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Capital Ale House
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Taps: 62 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
917 Caroline St
phone: (540) 371-2337
(Place added by: Rachale on 12-08-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Narrow, vast space that was filled, but not crowded on a Monday night. Claims to have 60 taps, many of which are actually craft beers. Quite a few imports. Growlers apparently available of nearly everything. Prices are $3.50 to $5.00 for nearly all of the 10 oz pours. $6.75 to $8.50 for the large beers.
Lots of Colorado beers (Breckenridge, Great Divide, Left Hand) as well as California (Lagunitas, Boont, Anderson). Plenty of brews from up and down the east coast. Virginia brews include Port City, Blue and Gray, St. George, Legend, Starr Hill, etc.). Plus zilliions of bottles in big display cases.
Food is the usual pub selection. Ranges from Monday two dollar burgers, which look sensational, to the astoundingly priced pretzel, cheese, and sausage plate for 20$.
Right downtown, walk from the Virginia Rail station. Not too noisy considering the crowd. Great selection. Service is "on demand." They have Keep the Glass night Tuesdays and a local beer night with nice prices.
06-20-2011 23:50:29 |
More by mactrail
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
First off, let's get this straight. I'm from this town and every time I come back to visit, I make this stop. It's the only good beer bar and they have plenty of taps and a decent selection, as well as a nice bottle list. However, the prices are nearly double what they should be, the bottles are all double retail cost and the draught selections, while not subject to as extreme gouging, are still quite expensive. Yes, I would like the Maharajah on tap. No, I'm not happy about paying $7 for a 12 oz pour. No, not when I can get Consecration in WA for $4.50 an 8 oz pour.
But it is unfair to compare such things when you're talking about an historical town with no beer culture. There is a brewery, sure. But every time I'm there they seem to offer little more than their standard fare. Boring! For where it is in the beer map of this country, though, I am slightly pleased. The service is usually good, the bartenders somewhat knowledgeable. The food is pretty good, though expensive and the selection fairly extensive, especially for the area.
The atmosphere is a different animal. Maybe it's cause I grew up here or maybe I just need to stop going here on Friday or Saturday nights. But it is the "hip" spot for the young'uns of professional pedigree who travel hours to work every morning. Maybe I should just be grateful that some of these people aren't drinking tequila and are enjoying a Starr Hill Jomo Lager. Beer love is being spread. It just ain't my scene. Lose the popped collar, or throw two more shirts on and pop em all. Fuck this in-between bullshit. Either you're in to win it, or spectate only please.
05-17-2010 06:24:17 |
More by olympuszymurgus
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | $$
I've had lots of good experiences at the Richmond Cap Ale locations, but my one trip to F-burg was sub-par service-wise.
We rolled in on July 4 to grab a couple of beers, and maybe a burger, on our way back from DC. Wasn't too crowded but we stood at the bar and placed our order with the bartender. My buddy ordered a draught costing $5 for a 10oz, bartender immediately came back and said they were out but it was available in a bomber. Knowing the bomber ran $6 at the shop, we figured it would most likely be around $12, but no more than the $17.50 growler for said beer. Unfortunately bartender did not mention that there was some crazy price differential on this beer and that the bomber was $33. Called a manager after bartender set down the tab and she explained that their distributor wouldn't give them reasonable pricing on this bomber and the price was appropriate given Cap Ale's usual markup. Manager said the best she could do was a 25% discount on that beer to compensate for the bartender not telling us the price differential.
We bugged out after that, skipping a second round and food. I still think something fishy is going on with this one and an e-mail has been sent to management to get an explanation. Somebody had to have made a mistake when pricing this one. If there is that much of a price difference between the draught and bottle on a reasonably well distributed beer, the bottle shouldn't even be available.
Again, I love Cap Ale and what they've done for making good beer available in Central Virginia, but you still need to check the menu or ask prior to ordering or you might get a surprise.
07-10-2011 20:30:21 |
More by nandemo1
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Everytime I end up going to Fredericksburg, this is usually the place I stop to eat dinner at - and for good reason.
The atmosphere is simple yet attractive. Nothing to stand out, but nothing to make you wary, either. Very good cleanliness throughout. Our server, Chris, was pretty attentive, but seemed to take a bit long to bring out drinks for us.
I liked the beer selection, and even noticed a few hidden gems (Sinebrychoff Porter, Boulevard Saison-Brett) among them. There are plenty of local VA brews, too. This go around, I stuck with a couple of anniversary brews (Great Divide 19th, and Great Lakes 25th), and both were quite tasty.
Wasn't so impressed with the fish and chips I got: the fries were good, and so was the cilantro lime cole slaw, but the batter seemed overly greasy without much other flavor. The portion seemed a bit small for the price, too. On the other hand, I really enjoyed their steamed mussels.
Otherwise, there isn't much to complain about, except MAYBE the value. I'll gladly return here, though. Note to self: get something other than the fish and chips next time.
09-16-2013 19:04:31 |
More by ThisWangsChung
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$$
The best part about this bar is the huge selection of beers they have at any given time, a quick look through their beer menu shows their 60+ taps for beer on draft and a good bottle selection, so they always have something that you probably want to try. They also make sure to rotate the craft beer selection, so there is always something new for the return customers. They have a decent selection of different glasses and will bring you your selected beer with roughly the right glass to consume it out of. Their food is somewhat pricy and is of a questionable quality depending on what you get. I have had great food here, and I have had some bad selections too, so be advised.
