Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

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

401 G Street
San Diego, California, 92101
United States

// CLOSED //

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by AtLagerHeads:
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AtLagerHeads from Ohio

3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

A fairly large Rock Bottom and one that is different by virtue of being multi-level such as the Indianapolis location. As with other RBRBs it is a fairly trendy spot that offers a moderate selection of middle-of-the-road brews. Located in the downtown area of San Diego I'm sure this spot benefits from business that drifts in here because of action in the Convention Center.

Nov 09, 2003
More User Reviews:
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NickMunford from Wyoming

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Oct 08, 2013
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crossovert from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The vie and everything here is pretty much similar to anything you get in the chain. I was here for a late lunch break just to sample their 8 beers in a sampler and the place was pretty dead. I tried all 8, the IPAs were decent, that was about it. It seemed like they didn't have too much in there that was that special to the one brewery. The service was good but partially cause there were maybe 10 ppl at the bar only and 2 bartenders. They made sure they gave you full pours on the sampler, even though I would have been fine with a little less.

Jul 26, 2012
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DrJay from Texas

3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I hit this place on a Thursday night, so was a bit concerned about the crowd, but it was very quiet with no entertainment other than the radio. Not many people either, so we grabbed a seat at the large bar up front and had solid service from our bartender. We tried a couple of complementary samples, just to figure out what was good, and I settled on their brown ale and angry dragon DIPA. Both were decent, but the kolsch sample left much to be desired. They had 8 beers on tap, plus a cask (stout aged in rum barrels), covering a decent selection of styles. Restrooms were upstairs, adjacent to the second floor seating. I'd have no problem stopping in again, especially if it was relatively slow at the time.

Aug 22, 2011
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

3/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Stopped by for a pint while in San Diego. Had the IPA, which was decent but noting to go back for.

The atmosphere was a little bit like a low-end chain restaurant, not a place that would attract most craft beer enthusiasts. The place was pretty much empty as well and I couldn't imagine it being full. Ever.

Tap list was typical for this type of brewpub/restaurant: an amber, a heffe, a blonde, an IPA. There was also a stout, which was a new seasonal that I would have had next, had I stayed for a second pint.

Service was decent. Didn't have any food. Prices were reasonable, but you get what you pay for.

Jul 07, 2011
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armock from New York

3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Alright I have two reviews to write for this place. The first and the one I'm giving the score for is when the sun is up when most beer geeks are out and the second will be for the sundown crowd as I've been here a number of times this past week.

Walking in to the place I don't really see anything different than any other brewpub which gives me that cookie cutter feel. However there is a wall of glass so you can see the brewing equipment which gives me those warm and fuzzies.

Each visit so for I've had very good service for the times I was there early dinner it was spot on. After the dinner crowd sitting at the bar I was served in a quick manner still.

Now for the Quality/Selection department they have about eight beers on tap and one on cask. Most of the styles are what you would expect from a brewpub, however all are very well made. During my visits the Espresso Bean Stout cask was awesome and for someone like me to say a coffee beer is decent says something for this stout.

Food from what I've had I've received good portions that taste good. My BBQ bacon burger was very good and all my friends said their food was very good aswell so I can say the food is good as some of my friends are more picky than me and I'm a picky eater.

As far as value goes that all kind of relative but for being in So Cal to me this seamed like a good deal for the most part. Being from Houston, TX and traveling around the country nothing made me say damn it costs this much or to say this is a good deal.

OK now for my after dark review.


Atmosphere you can see the DJ stand when you walk in the front door. So just do yourself a favor and turn around now. I still sat there and some Dbags stood next to me at the bar and got the light beer and some shots and i wished I could shoot myself in the face.

After dark the service falls off the face of the Earth if your just drinking their beers. After dark the bartenders only care about the Dbags spending $$$$ on mixed drinks.

Quality/Selection is the same as during the day but the bartenders want you to order shots and easy to make mixers.

I'm not sure but after dark I didn't see anyone getting food and I wasn't given a menu so I think the kitchen closes early.

As far as I know the value stays the same as I don't regularly check my tab for variances.

Apr 12, 2010
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Located in the Gaslamp District, right on the corner of 4th and G Streets with a long fenced-in patio area along "G" Street. The entry was right at the corner with 14th and the m.d.s. was to the immediate right upon entering, followed by a bunch of high tables and chairs. More high tables and chairs lined the window left, overlooking the patio area. The octagonal wood bar was at a left-oblique to the door and the back bar was an island in the bar's center. To the extreme left was a glass window overlooking the brewhouse and several FVs. Aft, right, there was a raised seating area followed by a private party area. Aft, left, was the kitchen and between the kitchen and the party area were a set of stairs leading up to the "Top of the Rock", a second floor booth seating area with its own bar. The lavs were also on the second floor, right. The interior was an eclectic mix of many of the chain's styles, very evocative of the Chop Houses.

