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Capital Ale House
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
623 E Main St
phone: (804) 780-2537
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Wow, am I glad I checked this place out. Got discounted food for buying a pint, had an excleent meal, and got to see a damn good selection of beer. Thier selection reminds me (though the variety of what they have varies slightly) of a beer bar in Phila, BUT, much more open, cleaner, and, dare I say, nicer (in a hopspitality, not personal. I mean as a service they are good. As people, well I cannot comment on that becuase I do not know them. See what I mean?) way. It was a nice mix of college kids to senoir citizens, and, not a BMC to be found. Never tried micros before? They'll sit you down and set you up (at least they did for 2 patrons when I was eating). As for the food - nothing but kudos from me. Had the $1 burger (special w/ a pint), and that is a pretty good price for a 1/2 lb loaded burger. And then the roasted oysters - aye dios me, that was a good night. I really think you'd be hard press to find a nicer place (there are maybe 3 that come to mind in PA, but I digress). Only problem - they cleared away m beer (before it was finished) when I went to the bathroom. But, they did offer me another. Good times all around
03-09-2005 03:35:01 |
More by PSUDREW
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
Took a weekend off and took the little lady to Richmond for the weekend for her birthday.. Managed to stop by CAH for brunch.. Good Golly Miss Molly... I think i died and went to heaven.. The place is lovely inside, well designed and thought out. I can see how it could be hard to get around when packed, but it wasnt when we were there. The beer selection is outstanding, both in quality and bredth. If you cant find a tasty beer here you arent trying. The beer list changes a lot so i wont bother listing what i had as it might not be there next time. The taps focus mainly on American Craft , but the bottles cover the rest of it. The service was tip-F@ing-top. The waitstaff knew their beer and were not condesending about it ( are you listening Biergarden. The food at brunch was superb, Pan Roasted Virginia trout with eggs and bacon.. That and a hoppy IPA on cask and I was ready to move in. If you are in Richmond you as BA must check out either this location or the one in Innsbrook.. I wanted to claim to not have money so i could wash dishes and just hang out somemore. The best beer bar I have been too in a long time!!
07-11-2004 20:38:40 |
More by TinusTime
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
We arrived at Capital Ale House around 1:15pm on a Saturday, and there were only a few other people in the downstairs area. Upon entering I saw a large selection of bottles and the many taps offered. The bar, chairs, and tables are all dark-wood giving a pleasant cozy feeling while hanging out.
If you get a damp beer list next time you go, it's because I was drooling on it when I visited. An amazing selection is here--bottles and taps. This place has all of the bottled beer that I dream about buying at a retail location in addition to all kinds of goodness on tap. I tried St. George porter on cask while I was here in addition to 90-minute on tap--Amazing on both accounts. By far this was the best porter I've had and it encouraged me to buy even more bottled 90-minute at the next retail stop after lunch.
The food I tried was excellent. I'd like to note the Mexicali wings are more than worth ordering if you like wings...good stuff. I look forward to trying other menu items when I go back in the future.
The service was amazing. Our server was attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu and beer selection. What other place has a server that would mention 'cascade domination' while talking about an IPA they offered?
This was a wonderful experience...I can't wait to visit again.
04-21-2004 00:15:01 |
More by Stoo333
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Given the reviews here & my multiples visits, the Capital Ale House clearly offers an experience a notch or two north of the best brewpubs I've visited. As a traveling salesman whose dropped in numerous times, I am appreciative and amazed at the consistent execution in quality, service, selection, & food.
A couple of recent visits served to expand the range of my beer interests. Earlier this week, I visited and reluctantly obliged in trying their Cask Conditioned product. Blame my (low) beer sophistication quotient or just plain bias yet over the years I have not enjoyed this angle in storing/serving a beer. However, on this night the beer was great and turned my accumulated logic on its head. On another visit in January, I was prompted & guided (by a bar server) to try a locally brewed Lager (again, despite my history of only narrowingly drinking Lagers--only Pilsners & Bocks) and it turned out to be a fine match for me.
Again, their attention to detail is admirable. Truly, a destination when visiting Northern Virginia.
04-17-2004 03:50:36 |
More by gclark
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
The Ale House had been suggested many times over by friends. I walked in not knowing what to expect. We were seated immediately and began to peruse the beer menu. 30 taps, all good to high quality and a huge amount of bottled beers. The service was very good, and the food, well with a $1.50 burger special, it made the night out an adventure indeed. We had Dogfish 120 minute on tap along with several IPA's, Kwak, and a few seasonals.
The non smoking section had no smoke at all, but I did not have time to checkout the room downstairs. Highly recommended.
11-25-2003 02:05:05 |
More by GCBrewingCo
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
What a treat the Capital Ale House is! It's a clean, well-run, nicely decorated, fun and welcoming restaurant that offers 40 draught beers and over 200 bottles! The beer menu is well-organized and easy to read, without any misspellings or errors regarding the beers themselves (which is usually not the case!). And the beer is served in the proper glass!
The comfortable bar has an ice rail running down it's full length and it's well lit (not too light or too dark). The bar chairs are comfortable and nicely spaced, and there are planty of cozy booths running down the wall opposite the bar if you'd like to eat. And you should!
