Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

Not Rated.
Rock Bottom Restaurant and BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
BEER AVG
3.71/5
Based on:
470 Beers
3,049 Ratings
Place Score: 85
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

206 SW Morrison St
Portland, Oregon, 97204
United States
phone: (503) 796-BREW

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:  Linked Beer Listing
Place added by: Shaw

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 23
Photo of katybee
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75

This place is an impressive space to perform, but far too expensive to be a regular hangout more than occasionally. Classy and streamlined, with it's rustic wooden, "Silver City" retro miner-town décor, the cavernous double-story ceiling, and strategically placed wide-screen tv monitors hanging around the room, the place was designed to please young urbanites with expensive taste.

But except for the décor, and prime location in the heart of downtown Portland, the actual menu and beer offerings seemed limited. The only beer intriguing to me as being something other than standard fare, was a seasonal saisson on tap.

Our entertainment for the evening was the live music performed for an open mic night, and it was a talented bunch who showed up. Yet for all the décor, there wasn't much about the beer itself to keep us coming back, and the pricing was prohibitive.

Photo of tjensen3618
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This turned out to be the last stop of the night in Portland. It was a great place to be on a Tuesday night, they had some live music that was really very good.

It was real busy in there so the service wasn't quite on point. We ordered an appetizer and a couple rounds of beers. Food tasted good in an overly greasy kinda drunk sort of way. Beers were definitely below the curve in a city like Portland, but they did the trick and tasted alright.

The atmosphere and the live music made this the perfect stop at the end of a long day, I'm really glad we stopped by.

Photo of Redrover
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

It was a cold & rainy night, so I decided to stick close to my hotel. I was glad I had a good option.

RB is located in an older corner building. There are two main areas. There is dining to your left and the bar and more dining straight ahead.

I like the very high ceilings with the exposed old wood rafters. They use half walls to add a sense of space. They use lots of copper, wood and plants for decoration. I like the rustic lighting in the bar room.

They had a huge crowd for happy hour. The bar was 4/5ths full at 5 pm. Good food and beer specials from 2 to 6 pm that may help explain the crowd.

I enjoyed the friendly staff and patrons. However, service really dragged. I was sitting at the bar and the single bartender took care of the wait staff before the customers at the bar. Even when they brought tin a 2nd bartender, service was slow. I know I waited 5 to 10 minutes on two different occasions for a beer.

They have a large blackboard in the bar area listing the regular offerings. 7 on the board during my visit plus two seasonals (yea Dunkelwiezen!!). 2 beers on cask.

I thought the food and beer were well worth a stop. Service could be improved, but I was not in any big hurry.

Photo of squaremile
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Decided to give them a try after some nice talk about their seasonals and one offs. Place is your expected up-scale touristy brew-pub by the numbers, but done very well. Sat at the bar and was helped promptly, while I ordered a sample tray. Bartender gave me an extra and I was shocked at the 4.95 price for what ended up being 7 4oz pours. The beers were respectable for their styles and all quite drinkable. Great TVs all around the room showing world cup. I could imagine going back to watch a game if I'm in SW and Bailey's is closed.

Photo of jdense
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited 7.2.2010 during Waterfront Blues Festival for a pre-funk (Trombone Shorty!) beer and snack.

Located hard on the MAX line, I'd certainly suggest taking public transit than fighting for a parking spot on any nearby street (although SmartPark provides a nice option). Certainly has that corporate brewpub (lack of) ambience, loud blaring 70s/80s rock, with a number of HDTVs to watch games, World Cup, etc. on. I have to say the beer is pretty good at this location due to headbrewer Van Havig, no newbie to the Oregon brewing scene. I tried several brews and while the Saison was a bit undercarbonated it was tasty, as was the unfiltered American Dream IPA released the previous day. I dabbled with the happy hour food menu, there was sufficient choices to go with the fairly extensive regular beer list, along with three seasonals and two cask conditioned beers. The help was attentive enough but not overbearing. While there are certainly better places to drink downtown, it was before 4 so Bailey's wasn't open yet. In a pinch if you are looking for a beer and some grub with buddies this makes sense. Worth a try for Van's seasonals and one-offs, though a bit light on the ABV side pretty tasty stuff.