11-05-2009 19:42:45 |
More by mcann2pu
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75 | $$
the reasonable rating overall is for the food....the beer, while an amazing selection, is definitely a bit overpriced. the bottle list was really good (300+), as was the draft list. had an excellent douchesse flanders red, oak aged rauchbier on tap!
the burgers were amazing! perfectly cooked, tasty. belgian style fries were perfectly crunchy...
service was a bit slow, but they were pretty busy on a sat. night. some parts of the restaurant were waaay too loud though.
overall, my new fav restaurant in VA.
03-10-2013 07:12:44 |
More by speedvagen
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$$
Being from this town, this bar had to be awesome to sway my jaded feelings about the destruction of the restaurant that used to be in its spot. R.I.P. Spanky's! Oh the childhood memories of a personal pizza, fries, and a chocolate milkshake for lunch!
Well, anyway, I am impressed. The only beerbar I've seen that comes close to this one in atmosphere and selection is Hopcat in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
With 60 beers on tap (including Lindemans for the ladies*) and an impressive selection of bottles displayed in a wall of coolers behind the bar as you walk in, you really can't get better than this.
We were there at odd hours, around 2-3pm, so it was pretty quiet. Service was good. The server was a little too formal to begin with, but lightened up once some of his friends showed up. We sat at the bar to finish our beers, and to try to chat with the bartender who has been my neighbor since second grade, but he was busy. I guess that's a good thing!
Looks like the bar is a popular spot, even in the afternoon. It doesn't seem like it's going anywhere, so I would definitely recommend stopping in here for a drink if you're in the area! I'd recommend getting a slice of pizza at Basil's down the street before you go, so you can avoid the overpriced and underwhelming food at Capital Ale House. The wonky, strangely seasoned food is my only qualm about this place.
*Every time I say this I feel like I'm losing my feminist credentials, yet I love Lindemans and whenever I see it on a menu I feel a sense of relief at not having to try some beer that I will need to make my girlfriend chug at the end of our meal.
05-03-2009 00:18:11 |
More by regeimbk
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Love this place. Located in a great section of downtown Fredericksburg, Capital Alehouse is the only bar in town to go to if you want a large selection of brews. I think it has around 60 on tap at all times, with another ton by the bottle.
They always have a good selection of styles, as well as beers from a number of countries at all times. While the beers can get a bit pricey, there are some values on the menu if you look closely. Definitely best suited for someone who is willing to drop some dough on a beer they are very excited to try. I will say that after going there a while it is easy to get tired of their selection. They have a ton of different options, but they tend to stick to fairly safe beers as far as craft beer drinkers are concerned and don't seem to put too much effort into getting rare domestics.
Most of the food is quite good, with a few of the items only ok. A favorite of mine is the wings, which are some of the best wings I've had. The burgers are also solid, although unless you make a point of drilling your doneness preference into the head of your server it will ten to come out overdone (in my opinion, but I like a true medium rare burger.)
If you go in not paying attention to deals or daily specials, the place can get a bit pricey. Burgers run around $8, entrees are usually $20 to $25, and a lot of the appetizers are around $10. A typical sitting of menu priced items should run you about $50 if you get two large beers, an appetizer, and an entree.
However, if you are smart about wht you order and pay attention to the daily specials, it can be quite reasonable. Monday is dollar burger night, tuesday is steal the glass night (usually $5 or $6 for a pint and a glass to take home from the highlighted brewery of the night,) and either wednesday or thursday is buy one get one free wing night (a favorite of mine.) Also, Sunday is a great day to visit as they have some awesome deals on a number of domestic brews.
Overall, a great beer bar.
12-16-2009 21:19:15 |
More by HURTemHIZZY
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
I was here with my Dad who lived nearby. It is right in the "olde town" area. The place during a weekday at lunch time was kinda slow. Not much going on. The waiter was trainig a young girl when he served us. He knew a great deal about the beer.
They had a monstrous selection of 400 bottle plus a ton of taps, including Brew Dog Paradox. I also got a free sample of the Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken Stout. Beer was served in the correct glasses, and to top it off the manager gave me Mapquest directions tot he Blue & Grey Brewery.
Nice touch with the iced up track along the bar. I'd recommend the place, mainly because it is a nice find in an unlikely place.
08-15-2010 20:49:37 |
More by socon67
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
Found this place from reading BA reviews. The atmosphere seems a bit sterile and leaves a little to be desired as there is way too much dead space and it's almost like the bar is too big for itself. It's nice looking, and the ambiance is alright, but I would like it a little more friendly or cozy.
I spoke with a couple of people there, one server was exceptionally knowledgable and once he figured out what I was into he was able to recommend some great local brews. A female server basically had no clue and served me garbage recommendations, but I don't expect people to be huge beer dorks even if they're serving.
The selection is nuts, 60 taps and 400 bottles. The have a groovy cellar you can go drink in if you want and stare at the bottles, although you can't go in and see them up close. You can buy their bottled beer to go and take it at a 25% discount.
The food was very solid, with a nice selection and variety. Everything was fairly pricy, although on Saturday they have a number of domestic drafts for $2, $3, and $5 which is a pretty good deal if you're used to Chicago prices. With all the taps, there is plenty of stuff to try at those prices.
The great selection made me go back the next day, if only it were cheaper, would be almost perfect.
06-17-2010 21:10:11 |
More by AgentZero
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Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg, VA
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