Active Beers: 7
Beer Ratings: 28
Beer Avg: 3.59
Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
3.86/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Out of the gold mine at last and backtracking now east most of the way towards Denver before hooking back up a ways northwest towards Boulder. You'd think there'd be a shorter distance between the two points, but someone put mountains between them, so no, it'll be the long way around. Boulder; a popular Orkan winter retreat and a cool little artsy town, much to see. Evil master plan = dodge the breweries, hit the brewpubs...
Big brick shell of a building, wide planks floorings, way vaulted ceiling, steel girder erector set above supporting spinning fans & spots, and drop spinning top lamps over the bar. Old framed black & white prints mounted in the rear rooms here show this building when it used to be City Plumbing & Heating, back in the day, some day. And supposedly, and I can't speak to it, but it's been said that this was the very first Rock Bottom location which means nothing really, except affording you the opportunity to express "and?"
A long slight "L" light with a dark wood strip design topped bar seems like it would seat more than the dozen it does. 2 towers of 10 a piece sit at different points along the bar. The barback is stainless steel countertops over coolers below. Tiered booze on both ends & wines inside, and a pair of handpumps on center. Shades of green brick barback wall with a long horizontal window over the handpumps with a smaller board listing those selections. The rim over the window and 3 long shelves running the length above are lined with mug club mugs of all sizes, shapes and ceramic & glass makes. And up atop, a row of 3 fermenters in a brewhouse visible through windows. On one end, a big board lists tap selections; names, styles, ABV's, birthdays, descriptions. TV's above the bar and a large flat screen over the front vestibule with bags of malt & barrels displayed, and elk & buffalo heads mounted up high to both sides.
6 bar counter tables and a pair of booths in the front corner forward the bar, around an old time fire extinguisher. 8 raised roundy bar tables and a pair of booths in the center of the room away to the bar, and a raised area lying adjacent, running the whole side of the room opposite the bar, 8 red leather bench booths running the wall below large Walnut Brewery beer placards, and a dozen tables alongside. Also 6 tables out front curbside for someone's interpretation of what seasonal seating is. Kettles and a mash tun behind glass in a large room to the rear, with smaller rooms with slight seatings to both sides; 7 tables in one and 5 booths & tables in the other, both decorated with old time black & white pics of town.
They do a 7 beer sampler which became a 10 beer on my request (I was extra thirsty, I think it's the altitude), normally served on a red handled holder but this I was denied as I was bar side. 7 house regulars; the Buffalo Gold, light, slightly citrusy; the Dunkel (rotating wheat), good cloviness, quite tasty; the Indian Peaks Pale Ale, Cascade, nice crispness; the St James Irish Red, nutty & malty, with a grainy flavor; the Big Horn Bitter, Chinook & Willamette, some spiciness there; the Old Elk Brown Ale, full bodied and a good sweet malty flavor; the Devil's Thumb Stout, thick, oaty, deep & dark, pleasantly licoricey; plus 2 seasonals Alt (Ctrl + Alt + Del), good maltiness with some grainy flavor, a very nice Alt; Oktoberfest, pleasant enough, good balance; and a nitro Pale Ale, more of the same. The Dunkel, Old Elk Brown Ale, Devil's Thumb Stout & the Alt (Ctrl + Alt + Del) were the best of the lot. They've also got 2 handpumps flowing (Gold & Pale Ale) but I didn't get to them as I was samplered up and we had other places to be.
Fairly quiet on this Friday afternoon between GABF play days. Service was easy enough, it's a good space, comfortable house, and I got a couple of real nice beers on that sampler. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 how many Rock Bottoms have I seen now? This was one of the better ones.
11-22-2008 02:26:39 | More by slander
3.2/5 rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
The Walnut bar is at one end of the tourist area. It is a decent looking place, and larger than the average bar, and one can come here and talk beer, and sit or stand at a decent sized bar. A little loud for music at 315 pm. The beer selection and quality is a bit poorer than the regular Rock Bottom brewpubs. They have to pick it up here to stay competitive to craft beer consumers. If you want a light session beer,as opposed to some inetresting imperial stout, this is the place to come. If you have the time, pop in.
02-11-2011 01:23:13 | More by Sammy
3.86/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I must say I was glad I got to stop in this place on my trip. I walked in and the place looked great with the high arched ceilings but yet still a cozy feel to it. Walked right up top the bar and had a pint of the stout, and was very impressed with the fullness. They seem to really make a good point of taking care of theri brews. Did not have time to try the food, but what I saw and seemed seemed good. The bartender was friendly and took a couple minutes to chat with me. Overall this was more then a decent stop and a good little brewer. I wish I had more time, I would have styaed and tried some more. Maybe on my next trip.
11-20-2007 11:43:39 | More by mikesgroove
3.23/5 rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$$
Our second stop on our evening Boulder pub crawl. Walked into this place on a Monday night in the summer, and it was dead. It's a huge venue, and when it's empty, it looks like a cave. Had a cool warehouse vibe to it, minimal decorations, and I liked all the mugs hanging behind the bar. Service was quick (she had no one else to serve). I went with the Devil's Thumb stout on cask. Sounded good, but was a bit watery for a cask beer. Didn't eat, but never enjoyed the food at Rock Bottom, so didn't want to have any either way. It was a decent place to stop for one beer just because it's a Boulder institution, but we didn't want to hang out here too long.
