Monday 21st May 2012
This brewery is in the Gas Lamp Quarter, which is the entertainment district of downtown San Diego. There was a decent range of beers, all ales or other top-fermented beers, as is the normal policy of the Rock Bottom chain. The choice that evening was as follows: Moonlight Porter (6.3%); Angry Dragon Imperial IPA (8.8%); Fallen Angel Tripel (9.4%); Kölsch Style Light Ale (4.7%); India Pale Ale (6.4%); RB Red Ale (5.6%); RB Brown Ale (4.8%) and Belgian Style White Ale (5.0%).
I tried five of them and this is what I thought. Moonlight Porter was a little thin in body but had the right taste of a classic Porter with a nice bitter aftertaste. Red Ale was not over hoppy but nevertheless was well balanced. I thought it was pretty good, probably a good representation of the style. The Brown Ale I thought was a bit too much like the Red Ale yet completely acceptable. IPA was a classic with a really good balance between the strong hop taste and the malt. Finally, Angry Dragon Imperial IPA was an immense beer with very complex hop flavours; stunningly good.
One thing that stands out in Rock Bottom pubs is their commitment to cask ale. There was only one available this evening and it was Brown Ale, so I had a small glass. As always, it was so smooth compared with the keg version even if that was served with minimal gas. No contest, as usual.
With the usual extensive food menu and a good commitment to televised sports, Rock Bottom didn't disappoint.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 401, G Street, San Diego. 92101. Tel: 01 619 231 7000
Open: Sunday to Wednesday 11.30-24.00; Thursday to Saturday 11.30-02.00
Happy Hours: 16.00-19.00; 22.00 to close
Although there are buses through this downtown district they are only of use if you have a specific destination. The San Diego Trolley encircles the area and its stops are never further than ten minutes away.