Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Ranked #450
Ranked #47,833
3.35 | pDev: 14.03%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 162 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dd53grif
dd53grif from Michigan

3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light yellow with a foamy white head that lasts quite a while. Aroma is fruity. Tastes of apple fruit, wheat and a hint of hoppy bitterness. Finish is smooth.

Jun 03, 2017
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Golden what color; creamy, rich head. Light cereal grain aroma; light, fruity esters. Light body; smooth and creamy; powdery yeast feel; mostly dry finish.

A very nice kolsch beer that nails the style overall. Flavorful and balanced.

Jan 23, 2017
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap

Pours a bright clear golden color, small foamy white head. Smells of toasted grains, faint grassy hops, overall clean. Tastes of toasted malt, grassy hops, grape skin. Medium-light body and mouthfeel, crisp finish. Easy drinking summer beer

Jul 01, 2016
Photo of BrewAskew
BrewAskew from Oklahoma

3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At MSP concourse D. Pours to a thin head that struggles to stay alive, even with agitation. Color is light for style but acceptable. Aroma is grainy and vinous as expected. There's an unexpected bread ester note in the aroma and taste. Flavor is rather bland and dull. Mouthfeel is decent. Not impressed.

Aug 03, 2015
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.91/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap in an imperial pint glass at the Rock Bottom in Seattle.

Appearance: straw yellow hue with a very light haze and a good effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy white foam. Very attractive.

Smell: light, dry and a touch grainy. A bit subtle for me, but it seems competent enough.

Taste: light and grainy; it's on the dry side which I like. Hops are noble in character and work for me. A very nice Kölsch indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium light body with a huge and satisfying creaminess. Wonderful.

Overall: a very drinkable and tasty beer. Highly refreshing on this hot day.

May 20, 2015
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap. Poured a clear, golden yellow with with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of floral notes and bread crust. Sweet caramel flavor with a touch of bitterness.

Jan 02, 2015
Photo of uvachief
uvachief from Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Clear crisp Kolsch with a very mild hop finish. Sporting event beer on a hot afternoon. Slight flavors of fruit. Can't tell what though. Very clean with no after taste. Sort of like a fruitful, heavier Miller Lite. Better than that sounds though. Lucky would drink it.

Aug 26, 2014
Photo of omahawk
omahawk from Nebraska

3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On Tap at Rock Bottom at MSP airport.

Appearance light golden, perfectly clear (filtered Kolsch?)

Nice bready smell, great malty, slight biscuit flavor. Nice dry but malty finish. I like the taste, but it's not true to the German examples I've had. Very flavorful, pilsner lager profile.

Carbonation dissipated quickly. Seemed appropriate. Very little head remains after initial pour.

Overall, very good summer beer.

Jul 25, 2014
Photo of smcolw
smcolw from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent frothy, white head that leaves extensive lace. Pours on the dark side of gold. Mild haze.

Clean creamy initial aroma. Just a touch of hop in the background.

The flavor matches the smell, although the hop is more pronounced in the swallow. The body, while rich for the style, is strongly cut by a high carbonation level. Short aftertaste.

Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Surufka
Surufka from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots of floral and fruity notes, while still covering that really great hoppy bitterness. Gorgeous pale golden color and a very nice, light, crisp taste with a small but full head. The embodiment of what a Kölsch should be. Overall, a genuinely good beer.

Jun 19, 2014
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very lager light bright yellow with a 1/2 inch of rocking foam. Almost too much since they are all forced carbonated.
S - It smells on style very grainy, has some citrus hops which surprised me and some toasted malt.
T - I did not like it at first very dry and grainy but by the end of the sampler it was very enjoyable. Still wish it has more citrus hops and sweeter malt base.
M - Light to medium a very sessionable ale.

Overall I guess its too "on par" with the style since I found it grainy and lager like. Not my favorite of the night.

Mar 18, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I went to the Rock Bottom in Cincinnati, though because it's a chain I am going to assume the beers carry over the same. I ordered a flight of six of their standard beers and as I tried each one I found that each was spot on to the style. The remarkable thing is how unremarkable the beers are. Don't get me wrong, they are well worth the try and certainly above average but they are produced for a mass market. So as lazy as it may be I am going to simply say that this beer was a text book example of the style without breaking out and setting itself above.

Mar 09, 2014
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman from California

3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This arrived wearing a nice pale gold, quick ring of head and not much lace. I am no kolsch expert but that seems to be to style.

The smell was lightly toasted malt with a hint of citrus. The taste brought more of the same, with hops to complement rather than flavor on their own. Light and refreshing in the mouth, this was not the most intriguing of beers but reasonably well done.

Jun 11, 2013
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

1.85/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Cincinnati location.

White head. Color is a very clear pale yellow.

Flavors are very minimal. Light grassy hop flavors. A bit of biscuity malts. Not much else to note.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Very light bodied. Ends dry.

Overall, a very boring kolsch. Just not much here.

May 04, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

this one is way too light, even for the style. it pours an almost clear watery yellow color with about 30 seconds worth of white foam before it goes flat. the nose is really understated as well, a touch of german malt and some mineral heavy water is all I really sense. indeed no yeast or hops makes it into the flavor profile, and while kolsch is a lighter style by nature, it isn't supposed to be a dumbed down beer for the light beer crowd. that's what the rock bottom version is, and I was disappointed. carbonation was a little weak, and the body was just far too thin. it was an easy mug to drain, but I derived very little satisfaction from this one. the first rock bottom beer that I haven't really enjoyed, I think they've got a good thing going, especially for a chain, but this kolsch is a let down.