Photo of djbreezy
4.22/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Rock Bottom is one of the initial places where I started drinking craft beer. The beer here is pretty solid, but now that I've become a fairly intensive consumer, I haven't been back solely for the beer. I think I definitely need to give it a chance.

The bar is nice here but it gets packed. The restaurant provides a great experience, and the upstairs area is a good place to enjoy pool.

I'm pretty fond of the food, and the service is usually pretty on point. I like the appetizers on the menu as well as many of the main courses. A good spot to hang out at with friends or a large group if you can get in.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Tried this place with my wife recently....good experience overall. The atmosphere is nice, typical urban pub feel. Pool tables upstairs along with additional seating. Lots of stained wood and the bar has a nice vibe. The beer quality is good, but I wouldn't say great, nothing standout and pretty typical offerings. The service was good, attentive and knowledgeable about the brews and food. Selection was good as well, again would help to have some more exciting offerings. The food was pretty good and the price we paid for it was reasonable. Overall the experience was nice, but nothing that would make me really want to come back, especially with so many other breweries to try in Portland.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I think that there are enough reviews here to cover the basics. It's a nice, well-done place with a good sized bar. The beers and food are typical Rock Bottom. Some of the beers are better than they are at other locations, and some of them are not as good as they are at other locations - that's Rock Bottom (but at least they give their brewer's a little elbow room in the specialties area). The service is good and the prices are reasonable. So, basically, if you've been to another Rock Bottom, you've been here. The only difference here is that there are so many better places so close.

Photo of kdoc8
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I've been to this place a few times. It's at a great location and is the closest brewery to the McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. They usually have about 7-8 beers to choose from on tap. None of them are spectacular but none of them are terrible either. They have a pretty extensive menu, reminiscent of a typical chain restaurant though. The atmosphere is a bit like a sports bar depending on where you are sitting, and lively at night. They also have outdoor seating. Their location is really their selling point, as it's right on the MAX line and in central downtown Portland.

Photo of heapofaoatmeal
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

diacetyl.

getting the sampler was a mixed bag. the ipa was to style and perfectly acceptable, as was their stout and poter. although my wife(she is a double ipa, and belgian ale kinda girl) didnt see any difference between the two. their lager was a butter bomb, exactly what i expect when i have a lager from a brewpub. but what was interesting was heather and i also picked up butter in both the wheat beer and the amber; albeit in much lower quantities as both these beers were far more drinkable.

the pub itself was clean, welcoming for families, and full of tvs. the server we had was clueless, it was obviously not her first day, but it could have been her last. i went to the bathroon, my wife tried to order unsuccessfully, but we did get a sampler. our order came out with no napkins, i couldnt get the the server to slow down to take my pint order, and then we had trouble getting her to give us a check and swipe our card so we could leave.

all in all it was unimpressive, diacetyl, and service was bad. food was ok, it was clean, well lit, and and offered food that was non threatening.

might be good for a low end business lunch, but that is about it. there are so many brewpubs that are just so much better in portland i see no need to return.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Despite quite a few visits over the years, I've yet to review this brewpub - until now. Located on the ground floor of an historic building at SW 2nd/Morrison in the midst of downtown Portland, adjacent to the MAX station.

Bar area is to the right, restaurant to the left upon entering at the street corner. Some overflow space upstairs holds several pool tables and a smaller bar and occasionally hosts special events (notably the 'Cheers to Belgian Beers' mini-fest in 2007). Upstairs is also where most of the brewing operations are kept; several big 16-bbl tanks are visible through huge windows overlooking the bar, with several more smaller tanks on the lower level. High ceilings (at least 20') and tall north and east-facing windows give an airiness to space, though deep booths and some heavy outdoor awnings can still make it seem rather dark. Plenty of TVs in the bar (where I most often have found myself) tuned to all the ESPN channels. Outdoor seating when the weather is nice, smoking in the bar after 9pm (at least until January 2009, when the smoking ban hits).

Beer choices are good and cover the range of styles, from the lightest Pales/Blondes/Wheats to Stouts and Porters. They have regular tappings on Thursday evening, about every 3-4 weeks (check the chalkboard up front). Brewers Van Havig and (newly hired from BJ's) Vasilios Gletsos stick with some RB original styles (often creatively named for local landmarks) but also craft some clever seasonals and one-offs (the Flanders Red called 'Ned', served at OBF 2007, comes to mind), often for local beer festivals. 2 casks are centered behind the bar; on this day the offerings were 'Sunny Day' IPA and 'Oregonic' Amber. The latest tapping is a tasty and balanced IPA called 'American Dream'.

