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Capitol City Brewing

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Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

301 S Light St
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202-1037
United States

(410) 539-7468

// CLOSED //

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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
4/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited this spot after an Orioles game during a bachelor party. There were 8 of us and we were seated quickly in a large booth right inside the door. There is a great view of the harbor from pretty much any seat in the house. Other than that the decor is exposed metal ductwork and industrial themed set up. There are several table chair setups and booths then a large rectangular bar with about 25 stools around. Also a pool table or two near the bathrooms. Fermenters are clearly visible so you know they brew their own.
Beer choices were pretty good with about 8 house beers. Didnt even ask about guest brews. I had a few glasses of the kolsch to go with my dinner of pulled pork sandwich, which was Very Good!
The food is pub grub with some seafood mixed in and everyone should be able to find something they like.
This is a solid stop if in town for a game or a visit to the national aquarium with the family.
This is a solid brewpub with good beers and tasty food check it out!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cdmastro
2.66/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2

We stopped in to cool off with a brew on a hot afternoon. Modern, Industrial decor with a good vier of the water. The bar was nearly empty as was the chalkboard of available beers. Onle 3 with 2 more to be offered "In about an hour". We both had a Pale Rider Ale ([email protected]). Based on the name and description, we were expecting a pale ale. It turned out to be a caramel colored IPA. Fortunately, we both like IPAs and found the beer to be OK. We lingered a bit because the Sox/O's game was on, but there wasn't much else tempting about the place.

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Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Stopped for lunch on a weekend with the family. The Baltimore location is in the Light Street Pavillion on the inner harbor, on the second floor. It does feature outdoor seating, although given the heat this day we opted for indoors.

The inside is much like a converted warehouse, and seating is somewhat comfortable. Copper tanks dominate the inside and the bar goes around them.

The hostess made sure we were comfortable, and the waitress was excited to tell us all about the beers (expressing with excitement that she could actually "do her job" when we mentioned we hadn't been there before). Drinks and food were served promptly and well.

The quality of the service offset the relatively constrained selection. Offered that day were a Kolsch, an English style pale ale, an American-style amber/pale ale, and the Fuel imperial stout. The hefeweizen, the seasonal beer for the summer, was out that day. However, the Fuel was a very impressive imperial stout with little indication of its high alcohol content. All the beer was served at the appropriate temperature, and between this and the service I got the impression that the establishment knew its beer even though the selection was fairly concentrated.

Food was standard pub fare but again served very well. My pulled pork sandwich was enjoyable (although I would have done better to pair it with the American or English pale ale rather than the impy, my fault), and the crab cake sandwich represented Maryland well.

All in all an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.14/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Located right on the harbor (which is just south of downtown Baltimore) this slightly hidden brewpub is among small shops and diners. It's located in a miniature mall type building, with shops and restaurants. Outside seats give a view of the harbor.

I grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered the Pale Ale, which was pretty good. They also offer a beer called Fuel, which is an 11% imperial stout mixed with a bit of coffee. It's served in a 10oz goblet.

The area is set up like most bar/restaurants, however there are brewing tanks behind the bar. Also, there is a chalkboard which showcases which beers are available, when they were brewed, when they were first poured, and a bit of additional information.

I was glad I found this little brewpub. I was suprised to find one in this area. Don't be intimidated by its commercial location, its a brewpub like any other, with great and unique beers to go along with it.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This brewpub is just one location of CCBC, which is based in Washington, DC. However, each site has its own brewer who is free to make whatever craft beer serves his or her whim. During my most recent visit, they had on tap an incredibly filling Imperial Stout called Fuel, which was served in a 10 ounce goblet.

One advantage of the Baltimore CCBC is that it is located in Harborplace’s Light Street Pavilion and overlooks the world-famous Inner Harbor. Even if you don’t appreciate the beer, there’s still the great view – with terrace seating in the warmer months. The interior is airy, yet rather industrial looking (after all, it is a beer factory), with a large horseshoe bar amid tables. Overlooking it all are the copper tanks where the beer comes to life.

I have been here on several occasions and the service has always been efficiently carried out by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Besides Baltimore, Capitol City Brewing has two locations in Washington DC, and one in suburban Arlington, Virginia. I understand that this location will be closing or relocating.

UPDATE (October 2007): It is closed!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

"Move those chains!" was the chant that rung in my ears following the Steelers' loss down in Balto two weeks previously, so where was I? Right back in the saddle, at the bar.

My friend, Greg, and I had a disagreement regarding this place's construction. It is on the second floor of the Light Street Pavillion, but it does not have a public-accessible second floor. Up there were the FVs, but even I could not broach the guards.

