Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Rock Bottom Restaurant & BreweryRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

115 Stuart Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116
United States

// CLOSED //

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Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Session 1 of the Beer Advocate Belgium Beer Festival at the Cyclorama had ended and Session 2 was an hour away, what do to?!?

Well a small gathering including a hobbling Drewbage, Gentleman RoyalT, RokotGirl, djgonzalez and Moon0 outside of the Cyclorama decided that a short walk over to the nearby Rock Bottom was the way to go given the limited amount of time that we had. Probably somewhere between a good 5-10 minute walk from the Cyclorama, we were limited a little by the fact that the East Coast cold was wreaking havoc on the old shrapnel wounds in Drewbages Testicles and Knees, but we easily managed a Taxi back though; Hey never let it be said that we West Coasters don’t stick together in times of Temperatures below 65F!!

This one is on Stuart Street in Boston, and is one of the larger Rock Bottoms that I have frequented, a decent sized gathering outside had me thinking that we may struggle to get in, but as with other Rock Bottoms the people waiting outside, and some inside the entrance even, were waiting for seating in the Restaurant portion of this branch outlet.

Once inside the Restaurant area breaks off to your left and it was very busy during our visit as I mentioned earlier, but the high ceiling and tall massive windows that look out onto the Sidewalk gives a real impression of space here and didn’t make it feel crowded at all, even though it was. We headed down the little curved alleyway that ramped down and right into the general drinking area. The curved bar is all wood and set against the back wall, in front of which are many tall round tables surrounded with high stools. Plenty of TV’s with mixed Channels to keep the attention of American Sports Fans that have ADD busy. Our party grabbed one of these high tables immediately, and we were greeted in a half decent time by our Server whom appeared to have had a “Sense of Humor Lobotomy” only hours earlier. Still Service was punctual and polite so I cannot complain too much

Beer range is, well….Rock Bottom, so to speak. The usual range of Wheat, Brown, Red, Stout, Light Lager, blah, blah, blah…..they seem to rotate a little and may not all be on sale at the same time though. Thankfully, during our visit we had the fortune of being able to try the IPA Special/Seasonal, I forget what it was called but it was Cask, not bad but a tad lifeless [a regular bitch of mine with US Cask dispense] and nothing more than a barely hoppy Pale Ale really. We ordered shared snacks; Quesadilla and the Titan Toothpicks, which were standard RB fare, not bad, not great, but good enough.

The Rock Bottom served its purpose, it provided some consistent fare and a decent enough barely above average beer range to accompany it, but not much else. If you’ve seen one you really have seen them all I guess but the Downtown Boston “Branch” is a little larger than most and does have some redeeming, interesting and even tacky features like the ice-rink thingy on the bar for keeping your beverages cold, erm no thanks!

Whilst not worth a sole trek, it is worth popping in if you're passing by, it won’t let you down, but it ain’t gonna make yer dangly bits tingle either (unlike the Boston cold did to Drewbages).

Classic Rock Bottom; Dependable but Predictable.

Last Visit: Saturday 6th November, 2004.

Nov 24, 2004
More User Reviews:
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CaptDavyJones from New York

4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited Rock bottom brewpub and restaurant when I was in Boston for a conference.
Atmosphere when we went there was nice and quiet. Friendly staff, and the waitress was more than willing to go through all the beers they had on offer.
I had their home brews which are quiet good.
Didn't get a chance to try the food, but their home-brewed beers are quite good. Had a colleague from the UK with me who was also impressed with the beer they had on offer.
Overall, a decent place to have a good beer or two, if you are in that part of Boston.
Wouldn't mind visiting it if I were in Boston again.

Jan 23, 2011
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SnowGoon99 from Maine

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Went to Rock Bottom before a show on a Saturday night. When we went in it was very quiet but as we sat it got busier and busier. Not a bad place but not exceptional.

We sat at a table and felt like there was a spotlight on us due to the lighting. Wished they would tone that down a little. Waitress was attentive and came back every so often to check up on us.

Ordered the fried Mac and Cheese and the Nachos. Not bad but forgettable. The fried Mac was kinda a weird texture but tasted good.

Had their new seasonal the Oktoberfest. Was also not terrible but forgettable. Then i had the IPA out of the cask which was killer! Great beer. Hops and the cask really melded well together and would definitely have that again.

Prices weren't great but what can you expect from a place in Boston and in the heart of the theater district. Would've expected a pint for $5 but i got a 12oz. So overall it was an ok place, not outstanding.

