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> Richmond, VA - Capital Ale House, Restaurant & Beer Bar
Capital Ale House
Rate the Capital Ale House
10 - Excellent [ 2 ] ** [50.00%]
9 [ 1 ] ** [25.00%]
8 [ 1 ] ** [25.00%]
7 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
6 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
5 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
4 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
3 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
2 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
1 - Awful [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 4
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Promega
post Jun 11 2008, 01:10 PM
Post #1


Stewart
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Joined: 18-February 08
Member No.: 11,393



This review regards the entire Capital Ale House entity with primary focus on the downtown and Innsbrook restaurants/bars, the Midlothian location very recently opened its doors. Currently, there are three locations in the Richmond Metro Area: the original at 623 Main St. downtown Richmond; another in the West End at 4024-A Cox Road, Glen Allen (Innsbrook); and the newest South of Richmond at 13831 Village Place Drive, Midlothian. Parking is never an issue even downtown where an agreement exists allowing patrons to use an adjacent multi-story garage free of charge after 4pm during the week and any time on weekends. Reservations usually are not needed and wait times rarely exceed 10 minutes (a lot of seating)

Atmosphere:
There is a relaxed, mature feel with dark hardwood floors, paneling, seats and earthy painted walls at all establishments. Lighting is generally low and music soft (Sinatra-esque) except when local, generally classic rock bands are hosted - regularly in the evenings and on weekends - though a conversational din mostly predominates these large beer halls. Innsbrook and Downtown have outdoor beer gardens, with the downtown version also having a grill and cook on hand to order a meal on site. Capital Ale House generally caters to the working crowd, particularly at the Innsbrook location with a nearby business park.

Service:

All servers should know the very long beer list, you can usually tell when you have a new one, but this does not take away from their prompt care of your needs. You are never rushed to get started or leave unless you are causing a problem (indeed they want you there sampling their beers and food). If you have trouble selecting a beer there is an army of staff ready to provide suggestions based on tastes. Food is out in a timely manner consistent with sit-down restaurants, and as soon as pint is emptied you are asked what you would like next.

Beer Selection:
Encyclopedic! There are always at least 250 bottled beers available and sometimes ~300. Their beer menus are updated every week rotating in some new selections. There are 46, 77 and 80 beers on tap at the Downtown, Innsbrook and Midlothian locations respectively, and each has 2 cask conditioned ales. A new beer (sometimes several) of the week is (are) regularly chosen for feature and every Tuesday evening aster 5pm is a steal-the-glass night when for every featured beer you drink you get to keep the brewery specialty glass. Beer 101 classes are offered where for a flat rate you can have a tasting of more than your fill of selected brews and learn more about each. Occasionally this class will feature selections that are not normally available such as the oyster stouts that were included in the stout class.

Food:
German and Belgian fare. Entrees and appetizers are pricey and probably not the quality most would expect. Salads, sandwiches and burgers are well-priced for what you get at $7-$10. Several different styles of mussels are offered at a fair price and these folks prepare them nicely. Sunday mornings and afternoons a brunch is offered that is among the most expensive in the area, but tasty.

Summary:
If you are ever passing through Richmond and you appreciate beer your life would not be complete without a stop at the Capital Ale House. Experiences are similar at each location as the staff are all equally trained and frequently rotated. Every evening during the week there is some special available. All Sunday several pages of their menu go down to a flat $2/$3 per pint depending on the brewery. I try to get to one of the Capital Ale Houses at least once a week - usually for the steal-the-glass, or to unwind on a Saturday evening. This is an excellent place to relax and drink beer that would otherwise be difficult and more expensive to get.
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realbeerguy
post Jun 12 2008, 06:51 AM
Post #2


Brewer
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When I travel I-95 back up to NJ, I always plant to spend the night in Glen Allen next to the Innsbruck location.

Like the chilled strip in the bar to keep your beer from warming.
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Guest_Vagus_*
post Aug 25 2008, 02:01 PM
Post #3





Guests






Definitely like this place. 5-8$ will get you a large draught of about 60% of their beer selection. Really nice considering you spend 5$ for a bud light at some other bars. Recently had some cask conditioned Storm King Stout there. Man it was good. That ran me 6$. There are also cheaper selections and... expensive selections depending on your wallet. I encourage none of you to visit this hell hole though because I dont want to have to wait in some line for mah 'rink.
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Promega
post Sep 24 2008, 06:07 PM
Post #4


Stewart
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Joined: 18-February 08
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Just wanted to comment that if you're in it for the eating too, the quality of the burger dishes downtown have recently taken a very noticeable decline. Literally they hand you a quarter-pounder (not cooked to order last couple of times) between two pieces of cold, moist Wonderbread with 5 "frittes."

the beer selection and pricing are still phenomenal - just a warning about the <$10, right-hand portion of their food menu.
Can't say about the other locations: still haven't been to Midlothian and it's been a while since Innsbrook, but I do know that there used to be major differences in the preparation and quality of the same dishes between Innsbrook and Downtown.
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Promega
post Nov 3 2008, 01:42 PM
Post #5


Stewart
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Joined: 18-February 08
Member No.: 11,393



A Fredericksburg, VA location was recently opened at 917 Caroline Street.
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