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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Capital Ale House

Not Rated.
Capital Ale HouseCapital Ale House
BA SCORE
96
world-class

87 Reviews
Reviews: 87
Visits: 116
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: n/a
Taps: 48
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

623 E Main St
Richmond, Virginia, 23219-2405
United States
phone: (804) 780-2537

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: JAGMAN

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Visits: 116
Reviews by ToasterChef:
Photo of ToasterChef
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

While on a 7 hour drive, I was traveling through Richmond at lunchtime, so my wife and I drove downtown to check out this bar. We were both very impressed. We ended up staying for two hours and delayed our arrival time to our destination, but it was worth it. The place is very easy to find and were able to park on the street right in front of the bar at lunch time on a Monday. [Once we left, we saw signs for parking; it appears they have their own lot behind the building]

It was pretty empty when we got there and it took the hostess awhile to seat us (all we wanted to do was go to the bar), but that was the single black mark on our visit.

It was dark and cool inside, a great relief after being in the car for a number of hours. The bar has a strip of frosty, cooled metal on it, so you can rest your beer there and keep it chilled. It was gimmicky, but very effective. I liked it. The bathrooms were quite impressive; not dirty or covered in graffiti like a lot of places. The sinks have pebbles in them; it looks quite upscale.

The beer selection was great, especially for an out-of-stater like myself. Nearly everything there, on draft and it bottles, is unavailable in Maine. The bartender was very helpful, offering suggestions and complementing us when selected things before she could even recommend them.

We weren't too hungry, so was asked if we could split a sandwich from the menu. Not only was that allowed, but the chef cut the sandwich in two, put half on each plate and gave each of us a full order of fries. I was very impressed with this.

I wish this place was closer, as I have no idea when I'll get back to visit again, but I certainly want to. I recommend stopping in even if you are jsut driving through town on 95, it is well worth your time. (1,777 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Cobratrooper
3.61/5  rDev -16.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

I use to love this place a few years ago. Now that Richmond has many many craft bar options this place has failed to evolve. The music hall part is nice, just not a lot of bands you really want to see come. Lots of taps but normally the same beers on tap that every other bar in Richmond has. Turn over on the beers also seems hit or miss. Price on the beer has typical bar mark up, you get a discount for buying bottles to go however. Food is ok. Service is hit or miss. (472 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

10 years ago I'd probably have given this place 5/5 but plenty of spots like this exist now.

Beer selection wins out over everything else here. The bottle list is beyond extensive and there are plenty of fantastic options on tap. They have high end favorites, great local/regional options and they put plenty of the less than easy to come by items on the menu, stuff like 120 pops up regularly. Prices are fair.

It feels like a typical bar - no frills in a good way, but nothing to write home about.

Food to me is a bit of a drawback - it's fine but the quality could step up just a touch. Sandwiches fries and all are fine but nothing special.

It is a great local chain and one to hit up if you're looking for a place to kill some time before walking to The National or something. (793 characters)

Photo of Waltbabylove
4.76/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great local brews, all your faves, plus some gems. (50 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Just visited earlier today with Da Boss.

Vibe was good, fairly empty on a late Thursday afternoon. Good tunes being played, zydeco, blues provided a nice atmosphere.

Quality of the beer and food was good. There were a lot of top notch world classics here to go with solid regional beers.

Service was solid, not too tough with a small crowd to deal with.

Selection was pretty top notch as there were 40-60 draft brews to pick from and mayb 100 bottle selections.

Food was very good, I had the gyro burger which was unique but very good and Da Boss had the fish tacos that were solid.

Overall somewhat expensive beer wise but the "mid-major" dishes were reasonably priced. Definitely would go back again. (712 characters)

Photo of VeganUndead
3.71/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of jzeilinger
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of EJXL
3.76/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of uvachief
3.95/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Capital Ale has a great selection and variety of beers at most places. The food is very good as well. The atmosphere can be great and some places even have live music. Sounds perfect right? Well..not so fast. My biggest gripe with this chain has always been service. I use to work across the street from the one in downtown Richmond. Clients wanted to go to lunch there. We could never get in and out in under 90 minutes and it was usually a lot closer to 2 hours. Service at night wasn't much better. The bar can be extremely crowded and the beertenders can get overwhelmed. Most are very knowledgeable. They have a 1/2 price growler night. Well worth trying but bring your patience when you go. (708 characters)

Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Rothobinide
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of dwoolley1
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of everlong353
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of LeeEvolved
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Tamigleo
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Liverocks
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Zimm
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of papajohn56
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of abrodsky
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of JFear
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of zp6167a
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Eric03101
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of joegard
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA
96 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.