Food is pretty standard pub-like fare, with a variety to please the masses. I picked a club sandwich and caesar salad today, but have opted for other sandwiches, soups, burgers, nachos or pretzels on other occasions. All are pretty good, though none remarkable. There's a pretty nice discount on some items during happy hour (which I believe is 3-6pm and after 10pm most days). Costs seem a little high, typically $10 or more for most entrees, even at lunchtime.

Service is usually very friendly, but sometimes a bit slow, even when it shouldn't be. Expect a little wait, but also expect a smile and a cute server. Samples of the beers come freely. Pints are of the imperial variety and are $4.50, with $2.95 10 oz. pours.

Not a 'must-visit' but certainly a good pub staffed with nice people and skilled brewers doing all they can to craft beers for the masses as well as a fickle Portland beer crowd. Recommended.

Photo of Hollenbeck2
5/5  rDev +36.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I live in portland and love this spot we went there after the brewers fest, we go there every year, they take care of you if you are stumbling drunk from ipa sessions.

This link in the chain occupies a downtown space in portland one block off the river, no water view though if that is what you are looking for.

They had many beers on tap.

I enjoyed both the pale ale (almost an IPA) and the sweet stout.

Good service. The bartenders were fast, friendly and up on their beers.

The food was great, it always is.

Photo of IceEyes
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was surprised how busy they were for a Monday night. Of course Second Avenue and the greater Old Town area are pretty popular night spots and a lot of people bar hop in the area. Good thing the Max stops right around the corner because parking is a nightmare around dinner time.

Given that they were so busy, I had to wait a bit for service. I always figure I shouldn't have to wait long for service. If they're busy during the dinner rush, they need more waitresses. That's all there is to it.

I understand about the corporate franchise atmosphere. It does tend to feel a bit stiff even when they try so hard to not make it feel stiff. That only makes it worse. Still, this is not much different from many other places in downtown Portland. It's still a nice place to get a burger and beer although the crowds make the place a bit noisy.

If you get down to just the basics of food and beer, Rock Bottom does pretty well. The bottom line is that I enjoyed the food and the beer and then stepped out for another few beers at Kells. I know there are better places in town to visit, places with more genuine local flavor. And you can definitely find better beers in Portland. That's not hard. But my visti to Rock Bottom wasn't disappointing at all. I liked the IPA.

Photo of josiahschlender
3.45/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3

It had been a while since I've been to the Rock Bottom. My wife and I stopped by for drinks after dinner downtown on a Sunday evening. I personally haven't experienced the madhouse crowd that several reviewers have complained about in the few times I have visited. I certainly wouldn't doubt that it happens, with a convenient downtown location, attractive ambiance and chain recognition.

Honestly, I'm not sure why being a chain is a bad thing for so many people. I've tried a few of their beers, and found them pretty enjoyable and mainstream. Yeah, this isn't a connoisseur brewpub, but it's a solid place that can satisfy a wide range of tastes.

I might have given lower marks had my experience been overwhelmed by crowds and smoke, but I kind of expect that in a popular downtown bar on the weekends anyway. The variety of seating choices is nice, a bar, booths, tables, and a pool room upstairs. Nothing seemed very cheap, tacky or overdone. Maybe a few too many TVs.

Service has been prompt but nothing out of the ordinary. I haven't sat at the bar yet, so I can't comment on their knowledge. It shouldn't take too much to explain their beers though, they have six wide-appeal beers on tap all the time, plus a couple seasonals. The other night I tried the Maltnomah Porter and Sunny Day IPA. Neither was mind blowing, but both were enjoyable. I was disappointed by the lack of head on either of the pours, but glad to be reminded that they serve beer in 20oz Imperial pints. A bit more for your buck!

I didn't have any food this last time, so I won't try to rate it. The menu items looked pretty good for average prices.

Learning more about their mug club and weeknight specials makes this place even more interesting. It seems like they work hard to please their customers. I think I'll give it another try.

