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Capital Ale House

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

28 Ratings
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.05%
Taps: 62
Bottles: 300
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

917 Caroline St
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22401-5807
United States
phone: (540) 371-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Rachale on 12-08-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gcw_beer_drinker
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%

gcw_beer_drinker, Today at 12:26 AM
Photo of megmcksgroi
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

megmcksgroi, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of bcgeiman
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

bcgeiman, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of cbradio
3/5  rDev -28.6%

cbradio, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of pyrotechno
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

pyrotechno, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Everytime I end up going to Fredericksburg, this is usually the place I stop to eat dinner at - and for good reason.

The atmosphere is simple yet attractive. Nothing to stand out, but nothing to make you wary, either. Very good cleanliness throughout. Our server, Chris, was pretty attentive, but seemed to take a bit long to bring out drinks for us.

I liked the beer selection, and even noticed a few hidden gems (Sinebrychoff Porter, Boulevard Saison-Brett) among them. There are plenty of local VA brews, too. This go around, I stuck with a couple of anniversary brews (Great Divide 19th, and Great Lakes 25th), and both were quite tasty.

Wasn't so impressed with the fish and chips I got: the fries were good, and so was the cilantro lime cole slaw, but the batter seemed overly greasy without much other flavor. The portion seemed a bit small for the price, too. On the other hand, I really enjoyed their steamed mussels.

Otherwise, there isn't much to complain about, except MAYBE the value. I'll gladly return here, though. Note to self: get something other than the fish and chips next time.

ThisWangsChung, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of tbeckett
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

Visited here during a long drive home from Florida.

Capital Ale House is a nice, dark, and large restaurant catering to craft beer fans in the town. The feel leaned more towards a restaurant, but there's nothing wrong with that. Long bar, tons of taps, lot's of booths too. Nothing to write home about, but nice.

Everything on tap was fine and nothing was wrong with the food. No complaints in this department.

Service was great. Asked tons of questions about local beers, all of which were answered knowledgably by our server. When asking about take away bottles, he was able to point me in the right direction and get feedback on things he hadn't tried. Service was quick and friendly too. Great stuff.

Selection was pretty great with tons of taps including lot's of locals, more recognizable craft like Stone, and lot's of imports too. Really impressive tap lineup that covered just about every style as well. I ended up getting the Dark Hallow imperial stout b/c I enjoyed it on tap, and a 2002 bottle of Thomas Hardy's Ale as takeaways.

Food was decent. Had an Asian salad of some sort. No complaints, but nothing to rave about. It was pretty tasty.

Enjoyed my time at Capital Ale House. Friendly and helpful people combined with a great selection and reasonable prices.

tbeckett, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

The wife and I hit this place after a day of seeing the battlefield and doing more than a bit of antique shopping. However, we've been here many times and the experience has always been the same.

READ ON...

Atmosphere: It's in the perfect location to quench that post-antique store shopping thirst. Located right in the heart of Fredericksburg, this place has a really long bar area, with an ice strip to cool your beer to boot. Gotta love that!

Quality: Sure, the amazing tap list is great, but the food always surprises me. Clean place, clean tap lines, great beer selection, killer location, and excellent food.

Service: I've always been able to see quality training in every employee who has ever waited on me (us). Lots of knowledge all around about the beer and food.

Selection: The thing I like most is that I don't have to squint to see the beer taps. I can merely get out of my seat and walk over and see them up close and personal. This is part of the layout of the bar: The taps aren't lined up behind the counter, but behind a wall to the left hand side of the bar (facing the coolers). Don't ask, just go see it.

Food: Always absolutely fantastic. Folks, even if you don't like beer, please eat here. I can't imagine a restaurant in the area being better. I especially like the massive cheese and sausage appetizer. Sure, it's $20, but it feeds a multitude! I ordered the Mac and Cheese the last time I went. Yum!

Value: The wife and I spent WAY too much the last time we went, but it was a long day of shopping: Exhausting for here, boring for me. It was our own damn fault.

My highest recommendation in the Fredericksburg area!

