Monday, March 7, 2011

Brewery Review: Rock Bottom Brewery - Warrenville, IL

At the end of breaks my parents usually drive out to the West suburbs of Chicago (Bumble Burbs) both to meet Jen so we can head back to school, while getting a bite to eat and to check out a brewery. We had been to this one before (but didn't remember) so one night over the first week of Spring Break we headed over to Warrenville's Rock Bottom only to find we had been here before. Nevertheless by this time most of the beers had already changed. We ended up spending 3.5 hours at the bar talking to people and enjoying good beer. Having forgotten my journal, the notes were taken on blank receipts. This is what was available 2/22/11:

Mud in Your Eye Light - Bright straw clarity. Filmed head. Smells mildly malty with a corn and candy sugar adjunct addition. A little spicy with medium low carbonation. Definitely more quality than most breweries light ales.
Peashooter Pale Ale - Copper pale with an amber tint. Filmed head and white lacing on the sides. Smells citrusy and hoppy. Nicely balanced b/w malt and bittering finish. Medium zest and malt caramel. A step above fat tire but in the bitter direction.
Ragtop Red - Not overly impressed with this. Most Rock Bottoms have especially good ones, not this one. Strong foamy off white head. Bronzed copper. Hazy. Toffee and fruit zest aroma. Spiced finish with a dash of caramel sweetness to taste. Majority of flavor/bitterness is clumped at the end.
American Wheat - Glowing cloudy yellow with a foamed white ring. Smell is yeasty any clove spiced, and less banana than most. Basic wheat though more bitter with a spark of carbonation. Bready.
Dryrish Stout - Dark brown black with uniform foam lacing on the sides and off white head. Clear around the edges where light permeates. Aroma is strong and roasted with strong hints of coffee. Taste is mediocre in sweetness falling more towards the emphasis on the hops, burnt flavor and the would-be alcohol (Only 4.5% ABV!!)
Bird Upon a Hippo (Belgian Oatmeal Stout) - Somewhat lighter and clearer than the Dryrish stout. High clarity around the edges. Foam ring. Sweet and fruity smelling with a mild toasted malt and caramel. Taste is also incorporates a spicy element from the yeast as it dries the palate. Extremely complex and gratifying.
Glockenspiel Dunkel (Munich Dunkel Lager) - Rubied amber that is basically clear. Visible carbonation and strong head retention. Fruity and floral smelling reminiscent of peaches and pears. Lacks a lot of malt character but makes up for it in the lagered refreshing character. Tart and flowery with some honey components as well.
Chinookasaurus (Rotation IPA) - Difficult to describe the color (oranged light bronze? If you can call it bronze). Very cloudy with a sticky lacing. Aroma is juicy smelling of oranges and grapefruits. Soft carbonated feel. Very sweet bitterness soley concentrated on the grapefruit zest/citrus character. Tropical.
Cask Conditioned Coffee - Still and very black. No head. Could be flocculent, but darkness doesn't allow one to know. Aroma is extremely potent and rich of freshly roasted coffee. Taste is warming and flat with a coffee roasted burnt finishing bitterness. Drying. Kind of like flat stale coffee with some malt sweetness. A little watery.

Interestingly enough, having been to three Rock Bottoms so far, I can tell each one's specialty:
Chicago: Red Ales and Imperial Barrel Aged
Lombard: Cask Conditioned Ales
Warrenville: General Stouts and perhaps IPA (though I need to try more)

The brewpub is enormous, exhibiting an extensive dining area and a smaller bar, though it has 2 two (I believe) Friendly staff and bartender. They have old mugs hanging from above the bar. The bar itself reminds me of a nice cramped British pub (a good thing). If you get there around 3:00 on a weekday afternoon the whole restaurant is quite, though it gradually picks up throughout the night with both music and after-work blue/white collar. A giant chalk-board menu shows the beer available for that day. The beer overall was quite delicious with quite a few options. The beer is generally around $4.95/pint with a couple of their specialties at $5.95. The food is good. I especially enjoy the large tray full of nachos (double the amount of what the Chicago Rock Bottom serves). And apparently their burgers are good. Like all Rock Bottom's they have a daily special of a selected $3 beer, which is usually and unfortunately their rotating wheat (C'mon give us some stout!) and from 3-6 they have $5 appetizers. Overall this Rock Bottom is yet another addition to the many that keep me coming back and remaining a devote drinker of their beer.
Check them out:

Brewery Experience: 45/50

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