Beers: Pelican Light; Point Break Pale Ale; Regatta Red; Coronado Nut Brown Ale; Sunset Stout; Hefweizen.

Seasonals: Sweet Diva Honey Ale; American Dream IPA.

I had meatloaf for lunch. I needed some carbs after that train ride.

Dec 22, 2009
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botham from New York

3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3

A typical Rock Bottom in San Diego. the bar is front and to the right upon entering, with seating throughout and a second level of seating in the back. typical Rock Bottom in atmosphere with high ceilings and some outdoor seating.

quality and service leave nothing to be desired.

selection is a bit weak. only seven offerings, all of which are standard american styles. a Light, a Hefe, an APA, an IPA, a Red, a Nut Brown, and a Stout.

food is on par with other Rock Bottoms. expect an Applebee's type menu with standard bar food offerings as well.

overall, this is a decent stop for lunch while downtown, but as far as a beer destination, there is much better around San Diego.

Aug 18, 2009
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ProfessorCJ from Alabama

4/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped by on a recent trip to San Diego with my wife. Wood panel everywhere and plenty of seats by the windows. We didn't have time to eat but the menu was extensive and weighted towards heavy appetizers and Ruby Tuesday type food. The beerlist was impressive and I selected their IPA, which was very good. The brewery was visible in the back and if we had gone a few hours later we could have tasted what they were finishing. I imagine that it would get crowded in the evenings but overall it was a very nice experience for us.

Aug 08, 2009
Photo of VaTechHopHead

3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Went here on a recent vacation to San Diego and found Rock Bottom. It is quite a big place and had 8 beers on tap ranging from Light Beer to Stout. Nothing fancy like a DIPA, belgian styles, or experimental brews...just your average selection. The beer was good though, I tried the IPA, red ale, and stout which was on a nitrogen tap, and I have no complaints. You could tell they take pride in their beer and are knowledgeable about their product. Didn't try their food but everything around me looked very appetizing. Prices were reasonable...$4-5 per 16oz. draft depending on the style. Overall nice place with good homemade brew!

May 22, 2009
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chuckd123 from Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Chain brewery, so expectations not really high. Beer quality is ok, atmosphere is nothing spectacular. Mainly a tourist crowd. Not somewhere I'd totally avoid, but there are much better breweries in the San Diego area. Walked up the street to the Yard House -- not great either, but better selection. No guest beers to be found, which would definitely help. So many good beers in the area, too bad Rock Bottom just offers their own. It's located right in the Gaslamp Quarter, which is a cool downtown area, but really in hindsight it seems to be the Times Square of San Diego, which isn't a compliment.

Oct 31, 2008
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Dogbrick from Ohio

3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The downtown San Diego Rock Bottom is located off 4th and G Street. Expensive lots and garages are nearby, and some street parking if you are lucky enough to get it.

After passing a small patio, the interior is pretty similar to other locations. Brick interior with viewable brewing equipment behind glass, and a large chalkboard listing their current beers on tap. The bar is in the center of the space, with seating all around. Big windows allow a good view outside.

The beer selection is fair. The beers range from year-round offerings like Pelican Light, Point Break Pale, Regatta Red and Sunset Stout to a couple seasonals such as Rosie Cheeks Blonde and Fire & Ice IPA. The beers are average for the most part.

Service was good on a weekday early evening prior to a Padres game. The bartender was knowledheable and knew the beers very well.

I did not try any food on this visit.

Overall I wouldn't recommend Rock Bottom as a top brewpub choice for San Diego, but it is a good downtown one-two punch with Yard House considering how close they are together.

Sep 24, 2008
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Hollenbeck2 from Oregon

3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was in san diego on my way to a cabo cruise and baby making adverture with wife, by the way mission success.

This link in the chain occupies a downtown location off of the gaslamp section, dining area is downtstairs and the bathroom is like a hike through the saraha, very far.

They had a good selection of brews, only tried two, but my friend got the sampler and it was good.

I got a great surfer pale ale collector glass from this place, good stop, busy.

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

the food was ok, the service was a little slow, but it was a saturday night and the place was packed, unlike most rock bottoms the tv's were very visible from the tables, more of a sports bar feel.

Jan 01, 2008
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I was able to stop by Rock Bottom during my recent visit to San Diego. It has a great location in the Gas Light District.

This is a two level establishment with bars on both levels. The island bar on the main level must seat about 50. There are plenty of tables for groups.

Wood and tile floors high dark ceilings and that vaguely Frank Lloyd Wright d├ęcor and accents that Rock Bottoms are so fond of.