Sep 28, 2010
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perrymarcus from Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

have been a few times, mostly at the behest of the group i'm with; while a decent enough brewpub and conveniently located (the theater district is not exactly a haven for craft beer fans), i personally prefer jacob wirth (if heading out to the publick house, sunset, or deep ellum is not an option). that said, worthy of a stop if you're hungry and/or thirsty after a show.

by and large the beers are okay, nothing that will really get you talking one way or the other, just pleasant and quaffable. my favorite of the bunch i would say was their oatmeal stout; the munich gold is decent, too (the latter being one of their staples).

food is typical american chain restaurant style. pretty good, filling, overly salty, nothing you couldn't replicate or exceed in dozens of other downtown restaurants.

in my experience service has been all over the map, from outstanding to average to piss-poor. depends on the day/time and server. all in all, you could definitely do a lot worse. (not a ringing endorsement, nor is it meant to be.)

Sep 27, 2010
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drpimento from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I went there at the end of the evening on my birthday about a week ago. It was fairly empty, as it was close to their closing time. I sat at he bar which had a trippy optical copper top with wood trim. They had their own breweriana signs and posters all over, lots of TVs. Couple of bars and different seating areas. Bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Full service bar with extensive liquour selection and wine. Cask beer was available as well. Has a good location for those visiting downtown.

Jun 28, 2010
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CaptYellow from New York

4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I was able to find a parking space directly in front of the door- because my father had a handicapped plackard. It may be best to take the transit.

Was seated immediately. The right of the restaurant is the bar and the left the restaurant, so designed that the noise didn't overflow. Our spot was nice and peaceable.

Our waitress was the most pleasant I've had in years. She was quick, didn't waste time, and checked up on us several times without being intrusive.

Beer is a little over $5 a pint. You can buy an individual sampler of any of the beers for $.79. There were about a dozen beers.

The food was a few dollars more than it should have been and a little less quality than it should be. Everything tasted fine but it was all something I could make at home. So, literally pub grub. Sandwiches were about $10, my mom's (unremarkable) salad was $13. But then this was the middle of Boston.

My stout was on cask. Should told me it would take a minute because it was on cask. It did take a few minutes, which I didn't mind at all. But she gave it, and a sampler of Jalapeno Lager I ordered, for free!

So I thought it was enjoyable- everything was above board except for the technical build of the food and parking.

Note: There are weekly specials. This week's was $5 off your next meal if you sign up for their club, which is free and gives you other free stuff.

Note: The Jalapeno Lager is great as a sampler but I think it would be too much as a pint, as the waitress said too.

May 25, 2010
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jgasparine from Maryland

2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2

Went here after the Extreme Beer Fest 2010. Perhaps the festival spoiled us... but Rocky Bottom was all-around underwhelming.

The atmosphere was a cross between a swanky restaurant and a high-end sports bar. It was attractive enough for a restaurant or sports bar, but it didn't seem like it was calling out to beer geeks.

The service was slow, but that's probably because it was busy in there. The beer was all around unimpressive, with the exception of their IPA, which was delicious.

The glasses smelled dirty, and we felt obligated to finish the beers we didn't like. Not a place high on my priority list to visit again.

Feb 21, 2010
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tikk from Canada

3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Went here recently with some friends, used to work next to the closed braintree, MA location, and was a regular there. They always have the same 5 beers on tap plus a few rotating selections. The beers aren't raising any bars, but they usually are standard for the styles. The food didn't do anything for me, but it's fairly average bar food. The place is loaded with TVs, and they only turn the sound on them for big games.

Overall I wouldn't go out of my way to get here, but if you are in the area for a show, or other reason I would recommend it. I do have a soft spot in my heart for Rock Bottom as a whole though, as the Braintree location helped fuel my growth and love of craft beer.

Jan 18, 2010
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

Went to this place last week before attending the theatre and it was filled with theatre goers. This was the first time I had been there in about a year. The atmosphere was the same. Good variety of people at the bar, several tv sets. There were the five standard Rock Bottom beers plus three seasonal. All were ok to good. The service was very attentive, especially for a Friday night. The menu was wide, but unfortunately the food all disappointed. The recipes for our usual favorites had changed negatively. The price was about what I would expect to pay for a restaurant in this area. Overall the service was good, but for the taste, the beer and food was expensive. I will be in no rush to go back.