Photo of ccrida
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

The Portland Rock Bottom was pretty much what I expected out of this brew-pub chain, nothing really special. It's a bit more lively then some as it's right downtown, but with that comes the crowds/noise/smoke/etc...I saw a great live band there (Jay Maynard Band?) for free during the Rose Celebration, which was cool. I had two pints, the Saison and Hoppy Daze IPA, and also sampled the Sunny Day IPA from the cask. I was not terribly impressed with any of them, all were fine but dumbed down and too malty for my taste. I didn't have any food. Place was packed, waiting list for a table, but we snagged two good seats at the bar, where the bartenders were friendly and prompt enough for as busy as they were. I would only go back if I was meeting someone or wanted to catch a particular band. Not a beer destination for me.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Overall, I'd say this is an above average RB, but than most I've visited. It's right in the downtown location in the historic Yamhill distirict. We were there to buy our Duck supplies across the street at the U of Oregon store. Beavers can buy at the other end of the block. We hit happy hour on a Monday night and had cheap appetizer size entrees, cheap beer, big screen TVs everywhere, and lots of people laughing. Joint was alive and a lot of fun. Mostly a young crowd, lots of business types with ties pull loose at the neck. Train just outside the window, so take the public transportation down to the area and save the parking fee for the day (though the Duck store did validate for us).

Photo of slyke
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I visited Rock Bottom twice during a long weekend in Portland. The light rail line stops right outside and it was two blocks from my hotel.

The atmosphere, service, and food are similar to any chain bistro and or chain brewpub such as Appleby's, TGI Friday's, or Granite City. I haven't been to any other Rock Bottom locations so I cannot compare this one in that regard.

The place was insanely popular at 8:00pm on a Friday night, but given the fact it was one of the few places open in the downtown, I shouldn't be surprised. The beers were all very drinkable, but nothing sensational. The amber and the stout were my favorites.

I won't tell folks heading to Portland they HAVE to stop here, but I wouldn't tell them to avoid it either. The variety in this town should keep you busy with local places.

Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

It's a funny thing. When I first read over the reviews for this place, I was somewhat surprised the scores weren't higher. I really do like this place, but given the categories for rating beer destinations, I can see why this place doesn't get a better score.

As others have noted, the atmosphere in this "chain" brewpub is nothing special. It's frequently noisy, smoke filled and crowded, although I don't mind the sports bar presentation that much.

As mentioned, this place is frequently very crowded and as a result service can suffer. However, I usually sit at the bar, where the bartenders tend to be more observant and on their toes.

Selection is of course limited to Rock Bottom products, though I'm told the head/corporate brewer is on site here, and that as a result there is more variety and consistency. In any event, the IPA's are both quite good, and many of the seasonals excellent. Yeah, there's nothing exciting about the porter, amber, wheat and lager, and if you're fond of those styles you probably won't be very happy. Still, I stick with either the Hoppy Daze or Sunny Days, and have always been happy.

As others have noted, the food here is a bit above average, though nothing special. Prices are comparable to your typical Chili's, TGIF's and Appleby's, as is the menu. In fairness the selection is a bit better than that, but not greatly so.

All of the above aside, there are quite a few things about this place that I really quite like. Every other Thursday RB taps a new seasonal and the first pint for the first hour after tapping is on the house. Doesn't matter if you buy something or not, or if you just come in for the free pint and leave. The folks at RB are completely cool about this and I've never seen them give a cheapskate a hard time. On a typical Thursday they probably give away 300 or 400 free pints. Kind of hard not to be impressed by that show of good will to their customer base.

RB also has their mug club. OK, I typically think these things are stupid as well, but it's hard to find fault with RB's club. It costs nothing to belong to, they don't send you a lot of junk in the mail, and with just a few visits you can "earn" a free pint glass, cap, etc. They also send you a coupon for a free appetizer on your birthday (again, no additional purchase is required to cash it in), and at least once a year they have a mug club party upstairs where beer is sold at happy hour prices and they feed you free food (yes, it's crap like pizza, quesadillas, wings, etc., but it IS free).

Last but not least, the price for a growler here is one of the cheapest I've seen lately. You can buy a growler bottle for a buck and then it's $6 or $7 each time you fill it. Comes in handy when you're having a few friends over for the game.

Yes, I know this place is a big chain, and I know we should all look down with disdain upon these places.... but dammit, despite my better instincts and best intentions, I find myself quite liking this place. Every city should have a chain restaurant as cool as this one.

