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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
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
The CAH can be a bit of a Pain to find. The sign is out on Broad, and if you turn on Cox you will be right there, but if you miss Cox and turn into the Innsbrook area you might drive around awhile. Be diligent, keep looking, it is in the Innsbrook shooping center facing Cox.
The atmosphere in CAH is well done. Dark wood, a frozen rail for drinks on the bar. Three bars, two inside, one outside, and the bartenders will bring beers from either one. That can monopolize their time, but they seemed eager to oblige.
The food was excellent. The CAH provided some appetizers which was very nice and donated a beer to the BA cause on this visit, but we also went off the menu and the food was well done.
The selection is the best in town. Probably better than the other CAH location. Coolers behind the main bar are brimming with bottles and the taps, 75, are all quality ales and lagers. They only had two stouts on, but other than that nothing to complain about on selection, one could always go to the beer list and find something of interest. If you decide to hit the beer list, be sure to check the prices, some of the bottle prices can break the bank.
I'll be back, try and stop me...
Richmond BA Event.
07-25-2004 17:15:19 |
More by GCBrewingCo
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Part of Poitras/VA 2004 vacation...
As expected from BA reviews, my experiences were excellent.
Visit A, with wife, infant daughter, and another couple. Much quicker seating than the 20 minutes we were told the wait would be, which was a good start. Walkd through a mammoth bar area (actually two, one smoking, one non, and there's a patio bar somewhere that we didn't see). Had a very attentive waiter, who made a nice brew selection for one of our friends, and the food was excellent. Oh, and the beer wasn't bad either. The beer menu was, I don't know, 7 legal-sized pages, encompassing cask, draft, and bottled offerings. I was impressed that with this many offerings, they had all four of my choices available, with none of them being kicked. Had Brutal Bitter cask, Rogue Hazelnut Brown draft, 3Floyds Robert the Bruce draft, and Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock bottle for dessert.
Visit B consisted of me, myself, and I, occupying a lone seat at the long primary bar. Interesting chilled metal coaster tray on the bar, which I have not seen anywhere before. Only a short time for this visit, and enjoyed Victory All Malt Lager and Starr Hill Dark Starr. Even with scant customers at the bar, bartender was quick to re-up me with another brew.
Great place, wish there was a similar local, but I'll just have to tough it out with the 45 minute drive to The Moan & Dove in Amherst, MA. A must visit if in the Richmond, VA area.
07-08-2004 23:52:34 |
More by ppoitras
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Wow. Even better than the original Capital Ale House location. The main bar has a very nice display of craft beers. There are several Virginia 'locals' on display as well as other great Americans and Imports. The smaller bar has two cask engines, the day that I visited, they were pouring Brutal Bitter and Hop Devil... And the patio bar has about 8 taps of it's own.
The service was good, the staff had been educated on beer and were somewhat passionate about beer themselves. The Capital Ale Houses make their employees attend a 'Beer 101' that helps them learn about different styles and they allow them to taste some various beers that they serve.
The food was very good. I had a Maytag Blue Cheese Burger that I throughly enjoyed.
Definately a must stop whenever I visit Richmond for more beer!
06-11-2004 19:20:15 |
More by beerinator
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Found myself in the West End of Richmond this weekend, looking for lunch, bored with the choices and unnerved by the spectacle of the West End environment on a Saturday, and remembered the new Capital Ale House, which we promptly visited.
First, it's very easy to find and get to (the sign out front is bigger than Rhode Island), and the quality of food and beer, service, and selection are all excellent -- on par with their downtown location.
The atmosphere is different from downtown, and I frankly prefer downtown. The Innsbrook location has a much stronger feel of a restaurant. Once you get in one of the comfy booths, you really can't see very much at all around you -- and the bar seems more like something added on, rather than the mainstay that it is downtown. These are quibbles, though. It is comfortable and quiet, despite its size, and we in Richmond should feel incredibly grateful that we have not one, but two of these bits of beer heaven.
06-07-2004 16:27:03 |
More by Darkale
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Decided to visit this new place on my most recent trip to Richmond on a beer run. As soon as you enter the building I realized that this place is much nicer than any other fine beer establishment I have visited. The interior of the building is tastefully done. We sat at the inside smoking bar. They have 3 bars here, smoke free bar where their 2 casks are located, main smoking bar that is in front of most of the taps and the coolers where the bottles are stored, and then there is the wonderful outside bar.
I was very impressed with the quality and quantity of this place. As soon as I sat down I was handed a beer menu that is redone each week to stay up to date with their selection. I find it very satisfying that they take initiative to keep their beer lists up to date. Their menu also has a whats new section for all the newly added beers for quicker reference if you were able to visit more often. There are 50+ taps and 2 casks. They have no problem letting you sample a beer for a nominal charge. I am not quite sure of the number of bottles they offer but it was quite impressive from staring at them in the very large coolers they are stored in behind the bar. The only thing that anyone remarked about was that their beers seem to come off tap a bit too cold and it makes it tough for those impatient people.