The layout was a "U"-shaped fishbowl with a lot of glass windows overlooking BAL's Inner Harbor. The bar was an oval-shaped, copper-topped affair that put me in mind of a racetrack (Hello, Pimlico?), ringed by swivelling stools right out of Pops' Chocklit Shoppe. To the right of the bar were a short bank of booth seats. The windows were lined with standard table and chairs. The washrooms were aft of the bar, between a public phone and a cigarette machine.

The Serving Vessels were copper-jacketed and ran the length of the booths that I mentioned earlier. Above the SVs, on the dreaded second floor, was a board labelled ""Brewmaster's Production Schedule", and was broken down by "Name", "Brew Date", "1st Pour", "Taste" and "In" 'n' "Out". Behind the SVs was the kitchen and to the right (facing) of the kitchen was a series of flanking booths abbreviated on the left side (facing) by the stairs to the second floor.

Headed all of the way to the front, facing the Light Street Mall, the m.d.s. was just inside on the right (facing) and the brewhouse was fully visible on the left.

As to their beers: The Kolsch was a little weaker than usual; Pale Rider was fantastic; Amber Waves was OK; Maertzen was OK; St. Adrian's Alt was great; The Dubbel was a bit sour; and The Fuel was kick-ass, but I had to go to a party afterwards, so a sampler was it.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

On my first visit about 5 years ago I was not impressed with the beer.

I visited again last week and the Amber was one of the best I have ever tasted. Happy Hour pints are $3. The food was good, had the crab cakes because appetizers are half off during happy hour. I was not able to try all the beers but I was very happy with the improved quality of the beer I tried. Service was fast and friendly.

Location is on the second level of a shopping mall in the Inner Harbor and gives a great view of the Chesapeake Bay

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Photo of Umbra
3.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The big selling point here is the location. “Hmm,” you might think, since it is a brewpub and I didn’t say beer. Best place downtown to have a beer and see fireworks as most of the seats directly face the beautiful Inner Harbor.

Their everyday stuff is pretty ho hum, but the seasonal brews are exceptional. If you enjoy big stouts, and haven't had the immense pleasure of a fuel, get yourself over there now.

Atmosphere is sterile, food okay pub grub, and service inconsistent. Worthwhile if you are looking for an easy triumvirate of brewpubs in downtown Bmore; hitting Oliver’s, here and then Brewer’s Art within a 2 miles of stumbling.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Another decent brewpub from the Charm City. The best thing about Capital City Brewing is the view from the outside deck overlooking the Inner Harbor. When I was there at dusk, it was just in time to see a sailboat coming into dock. The only problem is the bar can get overrun by tourists.

The beer itself is decent. The Capital Kolsh is a good example of the style, while the pale ale is decent.

Like most brewpubs, they have an Oatmeal Stout. Their's is decent, if not spectacular.

That's probably the best way to describe all of the bers available. The rye ale was probably the best available.

Capital City is in a good location, walking distance from the Wharf Rat, and in the same mall as several decent restaurants.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Atmosphere. Hmmm....
On one hand, it's in a fantastic part of the city and has a great view of the Inner Harbor. On the other hand, the interior decor seems cheap, cold, industrial and unwelcoming.
Service was friendly but slow on a rather slow afternoon.
Beer-wise, it looks like they try to shotgun the range of beers. I tried their pale ale, and my wife had a wheat, I believe. Neither of which were bad, but not spectacular either.
The food was tasty. I'll give them that. We had the crab cakes as appetizers (half off appetisers during happy hour) and they were extremely tasty. Not a bad place, but I probably won't be going back, either.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Fews brewpubs or bars in general can compare to the location...seated right on the footsteps of the Inner Harbor. Get a seat outside and look out at the sailing ships while sipping on some beers. This alone, if nothing else, makes a trip to Capitol City worth the trip.

The inside is a typical trendy looking brewpub...dark mahogony colors...like I mentioned though, weather permitting, ask for a seat on the deck. It is a far better view.

I will say, I honestly hoped for more in terms of their beers. We did a sampler, which consisted of 4 styles along with a seasonal offering. Nothing really unique. A kolsch, amber ale, pale ale and a stout, along with a bitter. The kolsch was lite and nice for a hot day. Their best offering.
The amber was very hoppy, too hoppy, with a strong floral scent...much more like an IPA than a typical, standard amber ale.
The rest were all ok, but as mentioned, nothing bravely unique. I guess at the Inner Harbor they want to play it safe for the typical tourists who don't know a craft brewed beer from a Bud Lite.

The food was fine, but I only had a Cobb Salad, so there is not much to say. They do bring tables out an offering of warm pretzels with a horseradish/mustard dip...which was a really nice treat.

