Last weekend started out great, with a quick flight down to Los Angeles, California. We decided to fly down a day early for our repositioning cruise, which I will blog about later. I’ve heard a lot about great breweries in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area, so when we arrived at our AirBNB, I asked about the local breweries and brew pubs nearby. It could just be the area, but it seemed like nobody really knew much about the local beer scene. Our host just told us about the general area in Long Beach where we would find a few bars and gastro pubs, so that’s where we set off.
We ended up arriving at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, which is a semi-local brewery. Rock Bottom is now a franchise, unlike when it was founded in 1991 in Denver, Colorado. While I usually stay away from the franchised breweries and big store beers, Rock Bottom is different. At Rock Bottom in Los Angeles, not only do they have the standard Rock Bottom Beers, they also have their own beers brewed right in house. The Brew master, Brad Comstock, was an apprentice at Stone Brewing Company prior to taking on his role at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery.
The restaurant itself is a very nice, clean, and up-to-date location, with indoor and outdoor seating available. From the patio you can see the historic Queen Mary, and all the way down to the Pine Avenue Pier. This location just had a remodel with over $2,000,000.00 in renovations to get it up to its current standards, and based on the location and traffic, I’d say it was well worth it.
Per my usual starting point at a brewery, I had to order a taster tray. While I can’t say I loved all of the beers, it was nice to get a different taste in each glass. Each beer truly had a unique flavor and was different from the previous one. This was even true for the IPA’s. I sampled the following beers:
Breakwall Blonde (ABV 4.8% / IBU 20) – Kölsch is usually not my go-to style for a beer. This one was very light in flavor, with a soft citrus finish.
Passport Red Ale (ABV 4.8% / IBU 20) – Very flavorful, and yet light at the same time. Based on the toasty description, I was expecting slightly more robust flavors, however it was still a worthy beer.
Belgian White Ale (ABV 5.3% / IBU 11) – This Witbier is a great summer beer for those who love a light, tart, and fresh beer. It was personally too light in flavor for me, but the bartender said it was a very popular beer.
Shattered Glass IPA (ABV 6.3%/ IBU 65) – A solid American IPA. The hoppy profile wasn’t overwhelming and allowed the citrus notes to come through.
Porter (ABV 5.5%) – I’m a huge fan of Porters, and am always looking to find another porter to enjoy. This porter has a full chocolate flavor, with hints of roasted malt and coffee.
Citra IPA (ABV 6.9% / IBU Unlisted) – My favorite beer of the brewery had to be the Citra IPA. An all-citra hopped beer, it has full flavor and citrus aroma, but is still very smooth. If my wife and I hadn’t just had lunch, I would have stayed for a few pints of this great IPA.
The experience at Rock Bottom was a good one, from the beer, to my wife’s martini, to our delicious food. At first I wasn’t sure (based on the outside) if it was really a brewery, or a restaurant that had beer, so I’m glad we stopped in and got to try out some different beer. I’ll return in the future and enjoy some pints next time.
I found the following menu a pretty neat addition at the table. It was a real talking point for tables around us and was helpful when it came time to decide what to order.
Have you had the chance to visit a Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery? If so, what’s your feedback or thoughts? I’d love to hear them below in the comment section.