Dec 14, 2009
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jwheeler85 from New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a nice brew pub hidden amongst the chaos of downtown Boston. They have five or so standard beers that are always available. They usually have a "beer of the week" that is just one of their brews that they have selected to offer up at a lower price. Mug club is a plus because I can get my beer in a larger glass (I think I'm still paying the same price for it) and randomly win stuff. They gave me 10 bucks to use for my last birthday and I randomly "won" a free pint glass later this year.

The beer list isn't anything to marvel at, but they are all pretty good and are brewed on site. I've never been disappointed with the beer. My only complaint is that it is served way too cold, so be sure to distract yourself for about 20 minutes while it warms up to the proper temp.

I'm not crazy about the setup of the bar. The tvs are at sort of an awkward height and they are usually just tuned in to some sort of sports news channel (on mute = useless). Sitting at the end of the bar sucks too because you are right next to where the waiters pick up beer orders. I've been splashed on occasion. Probably would be a better place for table dining rather than killing half an hour at the bar.

Jul 28, 2009
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irishtjb11 from Maine

3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

went to this place the other night. now, im not sure if me being from maine gives me a negative disposition to places like this; but i did not enjoy it. looking at it objectively, there was nothing really wrong with it. just a very different vibe than im used to with any type of brewery or brew pub. my friends got a bitter? and a stout, i got the ipa. the ipa was a bit weaker than i wanted, but was good none the less. they said their beers were good, but they are happy with anything that has barley, hops, and alcohol.

overall, it was very, very busy. lots of people, very loud. tv's with sports on them. lots of guys and girls on dates, dressed up and such. no one seemed to be there for the beer, atleast, not in different way they would be if it were any other bar. it just seemed like any other bar, with fermentation tanks in the back. little pricey for me, but i assume thats the city once again. not a place for a mellow vibe, chill music, great beers.

Feb 23, 2009
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jushoppy2beer from Tennessee

3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is a fun diversion for lunch or dinner near Boston's theatre district, and close to the Tufts New England Medical Center area. Also conveniently located relative to the Boston Common. The Rock Bottom Breweries vary a lot, with the best being affiliated with the Gordon-Biersch group of brewpubs. This one is not affiliated, and its quality is a notch below some, like the Rock Bottom in Buckhead-Atlanta or in downtown Seattle. However, it's a good crowd, good brews crafted on the premises, good food, and reasonable service. Also, you can grab a growler to take home for a pretty good price. So, overall, it's well worth stopping by to quaff a good brew, down a meal, and feel the local flavor.

Feb 05, 2009
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fitzy84 from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

After a whole day of job interviews in Boston, I thought I deserved a well needed meal and drinks. My last interview literally was around the corner from this place. I walked on in and found it quite spacious: large roofs with hanging pipes and air ducts, long dining room areas, somewhat average bar size and some high tables scattered around the bar. I even noticed they had a summer outside deck. Loud, contemporary pop music blared across the restaurant as I sat at the bar with 3 TV's across the area. I noticed a ton of "after-work early on a Friday" crowd there so it definitely was a fun atmosphere to come after a long day with friends.

My bartender/waiter was excellently friendly and informative about the brewery's beverages even as he seemed very busy serving people across the restaurant. I decided to go with the sampler which was a great, eclectic mix of the brews. I ordered the Reuben sandwich which was quite good. The rest of the menu was good too, with burgers, pasta, soups and sandwiches. Selection-wise, besides Guinness I really did not see other brews offered except their own. One man came in and sat near me and was aghast they did not have Sam Adams. They did, however, have an impressive liquor selection. So I imagine they offer quite the amount of mix drinks and even wine perhaps. But as for beer, I really only noticed their own, which were good.

For Boston, I was expecting a lot, but my bill was just around $15. So that was really great. Overall, I would not mind going back there again and again, especially since they offer more beers throughout the year it seemed.

Jul 27, 2008
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madmanjf from New York

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My friends and I were in town and stopped in on a Sunday afternoon for some beers and eats before heading back to NYS.

It was fairly quiet when we got there, we sat at the bar and were only one of two groups sitting there. The bartender was nice but not very attentive. One of my friends waited over 10 minutes just to catch his eye to get his long-empty pint glass refilled. We didn't understand the lack of attention and absenteeism considering that the place wasn't all that busy.

The food was a great value. I got their Titan Toothpick appetizer which was great. One of my friends got the hugest plate of nachos I've ever seen, and my other friend got a rather large ham sandwich.

Let's see, am I forgetting anything? Oh yes, the beer!

Since this was my first exposure to Rock Bottom, I felt the sampler was the best way to go. I had their light lager, Munich export, an amber, an IPA, a stout, a brown, a strong Belgian, and a maibock.