Photo of Gavage
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

We stopped in for a beer since other places were closing early on July 3rd. The place was literally a zoo. Bunch of outdoor tables were all packed with loud 20 somethings, and inside we were met with the same. The place was a large clean restaurant and bar area which was loud. We grabbed the last two available stools and ordered some pints.

There were about 10 beers on tap covering the usual styles. The ones we had were fresh but not overly impressive. The bartender seemed to understand the beers when questioned. Service was quick despite the crowd. Some of the beers listed were Swan Island Lager, Sunny day IPA, Volkesweizen Wheat, Malt-Nomah Porter, Morrison St. Stout, Organic Amber, and Kolsch 55.

This place also has live music over the weekends, and this is clearly a singles "meet and hook up" type of place. We probably wouldn't have stopped in if other places were opened and it wasn't so close to our hotel. The beers here are a bit better than some other RBs we have visited across the country.

Photo of freed
3.45/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I was somewhat surprised by this place - it seemed so large and established - which I later learned was because it is an established chain. Otherwise, they've got the mix of mountain lodge and brew pub brass down quite well. The view of the brewing room was pretty cool, but surprised me at how cramped it was - almost like it was for show, not use.

The beer was pretty good, but nothing outstanding. I later had a beer of their's at a festival that was fantastic, but nothing like that on my visit.

The food was pretty good, both my wife and I enjoyed our meals despite the noise. It was pretty crowded being downtown on a Friday night. The ample booths were comfortable at first but eventually became a little bit more solid.

I've not been back since, but not for any tangible reason other than it was crowded and there are plenty of other places in Portland to get better beer. Plus I get tired of the faux Jackson Hole feel.
---
Update: 10/11/05. Went here during a ducks game, which may not have been the best idea. Overly crowded and I just don't like TVs and during the absurdly popular in-state games the atmosphere of the bar is quite different. Despite being crowded, we were able to find stools and nursed pints until a table was ready. Also due to the crowd, we were constantly in the way.

The food was still fine and everyone seemed content but their dry-hopped cask IPA "hoppy daze" was most excellent. The hop profile was unique and more robust than some.

I'm generally hard on chains for their near-red-robin like atmosphere, but this one isn't too bad. It's just a different crowd than, say, Amnesia.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

I have been to a few Rock Bottom Brewpubs and have found this one to be the best.

Atmosphere is clean, lofty, and nice. About like any other franchise restaurant you've ever been to, except a little rugged--the way that we like our brew pubs.

The service is fair. They will never be bad or rude, but they will never knock your socks off with great beer conversation.

Selection of food is nice; better than your neighborhood Applebees. They have the usual plates, but throw in a few specialties to apease the vernacular palate.

Selection of beer is ordinary by brew pub standards. They have the same 5 beers that all other brewpubs have. But, its safe. The beer always targets large audiences and never takes risks.

Portland's Rock Bottom is unique in that it seems a bit more urban and pedestrian friendly. I felt connected to the city and the people who were around me. Good ambiance.

Photo of bassoonoflunacy
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

We go here about once a month. It has a great location downtown right on the MAX light rail line. Their regular beers are above average but what brings us back are the seasonals. Although it is a chain, each Rock Bottom brews its own beer.

Happy hour has very inexpensive pub food (burgers, fries, salads, wings, etc.).

It seems like the crowd depends greatly on what else is going on downtown and in the sports world. A lot of people come here to watch the game.

If you do go, and I recommend that you do, you should join the mug club. It gives you slightly larger pours and after certain increments of visits, dollars off and other freebies such as shirts and pint glasses.

Photo of Shaw
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I checked out the brews at Rock Bottom during a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest.

This is a big place, one of the biggest brewpubs I've been to. Wooden booths in a modern/industrial decor, with their brewing equipment visible in a loft area with glass windows. They said tours are offered but I didn't have time to take one.

I got their sampler, which included nine 4 oz. or so beers in a neat metal rack. Cost around $5.

Our server was good and was able to tell me a little about the beers. I just tasted one of their spinach salads, which was good, but I don't think that really qualifies me to comment on their entire food selection.

They've got a big bar area with lots of TVs for football season.

All in all it's a good place to check out, especially for a chain.

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Portland, OR
85 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.