07-14-2008 23:42:05 | More by morebeergood
3.65/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
I visited Walnut for a beer after dinner at Mountain Sun. I sat at the bar and ordered a seasonal Saison. My girlfriend tried a seasonal IPA. The IPA was very good. My beer was okay. All of the food that the wait-staff was carrying to other tables looked really good, Tara decided try the ice-cream dessert with raspberry syrup. She liked it. So we decided to come back another time for dinner. Plus the bartender was very nice and she gave us some free samples (without us asking).
The next night we came back for dinner. The service was very slow, it was very frustrating... it was Sunday around 8 pm and not very busy. I ordered fish tacos and Buffalo Gold on cask. I didnt care for the sauce they added to the fish, plus the tacos were very messy and not so tasty. The side of rice was very good. Taras portabella sandwich was big and filling. It looked good.
The brewpub was one massive room with high ceilings and exposed beams of dark wood. Brick walls, wood floors. It looks like an old west saloon meets a chain suburban brewpub. That might not sound appealing but the atmosphere was nice and laidback. The bar was to the left as you enter; it was fairly long with plenty of seats. There was a mug club above the bar and above the mugs was the brewing equipment. There were a few TVs scattered around. Lightly decorated. Booths and seats scattered about.
I really liked how they had a chalkboard with all of their beer, plus info, style, and abv. Awesome! The selection was good; they had three seasonal beers at the time plus two beers on-cask as well.
I did visit this place twice while in Boulder but the food didnt impress me and the beer was good but not great. I might return here if I had the chance. It is a safe place for non-adventurous beer drinkers.
07-21-2005 16:21:55 | More by bditty187
3.56/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
A rather large place; high ceilings, long bar. A glass housing on the second level allows patrons to see the vats. There is not second floor just a gang-way.
Behind the bar is a wide array of beer mugs, I think for sale, but look like just for decoration. The walls are lined with signs for their in-house brews. The selection of brews is wide as far as style goes. They had 9 on tap, and not sure about the bottled beer, if any.
We didn't eat there, although the food smelled good. Didn't even look at the menu. I was there for the beer.
Service was ok, probably a bit less than that as it was slow, yet the place was almost empty. Good location, though. Can really go anywhere else by foot.
02-16-2007 23:15:42 | More by Mebuzzard
3.55/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
My least favorite stop in Boulder; just reminds me too much of local Rock Bottom, with not as good beer.
The look of this place was less corporate than the newer Rock Bottoms I have visited, a plus. Liked the old wast slant, vaulted cielings & dead animals mounted on the wall that had tie-ins to house beers
Quality of the 3 beers I tried average to good. The Devils Thumb on nitro was the best I tried.
Service was alright, not particularly friendly or enthusiastic.
Eight beers on offer, one cask ale & a lager
Food wasn't bad, wasn't great either
I thought the place was a bit pricey for lunch; 3 pints, a kids ice cream, an appetizer & a kids meal for $33.
Not a horrible choice, but this is the runt of the litter as Boulder Brew Pubs go to me
06-17-2008 03:17:59 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
great spot in boulder just off the mall. nice selection of beers, couple of cask offereings as well. i really enjoyed the rye porter from the cask, unique and complex beer. cool atmosphere with the tanks visible up above and a neat mug club. prices totally fair, especially at happy hour. looks like a nice menu, i can only attest to the chili though, and it was very good. service is always okay, nothing out of the ordinary. its a nice place to have a few pints after tooling around boulder. dont think they bottle so its worth a visit if you are in town.
12-31-2011 19:35:29 | More by StonedTrippin
3.46/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3
This is a Rock Bottom? Looked like they have more of an affiliation with Rockies Brewing Co. since they were serving Singletrack and the Gold and they were not considered guest beers. Maybe the ownership has changed hands?
Stopped in briefly on a Boulder pub crawl and had a lackluster altbier and an uninspired Pale Ale. Atmosphere at this place was the best part. Nice long bar with plenty of stools and a large dining area which was darkish and very comfortable. There were hundreds of mugs lining the back bar for those in the mug club - but it seemed like you could bring your own mug in since every mug was a different size and style. Getting a one liter mug must be a great deal.
Worthy of a stop, but it wouldn't be my regular hang out if I lived there.
09-30-2004 17:41:29 | More by Longstaff
3.73/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I've been here many times over the years. It's hard to believe that this place kicked off the Rock Bottom chain.
The look of Walnut is pretty typical for an older pub. Lots of wood and lots of exposed brick. It was cool when it opened, but now feels a bit dated and generic. On the upside, the place is clean and has a ton of space.
Food is more or less the same as the Rock Bottoms that now dot CO. Being in Boulder, it looks like the vegetarian offerings are bit broader, however. I stuck with appetizers, as I was mostly there for the beer. I had a nice asiago cheese dip with beer bread.
The beers here are generally above average. I've never had a beer here that pushed the envelope, but I haven't been disappointed either.
Service is good and prices a little high. Definitely worth a visit when in Boulder, as this place is a bit of a landmark.
01-08-2009 17:36:49 | More by Rayek
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Walnut Brewery in Boulder, CO
84 out of 100 based on 28 user ratings.