Chaney, May 14, 2013
Photo of Sludgeman
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Visited for lunch on St. Patricks day with the family.

A - Friendly, clean, open, well lit. Great for kids. Lots of bar space. Big six person booths. A lounge-like area in the back with darts. Not sure what else you could ask for in a place that serves great beer.

Q - No issues. Beer was served in the correct glasses.

S - Service was fine. Server was there when we needed him. Polite. He knew the menu. Answered my wifes question when she asked for the lightest draft on tap (no BMC on tap).

S - Nice broad selection. Not much for Farmhouse/Saison styles. Nothing too rare. Majority were regional brews. Very please though. Something for everyone.

F - Food was great. Was served quickly. Kids liked their food (very important). The menu was a step or two above pub food, which is perfect for a craft beer joint.

O - Very pleased. The craft beer place to go to in Fredricksburg. I will keep it in mind the next time I'm driving from Nova to Richmond and Rt. 95 and Rt. 1 are parking lots. A great place to stop when passing by.

Sludgeman, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of speedvagen
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

the reasonable rating overall is for the food....the beer, while an amazing selection, is definitely a bit overpriced. the bottle list was really good (300+), as was the draft list. had an excellent douchesse flanders red, oak aged rauchbier on tap!

the burgers were amazing! perfectly cooked, tasty. belgian style fries were perfectly crunchy...

service was a bit slow, but they were pretty busy on a sat. night. some parts of the restaurant were waaay too loud though.

overall, my new fav restaurant in VA.

speedvagen, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of ZachKelly
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Love this bar. Great food and events. Oktoberfest every year is amazing.

The beer selection is out of this world, it is always changing and they have a wide range of styles. The beer prices are high, sometimes way too high ( as much as $10 or more for a 16 oz. glass ), but the food is pretty fairly priced. Some of the beers are rare and go way too quickly.

Great atmosphere in the bar area with all the different taps and tap handles, plus the seemingly mile long fridge behind the bar.

Always love steal the glass and dollar burger nights.

ZachKelly, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of dhabersetzer
4.45/5  rDev +6%

Capital Ale House is the bar I most frequent in Fredericksburg. The tap list changes about once a week, always with plenty of variety and quality brews. The only macrobrew on tap at any one time is Guinness. The bottles can get a bit expensive, but the drafts are overall well-priced. They have some sort of special for every day of the week, with my favorite being American Micro Day, every saturday before 7pm, with most drafts, at $2.50. They carry everything from Rogue and Founder's to DFH and Lagunitas. Any beer you could possibly want (within regional limits) exists or will exist at this bar at some point.

The food is quite good, the burgers are fantastic, the soft pretzels are (most often) delicious, and the frites are plenty. They have seafood and prime rib specials that are a bit above my budget. I'm just there because of their motto: "Let no one thirst for a fine ale."

The service is quite variant from server to server and bartender to bartender, I've had some of the best and worst service from this bar. Some have tried every beer in the house and give some phenomenal recommendations and help you through the menu, and others are just trying to get their shift over with.

Overall it is an absolute must if you are in the Fredericksburg Area.

dhabersetzer, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of ErikTheRed
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Sixty beers on tap with a number of bottled beers available as well.

This establishment was quite large and spread out. Going on a Saturday night a bit of a wait for a table was expected and was not unreasonable.

Upper dining area's acoustics had that perpetual din of voices you often experience at most busy pubs. We were fortunately seated in the basement dining area which appeared to be the overflow. With less tables and far less patrons it was definitely much better suited to a quiet dinner conversation.

Servers were attentive and the food was well done. If you're ever in this area I would highly recommend this place.

ErikTheRed, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of nandemo1
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%

I've had lots of good experiences at the Richmond Cap Ale locations, but my one trip to F-burg was sub-par service-wise.