The service was great. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and friendly.
I had a cheeseburger for lunch, thought it was very good. I was prepared in a timely manner.
When I am in the area I will be back there!
05-30-2004 16:10:38 |
More by Ninjaworm
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Visited May 1st, 2004
Tucked in a corporate office campus, surrounding by big ass buildings and the long horizontal sprawl of the suburbs, this place is BIG in every sense. The sign out front, saying Capital Ale House is bigger than most bars that I frequent at home in Philadelphia. The parking lot is bigger than the inner city block that I live on. And the inside, I think it comes up with a new definition of the word big, and a new spelling: C.A.H.
Slicker than a car salesman, this beer heaven is sleek, clean, and shiny, with nice wood everywhere, blue back-lighted glass framing the booths, and thin ceiling lights. Very modern and very corporatized chain-looking, but appealing to the masses but not bland, either it works. Sprawling lay out: dozens of big booths when you first walk in, a smoke-less bar to the right, a patio and bar way deep, another separate dining area of tables (not booths), and a spacious dart room with pretty new boards. Each has its own section, sorta cordoned off by doors, glass, or bi-levels, so you have to walk around to realize that this place goes on forever. Ive never been to a restaurant this large, let alone one that concentrates on beer. No TVs, no ads, no crap just a clean and simple décor that forces a focus on beer, food, and camaraderie. I wish more places would do that.
Beer: 70 taps, 2 casks, 200 bottles. The print-out sheet breaks the beers down into taps and bottles. There about 40 taps at the main bar, a nice piece of wood about 100 feet long with a built-in beer chiller. Behind it are cooler upon cooler of bottles, with stacks of cases hiding behind them. About dozen taps are at each of the other bars - the smoke-less and patio bar in this cavern. The beers, to sample a few, show multiple brews from each of these breweries: Abbaye des Rocs, Aecht Schlenkerla, Stone, Bear Republic, Allagash, Unibroue, Liefmans, Samuel Smiths, Avery, Moylans, Ayinger, Le Baladin, Legend, Starr Hill, Weihenstaphaner. Check the website for more, though I swear the list in house, and the ones I saw in the coolers, is much longer and better than what is listed on their website.
Because the place is enormous, the service staff is an army of at least 50. All in the well-known black tops with an embroidered CAH, they are quick, upbeat, and actually, amazingly, know a heck of a lot about the beers.
Prices are a little higher than expected, but youre paying the overhead on such an expansive selection. I had a cask St. Georges IPA that was great, though a day from heading south, while my lady had a delicious Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weisse. Maybe because its new, and probably also because theres no place else like it in Glen Allen, this place was packed to the gills when I visited, with maybe 300 patrons. Didnt try the food, but it looked like a moderately interesting take on upscale bar food.
RIDICULOUS. This place is flat out ridiculous. I wish them the best of luck, because it deserves an award or, better yet, a wildly successful future. I'm not sure I'll ever make it back to this great uber-bar.
05-04-2004 19:07:04 |
More by nomad
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Wow, just wow.
After months of patient anticipation the long awaited Capital Ale House at Innsbrook has finally arrived. But what can be said that hasn't been mentioned fellow BA and Richmonder OldFrothingSlosh. I must say I concur with every detail mentioned in his wonderfully written review and will at least try to reinforce this much deserved exaltation.
Those who have grown to know and love the Capital Ale House's downtown location can expect to find the same level of impeccable service, selection, and atmosphere at Innsbrook.
The wait staff and bartenders are attentive and courteous amongst a flurry of seemly confusing activity. It's impossible to become a beer expert overnight, but most of the new staff already know much and seemed eager to learn more about the multitude of beers available. In no time they'll speaking beerese fluently, putting even the proudest of beer geeks to shame.
The new digs are quite spacious and offer a variety of places to enjoy a nice meal or your favorite brew (or both!). A game room containing dart boards, a pool table, video games, and a newly added couch is great to relax or compete while reveling in beer bliss. The outdoor patio offers it's own little bar complete with 12 taps and is a wonderful place to enjoy our lovely southern summer evenings. Smoking and non-smoking bars plus a cozy side room with fireplace finish off this fine masterpiece.
The menu offers the same fine choices as the downtown location with nightly specials. I typically enjoy the Mexicali Chicken Salad at the downtown location and had the same here at Innsbrook. Right off the bat the food is on par with what I'd come to expect at the Capital Ale House. I snuck a taste or two of my wife's Espresso Torte that goes nicely with some Young's Double Chocolate Stout, lending to a doubly exquisite experience. You really can't go wrong eating here.
Last, but not least, are the extensive beer offerings. As mentioned, 75 taps and 200+ bottled beers. Let's just say that again, 75 taps and 200+ bottled beers. It's a veritable cornucopia of beer from all over the world able to bring even Ninkasi herself to the point of total beergasm.
