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Rockbottom Bar & Brewery


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

5686 Spring Garden Rd
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1H5

(902) 423-2938 | map

New brewer as of October, 2011. All new recipes, so previous listings have been retired.

Added by Seanstoppable on 04-05-2009

Place Score:
View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 9
Photo of canadametal
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

The beer is wonderful..brewed by NASH and his crew. The food, however, is terrible and overpriced. Also, last time I was there they had some country/indie rock singer that was atrocious.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is a decent enough place if visiting Halifax, but moreso due to the lack of quality options (aside from Stillwell). The atmosphere is terrible. It is VERY dark and feels cold and dingy. the beer is much better than the atmosphere though; the 6 taps I tried ranges from above average to excellent. Only food I had was a dessert which wasn't that great and seemed uninspired.

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Photo of Relik
4.1/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

In order to review this place you must look at it as BN(before Nash) and AN(after Nash). Before Nash, the beer and food were nothing special, ranging from sub par- bland and the food very similar.

After Nash, the quality of the beer improved ALOT, tasty IPAs, Browns,Stouts,Wheat and seasonal offerings and a weekly Firkin. Most brewed with Nash's heavy handed hopping. The food is trying hard to be different from what most find in the local pubs/bars while still having local favorites.

Worth a stop in or several stops.

 524 characters

Photo of Derek
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Nash has carved out a small space and setup an impressive little brewery. A new summer wheat beer was just coming to boil when I arrived. We chatted for a bit, then I lined up their sampler tray while I waited for lunch. Nash has an informative blog for the Rockbottom as well, so you can read about all his different brews (and they’re not all hop bombs): (1) The Deadwood Wheat uses a clean American yeast and gets some peppery spicing from German Magnum hops. (2) The Big Water Brown has some depth to the malt flavour, but it finishes relatively dry with a light herbal bitterness from the Nugget. (3) The Jacktar Stout is a big American brew that’s remarkably drinkable for its strength. (4) The new seasonal brew was the “Mangled”, which is a session IPA (4.8% with a gentle 30 IBU) that’s re-fermented on 175 lbs of mango. (5) The Fathom IPA is a Nash special, exuding Columbus, Citra and Simcoe hop flavours. (6) The other seasonal brew was “Desecration”, an Imperial Red Ale with ‘old-school’ American Hopping.

I enjoyed the Mangled so I ordered a pint with lunch, but unfortunately the flavour was really muted after the last two samples. After lunch I chatted with Nash while he finished up his brew day. They had just taken the Balticus Smoked Porter off-tap, so he kindly gave me a sample of that one as well… I thought the smoke was reminiscent of Ardbeg and I absolutely loved it. I should’ve been taking notes because I’d definitely say it’s among the best brews I’ve ever had.

There’s plenty of great pubs in Halifax, but if you’re ever in town, you really need to sample some of Nash’s work.

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Photo of Long813
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I've been to this place a few time because a number of friends wanted to come. I wouldn't come here on my own though.

The atmosphere seem to look nice, it's quite, there are nice couches and a fireplace, but the lighting is very dim and unpleasing.

On to the beer. I tried all their brews and didn't like any of them. Their IPA' were pathetic and there stouts were akin to Keiths "Dark Ale". I was not impressed, but other friends enjoyed them. Better than macros, but not great.

Food was decent and on specials night the price wasn't bad. Not the greatest pub food though. The beer + food + cost all seemed to work together to make a half decent place to go for curious folk.

As of the last visit, Greg Nash was brewing their beer. The beers are mile above what they used to be. The brews are excellent now.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

I've hit Rock Bottom a few times for a bit of grub and a pint or two, and after five visits I am still on the fence on whether to recommend it, or whether to pass on it.

I remember what used to be there before Rock Bottom moved in. It was a very small, seemingly cramped Dooley's pool hall. The owner's of Rock Bottom, however, have really opened up the space, partially due to the relocation of the bar to the opposite side it used to occupy, leaving the larger area more open for tables. Add in a faux fireplace, some tables where you can play chess, and some comfy booths, and you have a good atmosphere.

The first time I was there, I was lucky enough to try the sampler. The beers there do range from good to below average (for my taste buds anyway), with nothing exceptional yet. They are fairly new in town, however, and having a selection that includes some good stuff at least shows potential. However, on subsequent visits, at least 2 or 3 of their 6 craft ales have been unavailable, usually including the ones styles I most feel like drinking for said visit. It might just be a sign of popularity, but I have never encountered this problem with this great a frequency at any of the other local brew pubs.

The food is not traditional pub faire. You won't see a burger or a wrap on this menu. The quality of said food is somewhat variable. I have had a delicious chicken penne, a decent italian pizza, and a really not so good, in fact very dry portabella chicken.

Overall, I think Rock Bottom has a bit of growing to do to become a rock solid brew pub, but at least I think the potential is there. If you are looking for a change of place, and a change of place, I recommend trying it at least once.

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Rockbottom Bar & Brewery in Halifax, NS, Canada
- out of 100 based on 6 ratings.
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