The brewer has some talent. All of the beers were close or on par with their styles. The IPA lacked aroma; however, it was a great IPA in flavor. The Maibock was a little over-powering in aroma and taste regarding alcohol content. My favorite would've been a toss-up between the IPA and their Amber, but I'd like to thrown in a good note for the Munich Export.

I'd be happy to go back again and see what's on tap and try some other dishes off the menu.

Apr 21, 2008
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had been here once before, with Artied2, after working a whole day at a BA fest. Needless to say, I was not with full faculties that night. So, after stopping in yesterday with Alewife, I was in better condition to put in a review.

This was a Saturday afternoon, about 230PM or so... Place was not too full at this point. It's located in a rather new building on Stuart St, about 1 block up from the Jacob Wirth. Situated on the ground-level floor, it is a long establishment, from left to right. Entering about mid-room from the street, there are numerous booths ahead and to the left, with tables also scattered about and to the right. The bar is in the right rear, seating about a dozen or so. There are lots of windows along the street, though not much light filters in. The room itself is furnished with mostly modern decor and furniture, save for the ceiling, which looks industrial with bare venting and fans. Some bier-related pics hang here and there... It gets somewhat loud when more populated, though I think it's a good thing - drowns out the newish, pop-music (give me classic rock anytime, bitte!). We hung at the bar and enjoyed a few pints each of their Toppler Maibock, one of 6 regulars and 2 casks they had flowing from the taps. Service was solid, friendly and attentive; no probs at all. A plate of nachos with carnitas was huge, and more than filled both of us. Biers seemed a bit pricey ($6.00 for a pint of the Toppler), but costs for the food seemed in line with what a big-city asks. Can't speak for the other biers, but the Maibock hit the spot. Atmosphere was a bit meh, but we still had a good time.


vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 - $$$


Feb 24, 2008
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argock from Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Visited during a recent business trip and caught part of a Patriots game during our stop.

Lively crowd with the ensuing Pats game and plenty of room to get a table near the bar up to 30 minutes prior to gametime.

Beer quality was pretty good. I tried the Improper Hopper, Liquid Happiness, and Munich Gold, all of which I enjoyed. Above average, but served too cold. 8 beers available and 1 cask offering.

Service was actually pretty good although it wasn't at all busy on Sunday afternoon.

Food was run of of the mill appetizers which were pretty pricey.

Overall, I had a good time catching part of the game and having a few pints. The beers were better than I remembered from previous Rock Bottom visits.

Dec 13, 2007
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auxiliary from Rhode Island

4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What! Make Food and cook it with Beer! Awesome. I went to go and see Blue Man group that is about a block away. We needed to a place to eat so we stopped in by accident. Has noidea what I was in for. All that I knew was I saw th words Brewery on the sign.
I ordered a rack of rib that was cooked in a stout, yummy. Even the desert was made with beer. I think everything but the salad and fries were made with beer, when I was looking in the menu.
good beer and great food. Was seated and served real fast for a Wednesday night.

Nov 01, 2007
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YonderWanderer from Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've stopped in here many times, and it's always been a good spot to have a bite to eat and grab a beer. In addition to their standard array of beers, they typically have a few seasonals, and usually 1-2 beers on cask as well. The beer is pretty tasty and fairly fresh. The food is good as well- standard pub fare with their own twists. Their Chicken Mac N' Cheese is damn good. Service is usually pretty fast and efficient. Never had a problem. If you're down in the theatre district and looking for a bite to eat or to grab a good beer, it's definitely worth a stop.

Oct 19, 2007
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barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I had the chance to visit the pub this past monday. A drab drisly spring evening. The pub was quite, clean and warmly lit. Our waitress was top notch and a pleasure to speak with.

The spicy shrimp appetizer and the side of baked beans as an appetizer went quite well with the strong ale I started off with.

The main course was the pub tips and mashed potatos. Good, not great. the gravy was the downfall.

Price wise, for two it came out to $65. Maybe reasonable for boston, not my area of expertise. For me it was very expensive. For $65 I'd like to come home with a pint glass or a growler.

Mar 29, 2007
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Gavage from Nevada

3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located in the Theatre District along side plenty of fast food restuarants and other chains. Last time I was here was when this was the old Brew Moon. This place looks like any other Rock Bottom brewpub, with plenty of TVs and hightops in the bar area off to one side, and a restaurant area in the other. Typical warehouse feel. Some fermentation tanks are visible in the bar area.