The food is quite good, inventive, and reasonably priced. Most of their appetizers, soups, salads and burgers are just $7.99. Start out with the mussels or roasted oysters, or maybe a ginger-lime scallop salad! The Maytag Burger (yep, you guess it - Bleu cheese) is interesting; and the Honey-orange Marinated Duck ($14.99) or Pork Chops Ardennes (w/ mushrooms & ham cream sauce - $18.99) are exquisitely prepared. The pizzas (@$17.95) are great as well!
They have a young, fun, staff that seem like they're actually interested in the beer; and the service is very good. Throw into the mix specials like Free Pizza Night and Steal the Glass Night and you can't go wrong!
10-04-2003 14:48:16 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
This place is the best I've been to. Huge selection of imports & micros, almost a "you name it they've got it" kind of place. The bar was huge with a cool ice rim to place your beer on. The atmosphere seemed a bit upscale, I prefer a more homey type bar.
Service was good and the bartender I dealt with was quite knowledgable. I did'nt want to leave, and my wife did'nt either. Awesome!! Did'nt try the food but other patrons told me it was quite good.
07-10-2003 08:01:41 |
More by avylover
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I have only been here once, and it would have been easy for me not to have liked the place given the circumstances (had just had a much-loved cat put to sleep), but I can safely report that this is a great place, certainly the best in Richmond.
Nice dark panelling, quality fixtures, and the sort of beer selection that most Richmonders, until only recently, had thought they would never find within 2 hours of the city. 30 taps in the main room, 10 taps in the more casual game room, and not a bad beer among them. Anyplace where I can get fresh Arrogant Bastard is going to get my vote.
Hard to report on service, because we were there at an off-time (3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon), and the place was almost deserted. I don't know whether my waitress knew anything about beer, because one look at the menu was all that I needed. The only negative was that the beer menu was not updated -- I had been drooling in expectation of 90 Minute IPA, and they were out. I actually prefer Arrogant Bastard, so it was no big deal, but I don't get 90 Minute very often, and I have a personal exaggerated dislike of finding out that something on the menu is not available.
Food was also very good, and the food prices were fine. The bottled beer prices are indeed quite steep, but with 40 beers on tap, one should not have to visit the bottled stuff too often! Definitely my new favorite restaurant. Honestly, you can get out of here at the same price as you would a chain like Friday's or Ruby Tuesday's, and why the heck would you go there and drink Bass when you can go to Capital Ale House, get the same quality food, and drink drafts as varied as Three Floyds, Stone, and so forth?
06-06-2003 09:33:50 |
More by Darkale
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Very nice place. I've been there several times since opening. Many of the waiters/bartenders are fairly knowledgable about their beers. Mike in particular is a beer geek like the rest of us. I agree with the previous reviewer about the beer prices, especially for the bottles. They have the best tap selection in Richmond, hands down. Food is quite good. Drawbacks are the crowds. Friday & Sat night, it's tough. But, other than that, I'm very happy that they've opened this place up and will plan on being there on a regular basis.
03-13-2003 10:31:50 |
More by EricP
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Thanks to fellow BA DrewS for an excellent recommendation!
My BA friend AKSmokedPorter tried this place last night and I was immensely impressed. Located in downtown Richmond, this new beer bar offered an excellent selection of 30+ tap beers. The variety of the tap beers is what knocks your socks off: 2 barley wines, several pale ales, seasonals, etc. -- and all from 30 different breweries. But wait! There's more...a *LOT* more. Try 150+ bottled beers more. From all over. A 4-page menu of bottled beers. A nice feature of this menu is that they listed the beers according to style, including the brewer and location. In addition, the beers we had were served in appropriate glasses for the type. Another nice touch.
Our waitress was one of the bartenders covering the floor for a while and she was very knowledgeable about the beers they had to offer. When she discovered that we knew what we wanted to try and were (fairly) seasoned beer drinkers, she asked our opinion of some of the beers and what we'd like to see on tap. In listening to her talk to the tables around us, you clearly understood that the beer experience is what the owners are impressing on the customer. By getting an idea of what the patrons like or would like to try, the waitresses and waiters are able to make an informed suggestion as to what to offer.
The food menu was quite lengthy as well. I only had an appetizer and a burger, but there was a great selection available. I would like to try a dinner and see how it goes.
The atmosphere was pretty good, too. There is a downstairs (game room, I think?) that I didn't get to see, as well as a back room that might be a little quieter than where we were (closer to the bar). I guess my only complaint about the physical location would be the smoke. I hate cigarette smoke and the non-smoking area is right next to the bar/smoking area. Perhaps if the back room is non-smoking and we had sat there, it might have been better. The waitress also said to avoid this place on the weekend if smoke isn't your thing. Given that we live in a tobacco state, a "non-smoking restaraunt" is probably too much to ask for.
Overall, I was very pleased with the experience. The owners have done a great job of offering a huge variety of beers and have a very well-trained staff to make the most of your beer-sampling experience. I would highly recommend this place if you are ever in town or if you live in Richmond.
01-28-2003 07:48:56 |
More by OldFrothingSlosh
Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA