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Capital Ale House
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
623 E Main St
phone: (804) 780-2537
(Place added by: JAGMAN)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 83 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Reviewing the Short Pump location.
Beer selection on tap or off is amazing, and well thought out. People in Richmond and surrounding areas really should take advantage of the selection.
The food is good if you like burgers and such. Their blue cheese burger is very good.
The atmosphere is good, but definitely buisness-man after-work crowd at night.
My only complaint is CAH's beer volume measurements. Don't believe when they say a 20oz beer is 20 ounces. I had a 16oz beer at the downtown richmond location that I filled with a 12 oz coors light (friends beer) to the top. I complained to the manager, and he told me (with a straight face) that coors must have acidentally put 16 ounces in the beer bottle. I have not returned to the downtown location since. I have had no such problems in the Short Pump area.
12-05-2005 21:12:38 |
More by JOE9113656
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
it is pricey but you get an incredible selection and high quality brews
read below to help keep $ in your pocket:
since new year rolled in the best time to visit is on sat afternoon. you can get a pint of very high quality american micro for 2 or 3 bucks (depending on your selection). i will miss the sunday time frame for this activity but , alas, the country is in a mood for "change" eh? be careful for what you ask for i say.
the service is highly variable, but genrally good. they are knowledgable but i don't really want a whole lot of advice in picking a beer.
for snacking get the mussels.
the window seats are sunny and fun for people watching.
01-07-2010 00:41:43 |
More by hedonist
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped in for a couple beers before a concert with friends from work. After nearly an 4 hour drive we were all ready for some brews.
Atmosphere: Great.... the building is in four sections... up front is a section with a long bar running up the left side (20 some taps, 2 cask taps and large fridges with a lot of bottled beer) The bar has a ice strip running all along the bar to keep your beer cold. The right side has booth tables on the right at the back is some smaller booths and the door downstairs. There is another door on the right that leads to the next section which is has additional seating and a stage for music. Downstairs is somewhat small and has a pool table, 4 dart boards and a samll bar with about 10 taps. Beside that is the last section which is an out side court yard area, very nice and reminds me of some New Orleans bars I've been to.
Quality: Top notch
Service: Our server's and was Mary and she was very knowledgeable. Mary was able to figure out our tastes after our first selections and made great suggestions for the second round.
Selection: Their beer menu was 20 pages long and is printed weekly - meaning an ever changing selection.
Value: A little pricey... A cask selection will set you back $6.25. My selections (from a tap) was about $4 each.
Great people and very comfortable. Will be going back to Richmond this summer and plan on another trip to the Capital Ale House
03-15-2009 05:19:47 |
More by mudbug13
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in for dinner and a few beers but found a Hop Fest featuring 15 drafts and casks. Just to name a few, Hopslam 2007 & 2008, Dogfish 120 through a double Randall, Devils Backbone Eight Point Dry Hopped IPA, Anderson Valley Anniversary IPA,Victory Wild Devil,Moylan Hopsickle Triple IPA. etc. They served these either as 3oz or 10oz and it was great. They feature 50 drafts and 80 bottles and have multiple locations. They also poured a custom Sierra Nevada beer called I.D.E.A an India Dark Ale brewed by a couple of staff members. A must stop if you are in Richmond.
06-05-2009 13:21:53 |
More by willibrewer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
I went here randomly with a friend, it was at first a little crowded, but after a few drinks it wasn't so bad. The service was great, the bartenders know what their talking about when it comes to beer. They get your drink to you quick, and they even offer samples for a small fee to see if the beer you want is actually the beer you want.
Probably the most awesome thing about this place is their beer selection. I thought it was a joke when I saw the beer list on their website, but no I was wrong... very wrong. They have a separate beer menu which consists of a whole world of beers just about everything you could think of. The amount of beers they have on tap is just freakin ridiculous, I mean they have a shit ton of beer on tap, and it's not along the lines of Budweiser. More like Stone Ruination and beers of that caliber... They actually don't even have Budweiser. What they don't have on tap they probably have in the huge fridge behind the bar just about anything you could think of.
The appetizers are pretty good, they're not the best, but they're definitely not the worst. The restaurant itself is rather classy, a fine mood set for some of the better entrees. This places quality is great especially for the bar, which is an ice bar so that your beer never gets warm. My only qualm is the prices. The food is modestly priced, but the beer here is rather expensive. I understand that they have quality beer, but it's not a reason to hike up the price as much as they do. What adds to the quality is their specials they have everyday on random things. For example they had a special on Clipper City Brewing company beers and two plates of hot wings for the price of one when I was there which was a pretty decent deal.
10-20-2009 03:33:35 |
More by DooMMonkey
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Not much I can say that hasn't been said already. In addition to the beer, the menu has quite a few options, and the food is delicious. My wife and I both had burgers the other night, and they were outstanding. I also appreciate the fact that they update their beer menu online each week, so you can study it before going in.
I went on a recent Monday night, and the atmosphere was quite good. It was relatively full, but we were sat immediately, so it wasn't too crowded or too empty. Very relaxed atmosphere with good service. Great place to unwind with some amazing beers after a hard day at work.