Service was a bit slow, as it took a few minutes for a waitress to get to our table. We ordered some appetizers which were OK, but the pretzels with the jalepneo cheese dip was my favorite.

There were 7 beers on tap - Lumpy Dog, Munich Gold, Northstar Ale, Improper Hopper, Freedom Trail Stout, Cranberry Ale, and Liquid Hoppiness which was listed as an English strong ale. The beers we had were decent and fresh, with the special strong ale being my favorite. Don't expect to be blown away with the beers here, but they seem to work with the crowds as most customers were drinking the beers.

This was a good place to meet up with some family members as we assembled in Boston. The Bud Lite drinkers in the crowd were happy with Lumpy Dog, and the other beers don't overwhelm the food.

Mar 14, 2007
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SkinnyElvis from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Stopped by with the missus and two friends who are just starting to escape bad beer. It was crowded and awful 80's music was blasted at you from all directions. TVs were showing sports all around. The beer was just average and none of the brews caught my attention. Eight drafts plus one on cask. The IPA was drinkable but nothing special. Despite the crowd, our server hustled and was good at keeping the food and drink flowing. The food was surprisingly good. Prices were what you would expect in downtown Boston.

Overall, Rock Bottom Boston would be OK in a pinch but not worth a special trip.

Feb 19, 2007
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morebeergood from Massachusetts

2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Stopped by here for a few drinks and apps on Saturday night. I haven't been here in 1.5 years after three visits that featured bad food or poor service. I figured I would give it another shot to see if things changed. Got some seats at the bar and order a few pints. Had the Freedom Trial Stout and the Cleeland Scotch Ale. The stout's taste seemed to fade away by about mid glass, but the ale was nice, and had a kick at 8.1% abv. Overall, the beers were good. The atmosphere here is decent, pretty lively and upbeat. The bartender was a bit hard of hearing, as she asked every person to repeat their order at least twice. I had two really gross dinner entrees here before, so I decide to just go the app route and we got some nachos. They were so-so, I've had better. The salsa was a bit blah. This is not a bad place to grab a quick beer, but I should just learn to go anywhere other than the Theater District if I want to enjoy dinner and beer.

Feb 05, 2007
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slander from New York

3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

List of things to do on Saturday:
1) Drive to Boston in the goddamn rain for the Belgian Beer Festival. (check).
2) Belly up to the B United table as soon as you get in the door and get the skinny on the Stille Nacht Reserva 2000 (1 bottle and it's being cracked at 4 PM? Um... okay, we'll tag this as "in progress").
3) Park yourself at the Shelton Brothers table. Sample, sample, sample, sample, rinse, repeat (check).
4) Ommegang Ommegedon & Bier de Mars, Allagash Interlude, crazy good bret beers from Alchemist, sour things from the Shed (check).
5) Revisit that guy at the B United table to make sure that he was talking 4 PM Eastern Standard Time. (check).
6) Return to the Shelton Brothers table, sample, sample, try to talk them into adopting me. (in progress).
7) Relieve harried overworked staff at the Southampton table. Pour one for you, one for me, two for you, and a one two for me (check).
8) Turn the reins of the Southampton table back over to Spencer so I can be back at the B United table promptly at 3:52 PM. (check).
9) Enjoy beautiful Still Nacht Reserva 2000. (check).
10) Be nice to Phil by taking him to one of them chain brewpubs he likes so much...

We'd grabbed a bite at the secret pizza place, and now young Kenneth was heading back for session 2, while Phil and I were going to hit Rockbottom. It was a brisk little walk, for me, anyways (I'm almost old, you know), but I didn't mind because the rain had stopped and you could see that Phil was so excited. He was pointing out the sites along the way and yammering like he does. The park, the hotel, the place with the food, and then Rock Bottom. It's a vast rectangular room with large windows with slat blinds running the front from end to end, brick red, olive and yellow ochre walls with the standard Rock Bottom Southwestern motif pics and 40'X 60' prints of the 4 house standards on the far wall. Exposed duct work, drop lamps throughout and TV's in the corners. Roughly 4 dozen tables and booths to the one side and flowing to the rear. They're somewhat separated out into smaller seating areas by dividers holding kegs and plants. On the other side, an angled bar seating a dozen split by a large pillar in the back corner and nearly a dozen and a half bar tables in the adjacent area. Fermenters visible in a corner glass front room behind the bar. Tiered booze in a pyramid on the bar back, a wine rack with a GABF metal above, drop cone lighting over the bar, and a "fresh beer" board mounted listing names, ABV's, birthdays, OG's, and beer descriptions. "Oh, look, the Pumpkin Ale has the same birthday as I do", spoke Phil kind of solemnly, with a sudden kinship for another gourd who shared his day.

