Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
10 Fountain Square Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio
Visited in April, 2005
Let’s go back to where it all started, the first brewpub to really catch my attention and make me realize my love of craft beer. Believe it or not, I am somewhat ashamed to say, it was a Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant. Not that there’s really anything wrong with Rock Bottom per se, it’s just that the majority of them I’ve been to cater to mild, safe beers that appeal to those who don’t really like craft beer. Of course, it also helps bring people into the craft beer fold, which is exactly what happened to me.
I don’t remember much about my trip to the Rock Bottom in Cincinnati. It was during my junior year’s fraternity spring formal. We had made the trip down from Columbus for the weekend and I was having dinner with my then-girlfriend. I ordered a sampler and my life changed. I had a White Tiger Wheat, which tasted strongly of bananas. I liked it so much that I bought a growler and drank it all that night. Again, it’s kind of ironic seeing as how I can barely stand wheat beers now. But I digress.
Sure, the place probably isn’t all that great. It’s probably fairly mediocre compared to the other 200 places I’ve visited since, but since it was the first, it gains some points for nostalgic reasons. Then again, I’ve been to an outstanding Rock Bottom outside of Chicago. They are out there…
This Rock Bottom location is in the heart of downtown Cincinnati on Fountain Square. From what I can remember (it’s been a while) it was your typical Rock Bottom decorations with lots of seating, televisions, a big bar, and huge windows to let you see the fermentation tanks. But extra points for the prime real estate.
I remembering being absolutely stuffed after finishing the jambalaya, and wishing that I could get more…
If you look at the date visited, I went to Fountain Square’s Rock Bottom way before I visited any other microbreweries. I was new to beer—hadn’t been 21 for more than a year yet. But this is the home of the first beer I ever truly loved. It’s been a while, but I believe it was called White Tiger Wheat. I thought so much of it that I bought a growler and basically drank it myself that night. I’m sure if I went back now I might not be as impressed, but being a first and turning me on to craft beer has to gain some points.
Don’t remember much except that I was ordering samplers and a couple of pints, thought that I’d get a happy hour price, but didn’t because we weren’t sitting in the bar area. I’d have preferred the bar area and the discount, but oh well.