They offer 7 regulars on tap plus a seasonal. During my visit the seasonal was a pretty tasty IPA called American Dream. I'm not sure if they offer any of the barrel aged beers that the Chicago Rock Bottom indulges us with.

I was there on a Thursday and they had decent sized crowds that seemed to be into beer.

Very friendly service added to the enjoyment. The bartender was versed on beer and was quick with samples.

I did not try the food.

Not world class, but well worth a stop.

Nov 19, 2007
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jp32 from Michigan

3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Just sort of stumbled across this place while in San Diego. Went for a walk to the gaslamp district and came across a brewery. It has a huge sports bar feel and atmosphere, some of which could be linked to our being there the same time as the monday night football game. Very loud, very crowded, as is every place in this wonderful area of the world.

A nice, expanisve food menu and about 6 or 7 brews available. A beer selection for basically every main basic style. The beer was ok and enjoyable, not outstanding, but enjoyable. At 5 to 6 bucks a pint I thought it was quite overpriced, maybe we should have aimed for happy hour.

The food, however was absolutely terrific. We tried the buffallo fajitas and the grilled mahi-mahi. Both could not have been better. And the speed! I couldnt believe how fast our order came back. This place is doing something that no other restaurant has seemed to catch on to yet in the kitchen. A nice place with decent beer. Id go back to have dinner a few drinks and watch a game if I am ever in the area again.

Oct 05, 2007
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BeerRun13 from California

3.3/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Was in San Diego for the Chargers playoff game against the Pats and had to try a good beer spot while I was in town.
Visited this place on a Saturday night. As other reviews had mentioned, it did seem more like a trendy downtown type of place rather than a hardcore Brewpub. Was fortunate to find a couple seats at the large square bar just inside and to the left. Tables surrounded the bar. Off to the right was a large stage with a gigantic projection TV set up. TV's throughout the bar area as well, and it seemed like a good place to watch a game, even though it was incredibly busy.

For my drink order I was actualy in for quite a shock...
"I'll have an IPA."
"We don't have an IPA, try our Pale Ale."

What a shock. I guess since IPA is one of my favorite styles, and such a So Cal staple I assume everybody makes an IPA. Thus the low score for selection. Not to mention, My first impression of a Brewpub's beer is often founded on their IPA much like I judge a Mexican Restaurant by it's Chile Releno.

...Either way, after having their sampler set I did end up ordering their Pale Ale as it was good. Also from the sampler set I remeber their Wheat ale (Hefe?), being quite good.

Ordered an Apetizer platter and thought it was quite good. The rest of the menu (and other peoples food), looked good too, but I didn't go in with a huge appetite.

Our bartender was nice, and fairly quick to greet us. Our food order was brought promptly. The big downfall was the crowd. I guess I can't really blame the place for having a good business, but service was nothing exceptional.

I'd try this place again if it were local, but for my next SD trip I'll likely head somewhere different.

Jan 19, 2007
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PuckLSHS from Iowa

3/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Well, I can't really rave about this Rock Bottom because it is in the middle of San Diego hell. Rock Bottom is located in the rather hipster/trendy gas lamp district of San Diego. This means tourists and hipsters will be everywhere and impossible parking situations will be dealt with.

I have not had a recent visit to Rock Bottom turn out really well. Reasons being noise and crowds. I usually find a lone chair at the bar and order a pint in order to wait for someone but I don't really enjoy going here if I don't have to. The service is good, but doesn't ever blow me away. Although, I do have fond memories of my Earthquake barley wine experience during one of my visits...mmm barleywine.

Eh, it is just the whole chain brewpub vibe in the middle of SD. If you don't have to head down here, I wouldn't.

Apr 23, 2006
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baiser from Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Pretty unimpressive brewery/restaurant. More of a trendy restaurant in the Gas Lamp area than a brewpub focusing on beer. Had the Point Break pale ale which was pretty good. A bit pricey at $5/pint. Had a pretty good bartender who seemed to know more about beer than I expected.

Didn't get to try the food as we went 30 mins before closing. Many better places to go if you're in the SD area than this.

They also have a full bar full of any liquor you can ask for. Pretty big place, seemed pretty busy for dinner.

Apr 14, 2006
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SteveO1231 from Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I always happen to stop in at this location at really odd hours in the middle of the day so I miss the "Downtown" crowds.

The place is very nice, a little upscale for my taste. Outside seating, a large hardwood bar greats you on the left as you enter.

I stopped in for beers at the bar I could some compfy looking dinner seating off to the right of the bar and further into the the establishment. There is an upstairs bar area as well.

I guess that there is a night club at this location.

The service was good, my buddy and I were the only people in the bar. I had the house IPA, thought it was pretty good.

The place was nice, decent brews, I didn't have any food here, maybe next time.