We rolled in on July 4 to grab a couple of beers, and maybe a burger, on our way back from DC. Wasn't too crowded but we stood at the bar and placed our order with the bartender. My buddy ordered a draught costing $5 for a 10oz, bartender immediately came back and said they were out but it was available in a bomber. Knowing the bomber ran $6 at the shop, we figured it would most likely be around $12, but no more than the $17.50 growler for said beer. Unfortunately bartender did not mention that there was some crazy price differential on this beer and that the bomber was $33. Called a manager after bartender set down the tab and she explained that their distributor wouldn't give them reasonable pricing on this bomber and the price was appropriate given Cap Ale's usual markup. Manager said the best she could do was a 25% discount on that beer to compensate for the bartender not telling us the price differential.

We bugged out after that, skipping a second round and food. I still think something fishy is going on with this one and an e-mail has been sent to management to get an explanation. Somebody had to have made a mistake when pricing this one. If there is that much of a price difference between the draught and bottle on a reasonably well distributed beer, the bottle shouldn't even be available.

Again, I love Cap Ale and what they've done for making good beer available in Central Virginia, but you still need to check the menu or ask prior to ordering or you might get a surprise.

nandemo1, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%

Narrow, vast space that was filled, but not crowded on a Monday night. Claims to have 60 taps, many of which are actually craft beers. Quite a few imports. Growlers apparently available of nearly everything. Prices are $3.50 to $5.00 for nearly all of the 10 oz pours. $6.75 to $8.50 for the large beers.

Lots of Colorado beers (Breckenridge, Great Divide, Left Hand) as well as California (Lagunitas, Boont, Anderson). Plenty of brews from up and down the east coast. Virginia brews include Port City, Blue and Gray, St. George, Legend, Starr Hill, etc.). Plus zilliions of bottles in big display cases.

Food is the usual pub selection. Ranges from Monday two dollar burgers, which look sensational, to the astoundingly priced pretzel, cheese, and sausage plate for 20$.

Right downtown, walk from the Virginia Rail station. Not too noisy considering the crowd. Great selection. Service is "on demand." They have Keep the Glass night Tuesdays and a local beer night with nice prices.

mactrail, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of Hoops4life511
4.83/5  rDev +15%

Not stuffy at all but still pretty modern, you walk in to find a seemingly endless bar capped by a ton of great taps and backed by cooler after cooler of bottled beer. Beer menu is divided by draft and bottle, and each of those is sorted by style. Some nice finds I wouldn't normally get to try in NJ included Bell's batch 9000 and 10000 and some cool things on tap, Delerium Nocturnum, St. Bernardus 12 and others. Nothing blew my mind, but there were plenty of solid beers to occupy my taste buds. Six of us attended, three guys looking for beer and three girls who could not be more disinterested in beer, but this was not a problem. Food menu was fantastic and the mixed drinks for the girls were creative and quite tasty. Service was impeccable. My first round was at the bar where the bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, efficient and talented. We were then seated where our server, Nick, was beyond helpful. I may have gotten lucky, but his knowledge of the beers was fairly impressive. An evening full of several appetizers and various samples of beers seemed great. When the check came, it was nearly half of what I would have guessed it to be. Value was through the roof for the experience I received. I have zero complaints

Hoops4life511, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%

Located right in historic Frederksburg downtown with parking off of Sophia Street behind. The Capital Ale House is a very long and narrow establishment with three distinct rooms. Typical Capital Ale House setup. We sat at the bar area the first time we were there. The menu boasts an extensive beer list on both draft and bottle. Prices seem reasonable, about $1 to $2 mark-up. Tons of local beer offerings via tap (looked like about 40 to 50 on tap). Very friendly staff. Burger was pretty decent. My wife had a german pretzel. Not too shabby. Neat basement cellar. Nice couches, dart board, and I think pool table too on the first floor.

Overall, can be pricy but you may find a value too. Best beer bar in Fredericksburg.

CuriousMonk, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of jgasparine
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%

Went here on a Saturday afternoon, which inadvertently put us in their best Happy Hour... nearly all Domestic Craft Brew Draughts were $2 to $3 for 12oz.+ pours!! What a deal!! I was with 3 other friends, and our bill came to $32 for the four of us with pint-after-pint of great brew!

