typical chain brew pub fare. Nothing special but nothing horrible either.
Their Prankster Saison did not really meet the requirements of a typical Saison, not showing any fruity esters or flavors at all. It tasted
more like a belgian pale that was mis-labled.
Nice time for someone who isn't more informed, but lacking good quality beer and a little soul.

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of KTCamm
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Really good, for a brewpub chain.

Pretty robust menu with lots of choice between apps, sandwiches, and entrees. I had a barbecued burger which was tasty, even though the sauce ultimately didn't agree with me. The hot pretzel app was really good.

Good selection of beers on tap - I had the hefe, which was much muhc better than I had expected. Very tasty. My wife had a lighter lager, which was run of the mill, but still drinkable.

Nice location in Milwaukee, right on the river. Good outdoor seating available.

Photo of younger35
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

My girlfriend and I stopped by Rock Bottom on a recent trip to Milwaukee to spend a long weekend. The location of this one is really nice right on the river with a decent view of the Milwaukee skyline. It's a fairly big place as well.
When we showed up we were promptly seated out on the patio at a nice table right by the water (got lucky because it was busy). The server was really busy as well though so I had to go up to the bar to order our beer. Like all the Rock Bottoms they had the whole gamut of beer styles and I got the Scotch Ale which was just average. My girlfriend got the American Wheat which was much better. Then it started raining and we went inside for one more beer before our dinner reservations. The porter that I got inside was darn tasty and the service was really good. They seemed to be understaffed outside and overstaffed inside. All in all it was pretty good and much better to have an average craft beer than no craft beer.

Photo of Winter
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located next to the Milwaukee River in the center of downtown, Rock Bottom benefits from being a part of the RiverWalk District. The atmosphere here is nice, both inside and out. The inside features a brown wood interior, exposed Cream City brick and art deco-style tiny lighting hangs from the ceiling. The main bar is located in the back of the restaurant, with the fermentation tanks behind it. There’s also a side sunroom that overlooks the river. The downstairs area has another bar, 2 pool tables, darts, video games, limited seating and live music on the weekends. Weather permitting, a third bar is open outside in the concrete patio area along the RiverWalk and provides spacious seating as patrons can watch the boats slowly drift through downtown while dining and drinking. This has got to be one of the larger venues along the RiverWalk for enjoying the sites of the city on a pleasant summer’s evening.

From my experience the food and beer have always been good here. The Greenfield American Light, Honey Creek Pale Ale, Raccoon Red, Brown Bear Brown and Stillwater Stout are the 5 mainstays. Usually there’s another session or seasonal beer. Past choices have included Fire Chief Ale, Raspberry Wheat, a French Saison and Rocktoberfest.

The food items I’ve ordered off the menu have yet to let me down. I’ve enjoyed their BBQ ribs (tangy stout sauce was outstanding!). The menu is constantly evolving. Buffalo fajitas and Thai pizza are no longer offered, but were excellent none-the-less. The decadent carrot cake, made with a touch of their Pale Ale, is to die for. Portion sizes are very good also. Although this place can get rather busy at times, the service is usually pretty accommodating considering the circumstances when swamped.

On Thursday nights, they feature a great wing and beer special. All the wings and beer your heart desires for $10. Not a bad deal, considering a typical pint usually runs about $4. Held in the basement, it’s always ‘standing-room only’, which makes finding any corner of an occupied table welcome for setting down your drink as you chow down on wings. Happy Hour pint specials cost $2.50, which is a good deal for fresh beer.

I believe a selection of cigars is available up front for purchase. Valet parking is also available, though hardly necessary. Rock Bottom also serves as a joining location for the RiverWalk Microbreweries Boat tour, which also includes the Milwaukee Ale House and Lakefront Brewery.

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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Milwaukee, WI
83 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.