Jan 21, 2006
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scubahood from Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

I visited this place on vacation and tried it because it was listed in the BeerFly directory. It has a nice location in the Gas Lamp District where a lot of touristy things can be found. The place was very nice, had plenty of room, and great service.

The beer was not very good. I found that most of the beer didn't have a lot of flavor and tasted very, very green. The recipes had potential but I felt that they really missed the mark.

The food was very good and offset the disapointing drinks. My girlfriend loved the greek something or other pizza. I just stuck to the standard pub fare and enjoyed it.

The prices were excellent, especially compared to the other restaurants in the area. The beer sampler was very cheap and the growlers were very inexpensive(if only there was something better to take home!). Also, you can get a discount if you are part of the American Homebrewers Association. If you are in the area I do recommend stopping by but mostly for a nice bite to eat instead of great beer.

Jan 26, 2005
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OStrungT from California

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

This place is located in the middle of San Diego's Gas Lamp district. I assumed that it would be expensive because of its location, but I was wrong. I got there for happy hour, so the drinks were only $3 a pint. Normaly they range from $4 to $5.50. They have a club there called the Mug Club. It is free, and it rewards you for going to any Rock Bottom. You also get 20 oz mugs for the same price and a pint. That, in it self, is very impressive. The growlers were also very nicely priced. $7 for a new one and $6 to refill. They have a good beer selection. They had everything from a Stout to a light ale. I ordered my food, and it came out very quickly. I was quite impressed with how quickly it was prepared. The food was not all that impressive tasting. I cant really put my finger on what the problem was, but I left feeling unsatisfied with the meal. But the beer made up for it. On Sunday, thay play all the football games. That is cool. As far as places in downtown San Diego go, this place is good. I would recomend it.

Dec 12, 2004
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NJpadreFan from New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Rock Bottom Brewery- San Diego.

While stumbling around the city trying not to do touristy things I came across Rock Bottom which I had on a list of things to do but forgot.
Anyway, it was mid-afternoon and the place was mostly empty. The service was very quick and they had a nice little sidewalk section to sit outside and enjoy.
The Point Break Pale Ale I ordered wasn't bad and my Chicken Ranch salad was delicious. I was able to watch a few employees go about cleaning and doing who knows what with the brewing vats.
Overall- I enjoyed my lunch and would recommend Rock Bottom to anyone walking around the city. Don't expect it to blow your mind but a decent joint never the less.

Aug 08, 2004
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rayzorwit from California

2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2

Well, after my experiences at the Long Beach location, I had a general idea of what to expect. My expectations were right on the mark...Rock Bottom definitely lives up to its name.

I went there on a Friday night and found it very crowded. The beer is far from stellar. The service was hideous. I ordered 2 beers at a time with each bar visit (waitress service was scant). I've never been impressed in the 5 or so times I've been at any of the Rock Bottoms. It gets packed. It's known as a Raider hangout.

Don't go out of your way to visit this place. On the plus side, the food is decent and the beer is tolerable. If you're meeting coworkers or friends there, then by all means go. The ambience isn't all that bad. Otherwise, if you're new in town and want to visit the Gaslamp, then check out the Field or Dublin Square, both of which are right around the corner from this place.

Apr 23, 2004
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francisweizen from Alaska

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This place was decent for a chain, but it was not very impressive. The atmosphere was lacking with a big bar and some nice seating arrangements, but nothing homey, or special to me. The quality of the beers was slightly above average and the pints were delivered quickly and in good condition. The Bartender was nice and friendly and the selection of 7 beers on tap (a pils, a belgian winter ale, a red, a pale, a stout, a nut brown and a light golden), and one on hand pump ( a cask conditioned pale ale) was pretty nice. The food was OK, but i've had better at the Bethlehem brew works and countless other establishments. Overall this is a good place to go to once or twice, but that's it. If nothing else, go for their seasonal Belgian winter ale and their cask pale ale...both are quite tasty for rock bottom brews....

Jan 23, 2004
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erica from California

3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I visited this place on vacation, and it wasn't bad, but I'm not sad that there isn't one around me. Obviously it is a big chain, so it has that big chain atmosphere. Nothing special about it. The beers were average, I tried their Red, Pale, and their Belgian. I liked the Belgian, and felt it the next day... oops. But yes, the other beers were more plain, nothing exciting, but still good. The service was good, we had a very nice waitress who kept coming back with more pints.. Very cheerful too. Selection was good, on par with a chain restaurant/ brewpub. I think there were 8 or so beers on tap, one on cask, and a nice sized food menu. The food was good but nothing to write home about, so I guess like I said in the beginning, it was a nice night out but I'm not craving the place now that I'm back home.

Jan 19, 2004
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in San Diego, CA
Brewery rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 3162 ratings