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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Active Beers: 378
Beer Ratings: 1,867
Beer Avg: 3.77
Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
1 W Grand Ave
phone: (312) 755-9339
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
This place is incredibly huge! The bar itself is not that large, maybe 20 seats, but there was a dining area near the bar that would be as big as most brewpubs. Then they have another large dining area to the left as you walk in, an upstairs hall, and a rooftop beer garden. Most of the regular beers were in the somewhat boring range expected at a big chain brewpub. But I had an Oktoberfest lager that was very good and the Dunkleweizen they had while I was there was outstanding. I would go back just for this beer alone. Food was typical of the Rock Bottom menus elsewhere. Sevice was very attentive without being too in your face. Bartender let me sample most of the beer and was very knowledgeable about the beer and ingredients used. Sidewalk on Grand smells like young punks who can't handle their beer throw up out there on a regular basis.
10-20-2003 20:13:27 |
More by Longstaff
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4
Brewmaster Pete Crowley has done what he can to improve the beer selection. Not much he can do with the regular taps, that seem to be the same across the chain, but his specials have been impressive. His Double Barrel IPA was a good competitor in the IBU wars, and his Illinois Common (part of a cometition among the Illinois Craft Brewers to create a beer from the same recipe, in this case Steam) was a nice surprise. Pete's helped support the local homebrew scene, and once I just wandered in after work and he invited me up to the roof where they were sampling mead. Lots of mead.
The food is indeed a notch above a typical Chili's; meaning it's very serviceable, but priced very reasonably considering its yuppie location. The roof garden is a great place to enjoy a beer, even as the view is becoming blocked by more and more overpriced condo high-rises. Parking is very pricey in that region, but there's also a CTA station right at that corner. The waitstaff was very good, and made an effort to know about the beer. A worthwhile dining place, and you've got a chance at a good beer, too.
09-23-2003 13:32:48 |
More by DrunkMcDermott
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
Rock Bottom/Chicago: I used to hit this place quite frequently, but stopped because the beer was just so-so. However, Rock Bottom hired a new head brewer (Pete Crowley), and rededicated themselves to making fine beers. I was impressed with their offerings at the real ale festival, and much more impressed with their offerings last night (reviews to come).
The place is quite large, but unfortunately the bar itself is kind of small, with not much seating. There is a wonderful beer garden on the roof, and it is definitely worth a stop.
I sat down with a pint of Mai Bock, and asked a few questions of the waiter in anticipation of buying a sampler. Not only did the waiter know his stuff, he substituted an oatmeal stout for the light, and brought me a total of NINE samples, including the barleywine that they were just tapping. All were above average and some were exceptional.
Rock Bottom was hosting the American Homebrewers Association that night, and I had a chance to meet fellow BA Drew, and Pete Crowley and his fairly new assistant brewer (whose name Ive forgotten) were there and I had quite an amiable chat with them, while sampling more barleywine. I understand Rock Bottom frequently hosts such gatherings, which is terrific.
The food I had was quite tasty, and some of the other diners around me had nice looking chops and steaks. They have a full menu as far as I could tell.
I had a wonderful time, and this place is now on my short list of places to recommend to friends and visitors.
06-19-2003 09:49:44 |
More by jackndan
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
This place is pretty damn large. It's very "tourist oriented". Great beer is to be drank nonetheless. I tried an irish-style dry stout, hefeweizen, and their new maibock...all of which were wonderful. The service was pretty good considering how crowded it was. Don't go there on the weekend nights to enjoy beer. It'll be loud and crowded. They have a couple rotating cask-conditioned beers, and a few specialties that rotate, which is nice since the regular beer menu only has six to choose from.
The food is great, amazing salads and one heluva chicken sandwich. I prefer Goose Island's brewpub over this one since it's not as touristy. But this place is not to be overlooked when visiting Chicago.
04-24-2003 20:27:46 |
More by AudioGilz
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
It may be a chain, but not all chains are inherently bad and this is no exception. Is it the Taj Mahal for beer lovers? No. But they have a respectable selection of above average to even "good" beers, a nice comfortable atmosphere, those cool "pitchers" that look like a cross between a beer bong and a keg complete with tapper, and some pretty decent food. All in all, if you happen to be in a neighborhood with one nearby you really can't go wrong.
02-11-2003 06:18:59 |
More by mikes2923
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5
A very nice brewpub that gets alot of crap because it's part of a chain. However, Rock Bottom is a very well run chain - probably the best in the country right now. The food is good, the service is good, and the beers are good - even if somewhat limited. But some of the specialty brews are great. The only thing that brings this location down for beer guys is that it get's alot of tourist traffic and it's overly crowded at the bar on weekends. If you're in this part of town during the day, check it out!
07-18-2002 18:08:31 |
More by NeroFiddled
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Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Chicago, IL