Overall, worth stopping into a check out the scenery. The beers were fresh and crisp, but hardly anything out of the norm. If you are into beers and in the area, especially from out of town like myself, go to Fells Point....aside from Capitol City, the Inner Harbor bars, near the water, offer little more than Bud, Miller Lite and Yuengling (a real disappointment there was not a single cool beer bar located there).

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Photo of hunteraw
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Atmosphere was nice. Very nice view of the harbor and Federal Hill. It was happy hour, so pints were $3 and appetizers were half-off.

Quality of the beers was hit or miss. I was a fan of the porter, and the bitter, but the APA was off the mark, I thought, and the taste of the Amber that my girlfriend ordered was unimpressive.

Service was good, prompt, helpful. No complaints.

Selection: All of the Capitol City standards were available, but they had "just" run out of the hefe weizen, so the only other non-standard-lineup beer was the Bull Run Bitter.

Food was very unimpressive. To be fair, they give free soft pretzels and the crab bruschetta we got as an appetizer was okay (if salty), but our entrees were... well, i'll say it: bad. We ordered the bratwurst and the seafood quesadilla. Both were dripping in oil from the cheap cheese that had been used. The quesadilla had nearly no seafood or vegetables in it - all I could taste was cheese and tortilla. Very disappointing, especially since it cost $12. Don't come here for the food - or order an appetizer (half price during happy hour) to share and enjoy that and the free pretzels.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A great place to enjoy a good beer and a great view. The balcony overlooks the Inner Harbor, and it was very pleasant to watch the boats coming and going. The service was prompt, and the beers pretty cheap during happy hour. The ESB and porter I had were pretty good, and the pale ale quite good. The appetizer of crab bruchetta was interesting and good, but could have used more crab and less Old Bay. The Cuban pulled pork tacos were quite good, and after all that food and three beers, I pretty much waddled out of the place.

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Photo of shivtim
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This place is on the second floor of the Light Pavilion in the uber-touristy harborfront area. It's a pretty non-descript interior, but has spectacular harbor views and a very large outdoor seating deck. I sat at the bar for dinner on a weekday, and the service was great. There were 6 on tap, plus macros in bottles. The food was very good and reasonably priced (I had some very good grilled chicken and vegetables), and the extended hours for "happy hour" made my beer cheap too. It's a family friendly kind of place that caters to tourists, but I still had a good time there.

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Photo of crass751
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

This is a great place to grab lunch, I always have the Babe Ruth Burger and top it up nicely. The pretzels and spicy mustard are a great way to start things off.

Their beer is also pretty good. I usually start with their reasonably priced sampler and usually end up having a few pints of whatever I'm in the mood for.

The service is adequate. Be warned, this place gets packed when the O's are playing, lunchtime before a 4pm start is a bad time to try to get a table. When the Yankees and Sox are in town this place is mobbed with their fans.

I've reccomended this place to people before, and will continue to do so as the food and beer is pretty good and it always gets me in the mood for baseball.

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Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere: The place is industrial and mechanical and devoid of any atmosphere. The porch is nice though for overlooking the harbor.

Quality: The beers were served well and promptly, although the food took a little long.

Service: Excellent service, the bartender was attentive and let me snag their copy of Ale Street News.

Selection: Cap City has a full bar and, at least today, 5-7 of their own lagers and ales available. I settled on the Hefe Weizen, Lemongrass Pils and Fuel. Of the three, the Fuel was intense. Their beers historically have been good models, but not standouts, of their respective styles.

Food: Decent pub grub. The entrees are creative, but revolve around seafood and brats.

Overall, Cap City is not a bad place to grab a lazy long lunch with a few pints.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located in the Light Street Pavillion in the Inner Harbor I have visited this Cap City locale several times in the past 5 years or so. Industrial look and feel to the place. Centrally located oval bar and floor to ceiling doors that open to the outside balconies. The quality is usually pretty good but I have found it can run hot and cold. Service is good and the selection is good as well. Theres always 4 mainstay beers on tap and there were 3 seasonal while I was there. Once again I have had some great beers here and some not so great. The food is usually good and I have to say the crab and corn chowder is EXCELLENT. I alawys have at least a cup of that even if im just having a pint or 2. Reasonably priced for the Inner Harbor and any city's downtown venue. Pop in for a pint at least to see what theyre offering, get some soup, and maybe stay a while longer.

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Photo of jimbotrost
4.14/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I have been to all the Capitol Cities and this may be my favorite.

Located on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on the top floor of the harbor shops is its home.

Inside is straight forward, not too artsy, not too warehousey.

Service was great, it was a slower Sunday night on my last visit.

Selection and beer was great, would have had more styles but I spent the last 3 days bouncing between DuClaw, Fordham, Rocky Run, Gordon Biersch, John Harvard, District Chop House, etc. drinking and was winding down.