Atmosphere- A little modern and swanky for my taste, but the atmosphere was still nice. Lots of seating options, it never got too loud... and I generally felt as if most other patrons were there for good beer too.

Quality- Outstanding quality. The beer menu is comprehensively laid-out by style, with helpful descriptions. All glassware was clean, and apparently the draught lines too. Generally, the high quality shown through in nearly every aspect of this establishment.

Service- Prompt service by a table waitress that really knew her stuff. She was educated enough to even help one person in our party make selections off the menu, based on our friends' tastes... even after the place really started to get busy, our service was still quite good.

Selection- A killer selection of draughts and bottles. While they advertised Real Ale, their firkin was kicked while we were there. The only think that keeps this place from getting a '5' in Selection is their comparison to Max's in Baltimore which delivers the same quality selection, but just in larger quantities...

Value- During the Saturday Happy Hour, the pricing is TREMENDOUSLY cheap. Outside the Happy Hour, the pricing is a touch on the expensive side. Accordingly, I've balanced out my Value score at "Reasonable".

jgasparine, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of socon67
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%

I was here with my Dad who lived nearby. It is right in the "olde town" area. The place during a weekday at lunch time was kinda slow. Not much going on. The waiter was trainig a young girl when he served us. He knew a great deal about the beer.

They had a monstrous selection of 400 bottle plus a ton of taps, including Brew Dog Paradox. I also got a free sample of the Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken Stout. Beer was served in the correct glasses, and to top it off the manager gave me Mapquest directions tot he Blue & Grey Brewery.

Nice touch with the iced up track along the bar. I'd recommend the place, mainly because it is a nice find in an unlikely place.

socon67, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev 0%

Found this place from reading BA reviews. The atmosphere seems a bit sterile and leaves a little to be desired as there is way too much dead space and it's almost like the bar is too big for itself. It's nice looking, and the ambiance is alright, but I would like it a little more friendly or cozy.

I spoke with a couple of people there, one server was exceptionally knowledgable and once he figured out what I was into he was able to recommend some great local brews. A female server basically had no clue and served me garbage recommendations, but I don't expect people to be huge beer dorks even if they're serving.

The selection is nuts, 60 taps and 400 bottles. The have a groovy cellar you can go drink in if you want and stare at the bottles, although you can't go in and see them up close. You can buy their bottled beer to go and take it at a 25% discount.

The food was very solid, with a nice selection and variety. Everything was fairly pricy, although on Saturday they have a number of domestic drafts for $2, $3, and $5 which is a pretty good deal if you're used to Chicago prices. With all the taps, there is plenty of stuff to try at those prices.

The great selection made me go back the next day, if only it were cheaper, would be almost perfect.

AgentZero, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%

First off, let's get this straight. I'm from this town and every time I come back to visit, I make this stop. It's the only good beer bar and they have plenty of taps and a decent selection, as well as a nice bottle list. However, the prices are nearly double what they should be, the bottles are all double retail cost and the draught selections, while not subject to as extreme gouging, are still quite expensive. Yes, I would like the Maharajah on tap. No, I'm not happy about paying $7 for a 12 oz pour. No, not when I can get Consecration in WA for $4.50 an 8 oz pour.
But it is unfair to compare such things when you're talking about an historical town with no beer culture. There is a brewery, sure. But every time I'm there they seem to offer little more than their standard fare. Boring! For where it is in the beer map of this country, though, I am slightly pleased. The service is usually good, the bartenders somewhat knowledgeable. The food is pretty good, though expensive and the selection fairly extensive, especially for the area.
The atmosphere is a different animal. Maybe it's cause I grew up here or maybe I just need to stop going here on Friday or Saturday nights. But it is the "hip" spot for the young'uns of professional pedigree who travel hours to work every morning. Maybe I should just be grateful that some of these people aren't drinking tequila and are enjoying a Starr Hill Jomo Lager. Beer love is being spread. It just ain't my scene. Lose the popped collar, or throw two more shirts on and pop em all. Fuck this in-between bullshit. Either you're in to win it, or spectate only please.

olympuszymurgus, May 17, 2010
Photo of jjboesen
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%

Perfectly situated amid Fredericksburg's 40-block historic district behind an unassuming storefront, there is veritable Beervana. Entering the plain wooden door, you come into the long main area on your right, sweeping towards the rear is the imposing concrete bar, behind which are several tempting coolers. There are several wooden booths along the opposite wall. There is another, more intimate dining area beyond this. The room in the back, adjacent to the ever-busy kitchen appears to be a game room furnished with dart boards and big, comfy lounge chairs.

