River City Ale Works

0 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1400 Main St
Wheeling, West Virginia, 26003-2824
United States

(304) 233-4555 | map

No longer brewing their own beer.

Added by Shiloh

BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by aeibrean:
Photo of aeibrean
2.78/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5

OK first off I have to say that I am, a native of Manhattan, ergo an A*shole. That said I was underwhelmed with this place. It is trying way to hard for West Virginia. The selection was PITIFUL, they had no local or regional beers. The food was mediocre @ best. The bartender had no idea what she was serving. The manager was rude. The clientele scary. However they were trying to run an upscale atmosphere. It is expensive for WV It is very clean and open in it's feel. Sadly it is the best place for many many miles. Except the Alpha which is better but way less friendly and much more frightening to me.

 606 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kvothe
4.53/5  rDev +29.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of CruzWilder
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Dogbrick
3.3/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Although this place's sign reads "River City Ale Works", I learned pretty quickly that they no longer brew their own beer. A shame, really. The bar/restaurant/banquet facility is located in downtown Wheeling on Main Street. There is nearby metered street parking and garages here and there.

The building is 3 stories with lots of windows on the outside and sits on a corner. Inside it is very spacious and has a yellow brick and greenish metal motif. The bottom floor has a bar on the left side, including what looks like a small room that used to house the brewing equipment, which still displays a nice collection of old beer bottles and cans. The bar is opposite a group of pool tables and big screen TVs. The center area is a large group seating area, and the more traditional restaurant seating area is on the right. On the 3rd floor is River City's "special events hall".

Again, the beer selection here is pretty weak. As River City no longer brews their own beers, they have settled on 6 macros and 2 Mountaineer brews. The saving grace is that it is probably one of the only places that serves WV beers on draught, so that is definitely a silver lining.

Service here was just fine on a weekday afternoon. The server knew enough about the 2 regional beers to be able to describe them. The food also came out quickly.

Speaking of food, my beer battered fish sandwich and fries were above average. My colleague wasn't too keep on the mahi-mahi special but I am not factoring that in.

Overall it seems this place would have been a better visit a couple years ago (even if the beers they made weren't great), but as far as non-chain restaurants in Wheeling that serve regional beers on draught it will do just fine.

 1,734 characters

Photo of zdk9
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4

I was looking forward to enjoying some great beers with my dinner here, but I felt somewhat dissapointed. First off, I did not recieve any sort of beer list with my menu, and when the waitress rattled off the choices they were slim pickings, about half BMC, and only maybe 8 total. The food was good- their beer battered fries are filling and greasy but taste great and have a great texture- and there was an interesting variety of food, from Italian, to seafood, to burgers. Also the service was good. I think if my expectations of the taps had been lower I would've had a great experience but as it was I only felt soso about the place.

 638 characters

Photo of beergeek279
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

Atmosphere: River City Ale Works is located in the Artisan Center in downtown Wheeling. The building itself is quite large and spacious, with a West Virginia gift shop upstairs. The brewpub itself is a wonderful wood-grained room, with pool tables, and a collection of breweriana inside the kettle/fermenter room. On a busy night, this place will be full of college students.

Quality/Selection: Unfortunately, the beers don't match up to the excellent atmosphere. River City has 2 main regular beers: a golden lager and an amber ale, and offer a rotating selection of seasonals. Unfortunately, most of these beers are extremely thin and watery in mouthfeel, and don't seem to fit anywhere near the style (they seem to love citrus hops, even in their Oktoberfest!). This isn't being handcuffed by 6% laws (WVBC does just fine), but just doesn't seem to be well cared for during the fermenting process. River City also has Miller Lite and Bud Lite on tap, and most people seem to drink them here, and to be honest I can't blame them.

Service: The very first time I went, I had excellent service, and the bartender was wonderfully conversational. After that, though, I've generally gotten my beer, and other than questions about how the beer was (if you don't have anything nice to say...), not much is said to me.

It's such a shame...this place used to have fantastic beers, but have slowly gone downhill since the first time I visited. I can't recommend River City until they improve their general beer quality.

 1,520 characters

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Each of the levels of this brewpub have a bit different atmosphere, but this is a nice place. The section we were seated in was decorated for the holidays and there were old brewery photos on the walls. This section has much more of a nice restaurant atmosphere rather than a brewpub atmosphere which can be found at the bar. Service was good. Food and beer selection were good. 6 different beers of their own were available and they do offer a sampler. Beers were ok, but nothing I'd make a return trip for. The beers have something going on causing them to have significant sour charcater. The 3-Berry Meade is an interesting offering. Food included burgers, pizza, steak, seafood, salads, etc. Food quality was good. Kids eat free on certain days of the week which was a definite bonus. I'd return for the food and atmosphere, but the beer wouldn't draw me back.

 865 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Update: 8-1-06

Stopped in for lunch on a Tuesday afternoon, and was pleased to see a fine establishment still focused on good beer and great food. Tuesday through Friday all lunches are 6.99 with a side can't beat that with a stick plus all pints are no more than three dollars and when I was there they had Great Lakes Burning River Pale flowing alongside, Mountaineer Brewing Nut Brown and Stout, Leine's Honey Weiss and Amber Lager, and Sam Adam's Boston Lager... service was a bit sketchy didn't get greeted right away looked like the bartender was running double duty between serving tables and running in and out of the kitchen that can make things difficult. I can see that most of lunch crowd sits in the dining area but overall a great building old feel good atmosphere nice beer can collection surrounds the area where the brewing equipment used to be held. This place hasn't been the same since Wynkoop outta Denver split ways from the original business design of Nail City Brewing. After switching over to River City Ale Works and having hit and miss beers with rotating inexperience brewers they decided to change their business plan...good move. Good experience overall I'll visit again for lunch or possibly a Wednesday all-u-can-eat crab night.

When you walk in to River City Ale Works, the dance floor opens up this place is huge. There is an upstairs, and the bar is to the left with about four pool tables, and the brewing equipment is snug in the corner in the same room visible from the street. The service was excellent, when I went they were running an all you can eat crab leg special. I believe since I was there they have changed brewers, but the Red ale was amazing, by memory. The Oatmeal Stout was alright just a little on the light side for being an oatmeal stout, I wanted more body. I can wait to visit this place again, and next time I am going to have a three dollar sampler, what a deal!!! Overall, I am proud to be from the same state that this brewpub is in!!!

 2,004 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This brewpub is located in downtown Wheeling, WV. It is in an old building, and really has a great atmosphere. Stainless steel tanks grace the front of the pub, lined with numerous old beer cans in the glass surrounding the tanks. There is plenty of floor space, with numerous pool tables and a very long bar. The service is fantastic and the brews are solid. Somehow affiliated with the Foundry Ale Works is Pittsburgh, PA. A must stop in Wheeling. SIx samples for $3 is hard to beat, especially quality beers.

 511 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

If ever in Wheeling, look this place up. Very quiet for my visit as it was the lunch hour but the place does seem to have some serious potential for the evening hours. Gaming available, 8 beers brewed on premise of which I tried 3 (didn't care much for the Berry, but the other two were very good).
The service was exellent, quick, friendly and informative...
The food was very nice...
I took home with me a 1/2 gallon jug of the River City Pale Ale to help keep me warm on my return to the frozen north....

 510 characters

River City Ale Works in Wheeling, WV
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.