In the heart of Beantown, this re-renovated chain restaurant-brewery opened as ROCK BOTTOM in 2001 and got renovated April 2011. Formerly Brew Moon, Rock Bottom bought out the company, merged with Gordon Biersch, and is owned as of this December 2011 trip by large conglomerate, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries. This eloquent red brick-walled, wood-furnished space attracts vacationing families, businessmen and theatregoers. Special tap tables at right side booths allowed beer drinkers to pour by the ounce each house beer (brewed in Pittsburgh for this faux-pub).
I sat at the blue-slated central bar (with 3 TV’s per side) to taste each stylistically efficient ale. My wife settled on a bottled Wachusett Blueberry while I delved into the lighter fare this late afternoon session (after hitting Faneuil Hall’s shopping district). Kolsch-Style Ale brought floral-hopped citric spicing to a phenol hop prickle, finishing like bark-dried lemon rot (but ain’t as unpleasant as that seems). White Ale’s white-peppered, lemon-candied, orange-peeled coriander spicing suited its light effervescence. IPA’s surprisingly soft tone contrasted wispy peach, apple and tangerine illusions against negligible hop pining. Caramel-spiced orange and red fruits smudged grassy dry-hopped Red Ale.
The two seasonals on hand had less obvious stylistic guidelines so each benefited from being less regimentally specific. Holiday-styled Winter Wheat brought a nifty peppermint twist to orange-dried coriander-nutmeg-cinnamon spicing. Better still, Snow Moon Belgian Trippel layered creamy cotton-candied banana over molasses gingerbread cookie sweetness, finishing with pastry-like banana-clove illusions resembling German hefeweizens.
Rock Bottom’s bottled beer selection included Lagunitas, Troegs, Left Hand, Magic Hat, Cisco and several well-known Belgians. Guest draughts were Victory Prima Pils, Ommegang Hennepin, Boulder Mojo IPA and local fave, Mayflower Porter.