Good feel, good beer, great view, great town!

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

A good place to eat with a great view of the harbor. Not a good place for beer. This place's beers are chainstore central. They have good consistency across their locations, but whats the point if the beers aren't any good? The Kolsch could very well have been poured from a keg of Bud and I wouldn't have known. The Porter is, well, ok, ya know? Hefeweizen is tasteless and I didn't try the Amber Waves. Selection was pretty weak and random if you ask me. Now the good part: the food. Food is quite tasty, well priced and served in plentiful portions. I'd go back anytime for the food, but not for the beer.

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Photo of PudTinkler
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

The atmosphere would be much, much higher for me if not for the "corporate" feel of the place. It's almost cookie-cutter the way that all the restaurants along the Inner Harbor have layed out their areas. The fact that you can sit outside and drink a few while overlooking the harbor earned it the points.
The selections are very bland as far as styles go. I had a Kolsch and a porter that were decent, nothing outstanding. Service was very quick.
I wouldnt' call it a must-stop for the beer fan, but maybe worth a peek as a nightcap if you can drink it outside on a warm night.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in tonight to have some food and check out the beers.

The place was less than packed, and the service was incredibly slow at first. Took forever to get the order taken, but the food rolled out very quickly as did the beer once it was ordered.

The food was good, I suspect even better than a 3.5, but that was my experience. The selection is Cap City beers and they had 6 on tap that spread a pretty good spectrum.

The atmosphere was good and not too noisy. You could carry on a conversation easily and it was not smoky at all. Perhaps they do not allow smoking in MD.

I'd go back, the beer was good, the food was good, the service slightly lacking, but I'm positive it can be better and once we got served, it was fine.

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Photo of Gavage
3.3/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I stopped in for a quick bite and some beers, and the place hasn't really changed since it opened. A spacious room, with glass to give a nice view overlooking the harbor. There are also some outside tables.

The bar is large, some 30 stools or so, and there are pool tables in the back. There were 6 beers to choose from, and the two I sampled were average.

The food was not terrible, but not worth marking good. Bartenders were friendly, but did not seem overly knowledgable of beer beyond what they offered. If you stop in don't expect to be overly excited. But is in the heart of the Inner Harbor, so chances are you'll venture in. Your stay will be short, like mine was.

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Photo of yen157
3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The atmosphere definately wasn't what I usually look for in a brew pub. It was big, loud, noisy (pop music), and souless. The bar balcony was nice though for enjoying the beautiful sunny day and for some people watching. The beer was decent, but nothing special. Of the four I tried, I was least impressed with their hefe and found their IPA most drinkable. Six beers with four regulars (kolsch, porter, amber, pale ale) and two rotating (IPA and hefe) available at the time. If you're in the area why not stop in for a beer? But two really good places are only moderate walks away (Wharf Rat and Baltimore Brewing Co.) and The Brews Art a couple minute drive or light rail trip.

 679 characters

Photo of foamee
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Capitol City is in the heart of the tourist district and as a result has to put up with crowds of strangers that don't realize they are in a brew pub. The beer quality varies with the style. Fuel, their barley wine has won prizes, while their amber begins to taste like sugar water after a few. The IPA is true to style. The food portions are large and the service is pretty quick.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I hate to say it, but this location is not exactly the jewel in the Capitol City crown. I've never really had a good time here. The open character that they try to use in their other locations is present, but maybe too present, as it looks out over the harbor but without being very attractively scenic (although it's quite nice to sit outside during spring and fall before the crowds hit - so they do get a bump in points for atmosphere based on that). I'm not sure why, but the inside just doesn't feel comfortable. It feels big and loud. Maybe it's the way the large bar is positioned. Or maybe not.
The food is cheap - and good - however, and the beers are top notch. The Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus or Texas Nachos are a huge appetizers ($6-7) that can easily feed four, or even serve as an entree. The Asian Veggie Wrap ($7) or Black Cat Club (blackened catfish - $9) make great, interesting sandwiches; and the Pacific Rim Pasta ($9), Admiral's Fish & Chips ($12) or Cajun Angels (shrimp on angel hair pasta - $15) all make great entrees. They have a children's menu and everyone's welcome. There are, of course, 4 regular beers (Capitol Kolsch, Amber Waves, Pale Rider Ale, Prohibition Porter) but the seasonals tend to stand out.
And I understand this location is touristy and can be quite busy, but that's not an excuse for poor service. In fact, I've even had bad service at the bar! The food and beers are good, but I'd definitely recommend heading into D.C. for a better experience.

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Capitol City Brewing in Baltimore, MD
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings
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