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Capital Ale House
Taps: 75 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]
4024-A Cox Rd
phone: (804) 780-ALES
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
You have to go on Sundays during football season, you will have the place to yourself! Great selection of beers; draft, bottle, cask, etc. The food is good but often slow, just like the service. On a couple of occassions the food has come out cold after taking forever. The service is better at the bar but you have to contend with smokers. The value is great and they offer a discount on their menu beers "to go". The place is dim and comfortable with usually one or two very knowledgable bar tenders working even the slowest shifts.
05-27-2009 18:08:27 |
More by ArrogantDeadGuy
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
My girlfriend and I went into the CAH today for lunch, at around 2:00, and it was pretty much dead. I had only been to the downtown spot a few times, which I enjoyed, but we were in the area shopping, so I wanted to grab some lunch and have a beer or two.
We got off to a fairly bad start since there were hardly any people in there, and we had to wait to be seated. Not a big deal, though, and I was fine when the host came to seat us. Once he did seat us, however, he decided, somehow, to sit us by the only other occupied table in the entire section. Not only that, but they were businessmen, and behind my seat was a large black bag, and instead of inconveniencing the customer, I asked the host if we could be at the table just beyond the one where he wanted to seat us. For some reason he was an ass about it, for a lack of a better way to put it. Not a good way to treat your customers, pal.
When I asked our server what IPAs she recommended, she said the Legacy Hoptimus Prime and the Weyerbacher Simcoe. I like both choices, so I chose a 22 oz. glass off the latter, which was pretty good, as the Simcoe is.
My girlfriend had a burger, and I had the smokehouse chicken (their blackened chicken version of the burger). The food was decent, but nothing beyond "bar food," really. Not only that, but if you say you're serving Pommes Frittes, can you just call them french fries instead? If they're going to be the latter, just say it, without dressing it up needlessly. Not only that, but my girlfriend's medium burger was clearly medium-rare, with way too much pink inside. It was still good, and it was nothing to send back, but I know most chefs wouldn't let their food go out if it wasn't to the customer's specifications. Needless to say, I've had better food, especially at a place like the Commercial Tap House in The Fan, which has a small menu, but really makes their food as good as it can be considering the size and the atmosphere.
Our server also didn't come back to check on us the whole time we were there. Granted, I had a beer. My girlfriend had a diet coke. And we had our food. That said, I did want a water, but I couldn't get one because she didn't even pass us in our section while we were there.
Yes, there's a great selection of beer. Tons of styles. Tons of bottles. And many many drafts all over the entire establishment, not just at the main bar. But most of the beers you can get in the better beer stores in Richmond, and when I, personally, go to a place that touts their beer, I want to try different beers -- those that aren't too exorbitant in price -- and there were some, but I wish there were more. Again, granted, it's not my favorite beer season, which is winter, when I've heard they have all kinds of stuff. Still, it's a great selection, but far from perfect.
The atmosphere is nice, with a long bar with nice stools when you first walk in, and nice enclosed sections, cozy lighting, and quality wood-furnished furniture and the like. I haven't been there when it's crowded, but it was cozy and mellow when we were there, which was enjoyable on a Saturday.
The beer prices DO seem a bit cheaper than the CAH downtown. I'm not sure if that's my imagination, but if that's the case, that works for me; I'd rather have cheaper beer here than pay $10 for 10 oz. of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, or whatever the price used to be that blew my mind at the downtown CAH a year ago.
Would I go back to this establishment? Probably not. Would it be worth it if you haven't had a ton of beers that you can -- for the most part -- easily get in Richmond, are looking for somewhat decent bar food, and are shopping in Short Pump? Probably.
05-03-2008 21:12:09 |
More by asabreed
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
One of my favorite places in the Richmond area (or the surrounding 70 miles). With a long bar with an ice shelf overlooking the taps and refrigerators, plenty of seating, additional seating facing away from the bar, multiple bars, a patio, and a nice, dark, mellow lighting in the dining area, this place is definitely a great place to relax and enjoy a pint, two, a snack, or even dinner.
Being in a plaza there is ample free parking, though sometimes it's tough to get close to the restaurant. On our most recent visit we were greeted at the door where we gave our names, received a pager, and made our way to the bar to look over the massive beer book of the current draught offerings. It took us a good 10 minutes to go over all 75 choices, only to discover that our pager was going off, signaling our table was ready. Promptly seated, we ordered our first round and looked over the food menu.
While my first beer ordered came out wrong, the waitress was happy to give me a sample of what I ordered to compare, and upon determining it was incorrect brought me a fresh full glass of the proper drink, along with an apology from herself and the bartender. With a selection of some fantastic international beers as well as locals and other micros, it's understandable that this will happen accidentally. At least the mistaken beer was served the proper way the intended beer was to have been served.