02-10-2012 06:17:39 |
More by Crazyale
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$$
I've been here so many times for lunch; no complaints. The problem is the downtown set up and overcrowding factor and extremely slow to almost non existent service. But, it's almost understandable because of the atmosphere. If I were to give this place an honest review for dinner drinking time, it would be very low. But, this will be a lunch review.
Easy to get a table or bar seats for miles and miles. Good food...great black bean burger, great fish n chips, decent beef burgers. Service is good at lunch. Ordered a GKnight can and it's always great when the servers immediately know and compliment your selection (not too many people reference GKnight here in VA). Plenty on tap...plenty plenty...and oh so so much bottled. They still had some 120 min, but prices on "those beers" are a bit high.
Either way, the downtown location is great for lunch and the south-side location is, so I hear, great whenever.
PS...had a great value on a local brewery's release of an ipa that same day with snifters and a growler, but that was at dinner and the overall experience was not good.
This is strictly a lunch review only.
06-29-2013 01:26:34 |
More by tabascosigned
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Convenient downtown location. Weekly events make this a great place to go. On Monday, burgers are $1 and Wednesday is Steal The Glass Night. The food is generally overpriced other than Monday’s burgers, but the beer selection is quite vast. The seasonal beer selection is good, but it runs out quick. There are always two beers on cask, but they don't rotate all that often. Steal the glass is an easy way to build up a nice collection of glassware. Its typically just pint glasses, but the occasional belgian glasses show up every few weeks.
06-27-2006 20:15:18 |
More by maniac
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Capital Ale House is a great place to experience rare and varied beers. They probably have the best beer selection in all of Richmond with selections reaching up to 375 at times. In addition to enjoying a beer (always served in the proper glass) at an ice-inlaid bar you can get a descent bite to eat. The servers generally know about the beers since they are required to attend weekly classes on various beer styles. These classes are opened up to the general public on Sunday nights. $15 gets you a very thorough and sometimes snobby beer class. The classes vary from week to week including Beer 101, German, Belgian, and Oktoberfest beers. It usually includes 6-9 samples, steal the glass and sometimes unique opportunities and information. At the Oktoeberfest class we passes around a 40oz glass boot pitcher in true German tradition each drinking until it was killed.
As mentioned in other reviews each day has a theme, steal the glass, $1 burgers (actually $2 now). The atmosphere is good. It has a small storefront in downtown Richmond. The bar is good sized with many tables. There is a back room for parties and a basement with pool, darts and another bar. There are a few quality members of the wait staff that are very knowledgeable and dedicated to service. There are also some that dont There is always a turnover rate that promises a clueless college student that doesnt know her ass from her ale-bow.
There is another Capital Ale House in the west-end of Richmond. This is much more formal, fancy and the service is much worse. It still has the tremendous selection of beers and a great patio in the back that overlooks a little brook but lacks all of the character of the original downtown. The Downtown location caters to college students that respect good beer. The west-end location caters to trendy business people that like expensive beer.
06-30-2006 04:20:02 |
More by Rickery
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Ahhh... the Capital Ale House. What a place to find some good beer, and what a hard review to write.
If you are looking to get some good brew and looking to experience a really nice beer bar and you are downtown, go for it. However I urge you if you have the means, get out to the Glenn Allen (15-20 minute drive on 64 west from the city) Capital Ale house, you will not regret it. I rank it much higher than the downtown location. For one reason....
Beer. That is why we write these reviews and try to visit these locations is to enjoy beer. This is where the downtown location gets frowned upon in my book, is its draft selection. Everything else is great but the draft selection does boggle the mind at times.Yes they have a ridculous amount of bottled beer (little too high of a mark up though) and a bunch on draft. And to those of you form across the country visiting you might be able to find some bottled beer you can't normally find (down the street its a lot cheaper) But out of the numerous draft selections I cant ever garuntee that the selection is going to be diverse or seasonal.
I have been going to the Capital Ale house Downtown for over 2 years now and the selection on draft is quite disappointing at times. For instance last winter they had a bunch of lagers and Oktoberfest beers on draft. No stouts or barley wines or winter seasonals. Now they are starting to put a lot of Oktoberfest Beers on which they will most likely run out of when Americans want Oktoberfest beers in October. Plus out of 30 taps or so you would think that variety would be key.There are tons of different styles of beer and being an Ale House they really need to express that with their draft selection. Everytime I go there I hope that I would have a tough time picking out a draft beer. Hoping that the variety of styles is somehow expressed or something new, experimental or hard to find has shown up.... not the case
On the other hand the Glenn Allen location does have a diverse draft selection with a good amount of proper seasonals and some hard to find and rare stuff. Everytime I am at the Glenn Allen location I really have a tough time picking out some draft selctions, It is not because they have more taps, just that they know how to give some variety to there lineup and find some amazing beers that I have never seen before. It can easily be done at the downtown location, and I don't understand why it isn't
All I want is the downtown location to rival the Glenn Allen location in selection. It will make it a lot easier on Beer Advocates knowing that both locations have an equal value and can offer the same experience.
I love the Capital Ale House and I am a regular but they just need to make a major adjustment in their draft selection if they want to be considered one of the greatest beer bars.
09-08-2006 04:14:12 |
More by rvasupersport
Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA
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