The superlative beer menu contains sixty drafts and countless bottles (including plenty of bombers); it lists beers by style, and includes pithy descriptions along with the a.b.v. Beers are offered in large and small and priced accordingly. This 12-page wonder is printed each Friday, the day in which a selected firkin is tapped - and consumed. Needless to say, freshness is the coin of the realm at Capital Ale House.

I also think the service to be exceptional. The bartender (Brad) was very knowledgeable about the beers and rather exuberant in the way that we thirsty visitors were kept content. In fact, the entire staff seemed to enjoy being there. The food, while not outstanding, was fresh, tasty and proportional. This is a highly recommended place in a lovely little town.

jjboesen, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

Love this place. Located in a great section of downtown Fredericksburg, Capital Alehouse is the only bar in town to go to if you want a large selection of brews. I think it has around 60 on tap at all times, with another ton by the bottle.

They always have a good selection of styles, as well as beers from a number of countries at all times. While the beers can get a bit pricey, there are some values on the menu if you look closely. Definitely best suited for someone who is willing to drop some dough on a beer they are very excited to try. I will say that after going there a while it is easy to get tired of their selection. They have a ton of different options, but they tend to stick to fairly safe beers as far as craft beer drinkers are concerned and don't seem to put too much effort into getting rare domestics.

Most of the food is quite good, with a few of the items only ok. A favorite of mine is the wings, which are some of the best wings I've had. The burgers are also solid, although unless you make a point of drilling your doneness preference into the head of your server it will ten to come out overdone (in my opinion, but I like a true medium rare burger.)

If you go in not paying attention to deals or daily specials, the place can get a bit pricey. Burgers run around $8, entrees are usually $20 to $25, and a lot of the appetizers are around $10. A typical sitting of menu priced items should run you about $50 if you get two large beers, an appetizer, and an entree.

However, if you are smart about wht you order and pay attention to the daily specials, it can be quite reasonable. Monday is dollar burger night, tuesday is steal the glass night (usually $5 or $6 for a pint and a glass to take home from the highlighted brewery of the night,) and either wednesday or thursday is buy one get one free wing night (a favorite of mine.) Also, Sunday is a great day to visit as they have some awesome deals on a number of domestic brews.

Overall, a great beer bar.

HURTemHIZZY, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of madtrixter787
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%

The only real beer bar in fredericksburg. They have 60 taps and rotate a lot of the beers every week. You can always go in on Monday for $1 burgers and try some kind of new beer. And if you miss that, Tuesdays always feature a different brewery for which they have the glassware from, and, if you get one of that breweries beers, you keep the glass. The atmosphere is nice if it isn't too crowded, but if it is, just get yourself a beer and head down to the beer cellar which is always empty and a nice place to enjoy a beer and good company. The food has a european theme to correspond with a lot of the beer styles but can be a bit pricy. However, for the amount of rotating and limited release beers they bring in, the price for beer is quite reasonable.

madtrixter787, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of mcann2pu
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

The best part about this bar is the huge selection of beers they have at any given time, a quick look through their beer menu shows their 60+ taps for beer on draft and a good bottle selection, so they always have something that you probably want to try. They also make sure to rotate the craft beer selection, so there is always something new for the return customers. They have a decent selection of different glasses and will bring you your selected beer with roughly the right glass to consume it out of. Their food is somewhat pricy and is of a questionable quality depending on what you get. I have had great food here, and I have had some bad selections too, so be advised.

mcann2pu, Nov 05, 2009
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Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg, VA
93 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.