Feb 11, 2013
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a light gold with a white, fine head.

Sweeter barley malt aroma with some notes of citrus.

Light grassy malts with some mild citrus notes in the flavor.

Light body with a prickly carbonation.

A pretty average but very sessionable ale. Pretty good paired with food, not so much on it's own. Gets the job done as a thirst quencher. Probably wouldn't turn my nose up at this in the future, but not a groundbreaking experience.

Sep 26, 2012
Photo of stampfler07
stampfler07 from Colorado

3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear golden with many rising bubbles, nice frothy white head

S- Not much to speak of

T- Light throughout, building grain flavor like a crusty french loaf, very light bitter component to finish

M- Moderate carbonation, light body, slightly dry and crisp

O- Not bad, refreshing, fits well with style

Apr 09, 2012
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1 from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear golden. Firm white head lasts well and leaves some lacing.
S- Smell is fairly clean. Other than a large grassiness, it's just a light sweetness.
T- The flavor is on the assertive for the style. Big grassiness, with an apple and pear componant as well.
M- Medium body, assertive carbonation. Semi-dry finish.
O- A good kolsch. Easy drinking and tasty.

Nov 06, 2011
Photo of droomyster
droomyster from Virginia

3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light gold body with one finger of white head. Aromas are very subdued but reminiscent of English muffins. Flavor is primarily grassy with light malts and a lemony finish. Light body is right on the mark. A great session starter at Rock Bottom.

Oct 26, 2011
Photo of IronCitySteve
IronCitySteve from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap Denver Airport

A: Pours a very light crystal yellow color with a thick foamy white head with moderate retention. Eventually it gives way to a film. There is some spotty lacing.

S: Very light scents. There is some light biscuit, toast and grassy hops.

T: Starts off and finishes the same. A decent amount of light grassy hops with a moderate undertone of biscuit and bread.

M: Perfect mouthfeel, light, crisp and very refreshing. Excellent carbonation. Leaves a clean taste slightly grainy taste on the palate.

O: This is a really nice Kolsch. Easy to drink, very refreshing and quite tasty. Nothing overly complex, but well balanced.

Oct 22, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When my friends go here, they always drink the lousy light lagers-- that all changed when I made them try this Kolsch. They all love it now and ask my about other Kolsch beers they can buy...

Clear light straw golden with a bubbly white head. Decent lace and retention.
Smells of grainy malt with a slight musky quality that tends to appear in a lot of german styles-- I dont know what it is, but in my head I chalk it up to the yeast...
The taste follows the nose with some light fruit notes hiding in there as well.
The body is light and airy-- a perfect summertime beer.

Overall, this is pretty nice.

Oct 01, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @Rock Bottom Pittsburgh

22oz mug. Pours a crystal clear straw yellow, soapy white head and little in the way of lace. Aroma is light, bready and floral. Tastes crisp and refreshing, crystal malts, flash of noble hop bitterness, grainy with a slightly sour, macro finish. mouthfeel is light bodied. Overall, a decent kolsch, and a good way to start the day.

Jul 31, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Rock Bottom La Jolla. Who is retiring all these Rock Bottom beers? This is brewed regularly.

A: Very light yellow gold with a creamy white head. Good retention and a little lacing. Good clarity.

S: Apple and a dash of cherry with a subtle noble hop aroma. Sulfur is light and there's a little mineral.

T: Soft on the palate. Well attenuated with a subtle apple fruitiness and a little sulfur. I detect wheat and a little mineral. Low noble hop bitterness. The finish is smooth and dry with light yet noticeable apple.

M: Light in body with high carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry. I had a bunch of terrible to mediocre beer at Rock Bottom La Jolla today, but this was pretty good.

May 19, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunshine-drenched haystack when the pint glass was held up to the brewpub's windows. The head was barely present when the beer was placed in front of me and was gone by the two minute mark. A few dots of lace lasted about twice that long. To state the obvious, when it comes to appearance, the pour matters.

This offering smelled like fresh barley and German hops. Summit was used for bittering. Perle, Tettnang and Mt. Hood for flavor and aroma. The nose was bright, clean and snappy, which was a whiff of good things to come.

Here is why doing a review from a two ounce sample (which I've never done) is a lousy idea. On my last visit to Rock Bottom, several days ago, I was given a sample glass of this beer. A nice bonus, but I wasn't impressed. The full pint (consumed today) was a whole 'nother story. It might as well have been a different beer.

Kolsch was packed with flavor. Lightly toasted cereal grains led the way, followed closely by the flavors imparted by the hops listed above. Who says that beer has to be complex to be good? This one had two basic notes, but what wonderful notes they were.

Those flavors were extremely well-defined, while meshing in complementary fashion. The hop bitterness was greater than the style average, but the beer wouldn't have been as good without it. This is *exactly* how macro lagers would taste in a perfect world.

Each mouthful resulted in a rush of lightly sugared grains on the bottom end, then a rush of semi-raspy hoppiness on the top end. The beer was incredibly clean, crisp, quenching and drinkable. The next highest flavor score is sooo tempting.

The mouthfeel was at least medium for the style, thanks to a sneaky amount of malt sugars that lightly coated the tongue. The carbonation was on the high side, but came across as sparkly more than fizzy. In the end, it matched the snappiness of the flavor very well.

I think Alien Kolsch would be a more appropriate name. If little green men ever landed in my back yard, knocked on my door and asked me what beer tastes like, I'd drive them to the West Des Moines Rock Bottom and buy them pints of Kolsch. This is simple (in a good way), straightforward, very well-crafted beer.

Jul 16, 2008
Kolsch from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 162 ratings