The Capital Ale House has been a godsend to beer advocates in the Richmond area since day one. The Innsbrook location is no slouch and the perfect perpetuation of the vision shared by true lovers of beer. With something for just about everyone, I highly recommend the Capital Ale House at Innsbrook.
04-29-2004 21:19:22 |
More by DrewS
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Just when you thought great beer couldnt get any better in Richmond, the Capital Ale House Innsbrook location opens...
Atmosphere: CAH-Innsbrook is located in what used to be a Damons restaurant. The interior was completely gutted and built specifically for the Ale House. As you enter, the first thing that hits you is the size. Every single brewpub Ive been to before is dwarfed by the size of CAH-I. You are greeted by the hostess and asked where youd like to sit. CAH-I offers several seating options: smoking, non-smoking, and the patio bar. There is also a game room as well (with pool tables, dart lanes, and sofas). In the non-smoking bar there are about 6 full-sized booths and 20+ seats at the bar. Interestingly, the non-smoking area has a high-flow, fresh air ventilation system that works wonders to keep the area smoke-free. Directly behind the hostess area is the main bar and seating area. Many, many booths and a bar long enough to accommodate the taps. There is also a patio bar that was not open yet, but I foresee a spectacular Oktoberfest this fall in the Bier Garden.
The interior of the CAH-I is very similar to the downtown location, using the same paint color, lighting, ceiling color, and wood paneling that make CAH (and now CAH-I) such a warm and inviting place to meet. The pictures of the Richmond-themed post cards adorn the wall and a great mix of jazz and big band plays in the background (not too loud, but it really adds ambience). Like CAH, you will not see any TVs or Big 3 banners proclaiming that its time for Monday Night Football or that NASCAR is in town. This is a place for beer .GOOD beer. Warm and inviting wood all over the place. And you will be pleased to note that BOTH of the indoor bars have the signature ice rail that really adds a touch of class.
Much like CAH, CAH-I has daily specials that they run (see the website for a monthly list).
Even though CAH-I will seat 450+ people, the booths are high enough that you can still have an intimate dinner or meet with the gang at the bar. I didnt feel crowded at all.
Quality: Fresh. Bottled beers are kept in the huge refrigerator at the main bar and kegs are rotated quickly. Ive never had a bad beer at CAH and I dont expect to be disappointed at CAH-I.
Service: Its obvious that the owners pride themselves on a staff that is very well-educated in beer knowledge and Im sure this will continue at CAH-I. Staff are professionally-dressed, with signature black CAH-embroidered shirts. It was really busy and I wasnt able to talk to the server about the beer selection, but she quickly rattled off the Steal the Glass options and a brief description of what each beer was. Service was quick, given the hustle and bustle, and Liz came by several times to check on me.
Selection: Here are the stats on the CAH-I location:
Main bar: 51 taps
Non-smoking bar: 12 taps
Patio bar: 12 taps
Plus two cask-conditioned offerings
200+ bottled beer selections
Go ahead and drool. Its OK.
The beer list is more like a book. I think it was 12 double-sided pages of legal (11 x 17) paper. The beer menu lists the cask-conditioned offerings first, followed by the main bar, the non-smoking bar, the patio bar, the Coming Attractions, and finishes with the bottled selections. Every beer served, be it in bottles or draft, has a description, the ABV, and price. Draft beers are listed alphabetically by brewer for easy reading. In the bottled beer section, beers are listed by style (with descriptions), which really helps to get a feel for which IPA or stout you want to try.
Prices are similar to CAH. 14 oz glasses run anywhere from $3.25 to $4.75 and $4.50 to $6.50 for the 23 oz. sizes. Bigger ABV beers or rarer beers are served in 10 oz glasses and are slightly higher-priced. If you are unsure of a selection, ask for a sample for $0.25.
Food: Great menu. 3 pages of diversity, starting with the appetizers and salads on the left side, burgers and wraps in the middle, and the entrées on the right. I love the menu in that theres not really anything that would be considered pub fare or standard anywhere to be found. Everything is different but each item appeals to you. There is lamb, several varieties of fish, Angus beef, different wraps and burgers, and a slew of salad choices that will encourage a different selection each time (side note: no more pizza).
Notes: As you can see, I am really partial to the Ale Houses. They offer, without question, one of the best beer experiences you will have in this region of the U.S. I had the pleasure of having dinner with Mike and Linda and they clearly have a passion for good beer. Its evident in the way they talk about how the Ale Houses came into being and what they envision the ideal world of beer to be that their mission is to provide us Richmondites with a beer experience that will be tough to surpass. I cannot recommend either of these places highly enough.
04-28-2004 16:25:21 |
More by OldFrothingSlosh
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Capital Ale House in Glen Allen, VA