The menu isn't as wide a variety as some places, but there is definitely something for everyone. If you want authentic German sausage, this is the place to go, as is such if you want some great steak. While the menu may not be as all encompassing as some places like The Cheesecake Factory, this place has some of the best of what you can get, and besides, you know you really came for the beer.
Some of the beers are somewhat expensive, but everything is fair in price and some of the stuff is actually inexpensive. Good to see them supporting local breweries as well as having 2 cask choices.
Definitely one of my favorite places, and I will absolutely return on my next trip to the Richmond area. Maybe I'll even prepare myself to really enjoy myself there and book a room at one of the hotels in the neighboring parking lot.
04-07-2008 22:50:18 |
More by HopDerek
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After 2 visits to the downtown location, my sister and I decided to try this one after learning it has more taps, and especially since we would not have to deal with downtown parking on a weekday. The atmosphere was almost identical to the downtown location just with a little more space. The quality was great as far as I could tell, I imagine they must stay busy enough to have good turnover on the kegs. The service was great, even for a slow Thursday just after lunch. The selection was outstanding, just like downtown. You've got to love the discount on bottled beer-to-go. The food was just as good as I remember it being downtown. The prices were very reasonable, with great weekly sales such as $2-$3 dollar pints on Sunday and $1 1/2lb burgers on Monday.
02-22-2008 04:43:15 |
More by atsprings
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
What a great place to have beer. I went late last year for the Kerstbier festival and tasted some rare beers from Bell's among other things.
While I didn't have anything to eat, I must say that it has a great atmosphere, with a lot of counter space at the bar and plenty of tables. The beer selection was extraordinary and you must ask to see the "secret list" which has a number of rare vintage beers that are reasonably priced for what you get.
I cannot think of another place that has this many quality taps, and I have been to a lot of beer bars around the country. If you cannot find anything on tap, the bottle selection is also vast, and you can purchase them to take out at a slight discount.
The only thing I can think of that was a negative about this place was that one of the servers was not fully up to speed on the special beers that were being served. I was seeking some of the Bell's and she had to check at the "upstairs" bar (I forgot to mention there are two bars). She came back and told me that they were out of stock. Fortunately, another patron asked the same question of another bartender so that saved the day for me. I also got a chance to spend some time with BA "brewno" - make sure you ask for him if you visit this location.
01-12-2008 19:54:13 |
More by brentk56
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Ah, one of our favorite places (among many) that we love to drop by at whenever were traveling up and down I-95. Its easy enough to find, being located in the Innsbrook Shoppes, just northwest of Richmond in Glen Allen. Plenty of parking out front and its hard to miss that gigantic Capital Ale House façade out front. Inside, the place is massive. 3 bars, including the main one up front (which is very long), a side bar (that is smoke free) and then a patio bar. The main dining seating is up front and consists mostly of rather roomy booths. They are also other separate dining areas is other rooms. What I love is how spacious the layout is and how everything has its own separate area. Atmosphere is what I would call an approachable upscale. It definitely seems classier than the other location in downtown Richmond but you by no means have to dress up or anything like that.
Onto the beer. You know, once they throw down the 25 page beer menu (thats almost updated daily) that this place means business. 77 beers on tap, 2 on cask, and a bottle selection of over 250. They also have a secret bottle list that they will break out if you ask, that has some of the rarer beers on it, usually at a more expensive price point (although I bought a bottle of Reaper Sleighor Double IPA off it earlier in the year for a decent price). The selection can be quite intimidating, when you first look at the menu, and is a tremendous mix of American craft, good imports, and even some local VA brews. Every beer Ive had here has been fresh and tasty. Sunday is the day to come here as its American Craft Beer day. All beers are $2-3 between 10am-5pm. That probably helps offset the fact that they have no TVs for sports watching on Sundays.
They have a pretty large food menu here, with everything from sandwiches and salads to more upscale entrees, as well as both a more limited late night menu and Sunday brunch. Our favorite here is three types of Moulles they offer. I would call most prices fairly reasonable when compared to similar establishments. Our service here has always been good. The servers are always very courteous and classy and have a great knowledge of the beer menu.
This is a must stop if your in the Richmond area. Its always a pleasure to patronize an establishment with such respect and appreciation for the beers that they serve there.
12-13-2007 17:06:02 |
More by Kegatron
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Hands down, the best beer bar in Virginia.
A - Excellent. Smoking and non-smoking bars, including a patio bar. The ice rails that line the bars are great. Deep, semi-private booths.
Q - This just reflects my rating.
