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Old 02-12-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
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Default Rock Bottom. Love it? Hate it?

I had been to two of the Rock Bottom Breweries in Denver on several occasions. They were okay. I never thought much of their beer. Then, several months ago a new Rock Bottom opened up in our neck of the woods, north of Denver in Loveland. The beer at this location was noticeably good. Excellent staff and good food as well. A few weeks ago I was at private tasting and learned from the brew master that, allegedly, the Rock Bottom chain lets the brewers brew whatever they want. There is no set recipe list and the beers and quality vary immensely from location to location.

Tonight I am going to my second free tasting. I am a little ashamed that a chain restaurant is becoming my favorite local brewpub but what can I say... the beer is great and it's close to home! What's the Rock Bottom beer like in your location? Do you like it or hate it?

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
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The rock bottom makes some good beers occasionally, Their staples like their light lager are piss poor examples of what beer should be, but for some reason they sell well. They do have a few staples that I have seen at both locations near me, "the lumpy dog lager" and the "lone star" (irish red) and a couple others that I would consider staples in that they are at both locations and always in stock. When you get one of their one off brews that the brewmaster makes they are usually hit or miss, more often a hit than a miss, but I had a milk stout that made me want to gag once.

I am not a big fan of their food, they have 1 or 2 good dishes and the rest of the menu is bland inedible crap, I didn't think it was possible to mess up a hamburger, but rock bottom in Boston can come very close to doing that. I don't know if it is the same by you, but the service isn't that good in either of the locations near me, and the waiters and waitresses know nothing about the beer or the beer making process.

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
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Beers are OK, sometimes good. Never a fan of the food either. But as an AHA memeber you get 10% off food.

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Old 02-12-2008, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donasay

I am not a big fan of their food, they have 1 or 2 good dishes and the rest of the menu is bland inedible crap, I didn't think it was possible to mess up a hamburger, but rock bottom in Boston can come very close to doing that. I don't know if it is the same by you, but the service isn't that good in either of the locations near me, and the waiters and waitresses know nothing about the beer or the beer making process.
The food at Rock Bottom Chicago is unmitigated arse. The beer is so-so; their staples are boring but they've had one or two pretty good seasonals.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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In Boulder we have the Walnut Brewery that is kind of the original in the chain (all the Rock Bottoms were almost called Walnut Breweries) and the place is awesome. Great food, great atmosphere, lots of good beer.

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Old 02-12-2008, 04:22 PM   #6
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Not very good is the best I can say.

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Old 02-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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Hated their beers in Chi. Hated.

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Old 02-12-2008, 04:59 PM   #8
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I've only ever been to the downtown Chicago location and it was nothing spectacular. The IPA I had was not very hoppy at all. It was barely above a Pale. The Brown Ale I had tasted watered down. I think I had a few sips of a blueberry wheat that I didn't care for. I don't remember what else I tried. We only ordered appetizers and shared but it was normal average bar food fare.

Given all the great choices for good beer/good food in Chicago, Rock Bottom is not a destination.

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Old 02-12-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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The one in Minneapolis is actually good. The brewer seems to push the franchise boundaries on extra brews/seasonals. I had a good time there.

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Old 02-12-2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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The one in Warrenville, out here in the burbs of Chicago gets a thumbs down from me.

One bartender alone made my multiple visits sufficiently miserable that I will never go back. Funny thing is, I mentioned it to a few other bartenders on a couple of occasions and they basically said, "Yeah, well, she's cute so the managers give her the run of the place. You aren't the first person to complain about her lack of service and I'm sure you won't be the last..."

With a total of 4 people at the bar, I waited in excess of 10 minutes to be served my first beer. My second one took longer. I didn't wait around for a third. And that happened on more than one occasion. And yes, I did attempt to flag her down and wave to get her attention... to no avail. She was too busy cleaning glasses and chatting up somebody at the end of the bar.

As for the food, what I had was good. As for the beer, it is above average beer, though a bit below average for a brew pub.

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