8 taps on a single tower on the bar; 4 standards (Lumpy Dog Light Lager, Munich Gold German Lager, Improper Hopper IPA, Northstar American Amber), a rotating dark (Shea's Extra Stout), and some brewmaster's reserves (Pumpkin Ale, Liquid Happiness English Strong Ale, Weizenbock), and 2 casks on the bar back (Improper Hopper & Shea's Extra Stout). The IPA was more like an APA, but the Pumpkin Ale was solid. The bartender asked me if I wanted brown sugar and cinnamon on the rim of the glass. I declined, but thought it was good that she asked. It was a fine Pumpkin Ale in and of itself, spicy, nice. I thought things were going pretty good, I hadn't noticed...

The bar had a bubbled copper sheet under plexy bar top, with a wood trim and a sunken "cold strip". Maybe I had seen it but it just hadn't registered, I don't know, but it sure had Phil ticked. All of a sudden, "See!! This is my issue with Rock Bottom! It's asinine and they shouldn't be encouraging this sort of behavior, seeking the coldest beer on Earth!!" I thought he was going to get all "Hulk smash!!"

While Phil ducked out for a smoke and rage, a few people bellied up and ordered some beers right next to me. I wasn't paying any mind, but I did notice the bartender giving them a small glass with orange and lemon wedges with their beers. After they left, I leaned in and said, "Okay, I've got to know, why did you give them the fruit?" She offered confidently, "You put the fruit in the beer, it compliments them". I had to look up at the beer board to make sure I had this right before I countered, "Yeah, but you don't have a Weisse beer and you don't have a Wit beer?" and she replied, "They're for the IPA". I got loud. "You would never, ever, put a piece of fruit in an IPA! EVER!" She then tried to convince me , "It's true, an IPA is borderline for fruit in it".
"Um, no".

Packed with people not drinking house beers. Still, not bad for what they do here (unless you're about using that cold strip).

Dec 20, 2006
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ODBRIP from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Certainly better quality and selection than your typical Boston pub which only generally has the standard mega-craft brews (Harpoon, Sam Adams, Guiness, Stella etc.) on tap.

Their house-made beers are all at least pretty good. Their IPA was good, as was their blonde type ale. they had a Belgian-style ale that was very good.

The food was above average pub fare. We just ordered a bunch of appetizers; Nice variety of stuff, pretty tasty, and large portions.

Overall, well worth a visit, I just don't know if I'd make a special trip.

Oct 20, 2006
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commie from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I have been back to the Rock Bottom a few times lately, and I have to say that their ales have shown great improvement. I was very impressed with their brown ales, and my lady friend thinks that their IPA is the best IPA in town; while I still think that the IPA at the beer works is better, and I like the Stone IPA on draft at the Linwood a little better too, I have to admit that the Improper Hopper that they sell at Rock Bottom is much improved. I will say that their Brown Ale is better than any brown ale that I have had in the last couple of years. The food is still good, and the fish and chips that my friend had looked better than Legal Seafoods'. My friend John liked the Brown Ale as much as I did. Their Amber Ale, like most amber ales, was boring and uninspiring; I don't know why they would bother making it, but it wasn't bad, so it too has improved.

I will say that I think that the cooling strip is a little more annoying to me than before; perhaps lager drinkers appreciate it, but I don't like it. Also, there is a big column that obstructs the bar, and I don't like sitting behind it and leaning around it to ask for my beer, so the usable bar space is quite limited for me. Otherwise the place is very nicely decorated.

I found the ale prices to be a little higher than I would like, but they are in line with the other brewpubs in town, and I find their food to be a priced a bit better than the other brewpubs.

Their selection isn't as good as the Beer Works, but they still have a decent range to choose from. I was disappointed that they didn't have any Belgian styles.

The place is still on the edge of the combat zone, and you can dress it up and call it the theatre district if you want, but there are still undesirables in the area. Unlike my previous experiences, I haven't been approached by the whores and drug dealers on Stuart Street lately, but an extremely agitated and angry vagrant did scream at me and my lady friend when exiting the Rock Bottom after we refused to give him a dollar after he shoved a free newspaper into each of our hands. There were other vagrants in the area, but they were polite and non-threatening, and they didn't frighten us.

The service is just as polite, courteous, and prompt as before.

Sep 09, 2006
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Boston, MA
Brewery rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 3240 ratings