S - The service was great. Everyone knew the beer list thoroughly and if they couldn't answer my question, they went to someone who could. Good recommendations and kept me up to date on newly tapped items that weren't on the current 25 page beer list.
S - Did I say 25 page beer list? I did. 75 beers on tap + 2 cask engines. Over 375 bottled beers at any given time. Definite rating of 6. Oh yeah....and a secret list....
F - didn't try any food but it looked and smelled delicious....
I would definitely go back to the CAH. Beats the fuck out of Applebee's....
10-30-2007 01:17:30 |
More by alehole
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
This is hands down the Mecca of beer geeks in the Southern Virginia area. Hard to find but once you are there you never want to leave. I visited it for their Annual Beer Geek Week.
Top notch designing and atmosphere. Very modern but with plenty of space and lots and lots of bar space. Three different bars: a main bar, a side bar(smoke-free), and a deck bar. A game room, with darts and video games. Everything is well separated from each other. Deep booths. Tables are spaced out. And the rooms are well separated.
On to the beer. Oh is there beer. 200+ bottles, over 75 taps, and two casks. Amazing. You can choose up two five beers you want to sample for free and then it's a dollar for every sample. And you get I think a 4oz sample pint. The selection is insane. From Weihenstaphaner to Allagash, Sierra Nevada to Hofbraü, La Caracole-Troublette to Chimay. And even more than that! And they are the freshest beers you can try to get anywhere. And in the cask was Legend Brewery's Imperial Brown Ale, and it was perfect.
The service was impeccable. Perfect. The bartenders and servers know everything about the beers. I mean it was just insane. There must of been at least 70 people on staff at the time and they were all over the place.
The food was good but a little to small a portion to really give the price. I had the Würst Platter, which is knackwurst and bratwurst served with red cabbage and German potato salad. Good but 10 bucks?
I had to pay a cover of five bucks at the door then I had to pay 7 dollars for a 20oz imperial pint per beer. You could also get the smaller 14oz pint but only save two bucks. The place was packed when I was there also. I got to sit and a good table in the bar area my friends and I had lots of fun, but my friends were complaining about where the girls were, but that is the only thing I didn't like about my trip there. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
10-01-2007 22:11:12 |
More by ghostmech007
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The best place I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying a beer.
They have a fairly diverse food menu with some quality choices at reasonable prices, including some more typical "bar fare" (try the excellent German pretzel with a beer).
But really, what you come for is the drink menu. Over 25 pages in length and printed on copy paper since it changes frequently, it's quite daunting. 77 beers on tap, including a few "real ales" in cask and hand pumped. Over 200 in bottles. Frankly, it's hard to narrow anything down. Your best bet is to pick a style and then choose among that. Once you've tried one, move onto another style. I could spend all day trying beer after beer, if it weren't for the alcohol's effects.
Sunday is American Micro Day - American microbrews on tap are $2-3 a pint, which is maybe about half of what they have on tap, and a good deal. Wednesday is "steal the glass night" - take home a glass for a select beer if you order it, but they often run out quickly, and it's more of a gimmick than anything else.
Service is good - not great. Some servers really know their beer and are eager to share the passion, and others seem a bit clueless and slower. On a busy night order your next beer before you finish the one you're drinking.
Despite a couple of minor flaws, this place is heaven on Earth. Or at least, heaven in Virginia. A must visit (or the downtown location) for any beer lover in the area, and a full bar, good food, and decent winelist ensure even friends who don't enjoy beer will have a good time.
08-11-2007 19:07:56 |
More by dcteas17
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I visited the Glen Allen location on Sunday, November 19 after a backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park. I had never been here before but judging from all the positive reviews and the info on their website, I was looking forward to a great liquid lunch after being in the mountains all week. I was not disappointed. The main bar area was very clean, although a little on the dark side. Also, since it was Sunday I was hoping to have a little NFL with my lunch, but, alas, no TVs in the main bar area. Aside from those nits, it was all upside. It was American Microbrew Sunday- which means $2 or $3 pints. I had a Green Flash IPA, Brooklyn Winter Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Victory Storm King- all for $2 a pint!!! Bingo!!! If I didn't have to drive back to Myrtle Beach I would've stayed there all day. For lunch I had a house salad with house-made bleu cheese dressing and the soup of the day- which was cream of squash. The soup was a tan color, creamy and velvetty(sp?) and tasted like autumn on a spoon. Niiice. My bill for 4 awesome beers and delicious soup and salad came to $15.74 tax included. It was worth twice that much- and on any day other than Sunday, it would have been twice that much! Bottom line- I will go here any time I'm in the Richmond area. This place is not to be missed- esp.Sunday!
11-28-2006 03:09:48 |
More by rgctlc
Capital Ale House in Glen Allen, VA