River City Cellars

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River City CellarsRiver City Cellars
16 Ratings
River City CellarsRiver City Cellars

Type: Store

2931 W Cary St
Richmond, Virginia, 23221
United States

(804) 355-1375

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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by beer2day:
Photo of beer2day
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Just down the street from "For the Love of Chocolate", one of my wife's favorite stores. Makes it easy for me to get here.

As others have indicated, this is a wine first shop. They do have a small, ok very small, selection of beer ... but what they carry is top notch. Boutique-like even. Picked up Spike&Jerome and what appears to be the last of Richmond's DFH Pearl Jam.

Very small cooler with a few cold choices.

The cheese cooler is also worth a look. Some very interesting choices in there. That's where the food rating comes from :-)

If you are in the area, definitely stop in. You might find a jewel or two here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of raverjames
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

River City Cellars has a small beer selection, as the store is primarily devoted to wine. However, what they don't have in shelf space, they make up for in quality. David always brings in some of the best European beers to hit Richmond. His knowledge on craft is vast, and the other employees are not too shabby either. Their prices are always on par with other beer retailers in the area. The best part about buying beer at River City, is that they also sell rare and decadent cheeses. I definitely recommend hitting this place, if you will be in Carytown.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.56/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5

this is definitely the kind of place you stop into for the service much more than the selection. located in the hip strip of carytown.

when you walk in, the shop is narrow and long with a very impressive selection of artisanal cheese at the adjacent end. beautiful wine racks hold a quality selection of vino, while the beer is annexed to a small shelf in the back corner of the store.

the service was both personable and helpful. before even asking, i was offered some samples of cheese and had a nice chat about some of the beers they had to offer.

my biggest complaint against the selection is mostly due to size. this is a wine store first, with a small craft beer offering. had some local bottles, some belgians, and some other somewhat rare offerings from european craft breweries. but overall the selection is too small, and too pricey, to really seek out individually. however, if you are in carytown, it is worth stopping by to sample some cheese and maybe leave with a bottle.

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Photo of MrOH
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Tiny little place, with a very small, albeit very high quality beer selection.

Staff is always friendly, knowledgeable, and very easy to talk to, which is a huge plus.

Selection is not nearly as big as any other store that focuses on craft beer, however, its all really good stuff, and they put all of their bottles on the shelves for anyone to buy. The only reason I give it a 3 rating is because it's so damn small.

Not my regular store by any means, purely due to selection, but its nice to stop in here and there just to see what they have in stock.

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Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

RCC is located in a very busy area of shops and restaurants, try cruising the block around the store and parking should be relatively easy to find

it's a clean, comfortable little shop with a nice selection of wine, cheese, and a compact but totally quality variety of craft beer, ranging across countries, regions, and styles, anywhere from Legend and Duck-Rabbit RIS to 21st Amendment Back in Black, OB Ten Fidy and Ommegang Zuur and some top-tier Belgians, not entire selections from these breweries of course but one or two of the most desirable, and some nice singles as well

it's tough to drop a 3.5 on them for selection, but it's indeed quite small despite how well focused, might not be the best selection in town and probably shouldn't be your destination if visiting, but it's most definitely worth a stop if you're anywhere nearby

the two running the shop were really nice and helpful, and were cool with me browsing around for a few minutes after they had officially closed, wasn't really in need of help browsing the selection but it was offered, beer and wine tastings are conducted monthly and announced via the mailing list

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Photo of wbwestpark
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

As a beer connoisseur and purveyor of fine libations (I own a shop across town), I have to say that RCCs put's forth a thoughtful and well managed beer selection.

It's great to see classics, but, more importantly, there's a seasonal rotation of beers that over delivers for the modest beer space.

Every time I stop in for cheese (delicious for the beers too!), I'm quite impressed with the beer set.

It get's me thinking about what it is I really want to be drinking. I highly recommend a regular visit for an exceptional beer schooling.

Matt Lake

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

Stopped in today to check out the mix-a-sixer deal and was surprised. It being my first time here, the staff was very helpful, perhaps because the place was so small. Still, very friendly and informative. The beer selection was a tiny portion of the store, but with very good options to choose from. Not as big as other stores, but some top-notch picks here in terms of singles/bombers. Picked up some Corsendonk, Victory, Spaten, and saw some nice larger Belgians in the wine-like rack. For such a quaint place, they've got a right good offering.

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Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

This place is about a 2-minute walk from Carytown Wine and Beer, and I like them both a lot.

It's much smaller in area, which means not as many beers as some bigger places. But there's a wide variety of beer styles -- just don't go in stumbling around or you may break stuff.

The thing I like mostly about it is that you can build your own 6-pack. You don't save any money by combing a 6-pack, since all the bottles are priced as singles, but I love going in there and having a choice, rather than having to buy a 6 or 4-pack of something I want to try but don't know if I want to pay around the $10 mark for it.

Just for example, the 6-pack I built a few days ago consisted of 2 bottles of Weyerbacher Decadence, 1 bottle of Great Divide Hibernation Ale, 1 bottle of Three Floyd's Pride and Joy, 1 bottle of Heavy Seas Peg Leg, and 1 bottle of Unibroue Ephemera (apple) -- so that tells you how many beers they have. There's a wine-rack type contraption for bombers and corked and caged Belgians, too.

They also have a machine to chill your beers for you if you'd like, which I think is pretty cool.

And there are beer tastings on Wednesdays from 5-7, usually featuring either a brewery (last Wednesday was Magic Hat), or a style from 3-4 different breweries.

For how small a place it is, I really enjoy it. Like I said, they usually will have stuff other places don't, like Decadence for example, which I was unable to find anywhere else in Richmond thus far.

It's worth the trip, especially to do the dual River City and Carytown Wine and Beer trip -- those two stores together have a selection that surely equals a 5 rating. But River City also stands well on its own.

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Photo of RealityDeviant
3.85/5  rDev -7%

Thanks again to BA’s directory that I looked at this place. Since I was in the area today, I decided to pop between this place and Carytown Wine and Beer to compare the selections, prices, and so forth. It seemed to me that the prices were overall the same, but I saw some beers here that I hadn’t seen elsewhere. There were several bottles of St. Bernardus and Great Divide’s Hercules Double IPA that looked appetizing. The Belgian selection seemed much thinner than I thought it’d be, but I was told that they sold several just recently.

I wouldn’t mind patronizing this place if I were in Carytown, and I’d not rate it far below Carytown. There’s far less beer there in toto, but the selections nice enough. It does lack the Victory and Weyerbacher beer that I generally enjoy, however. Also not much in the way of six packs. On the plus side, it’s one of the few stores in Richmond that has much in the way of Legends beer.

The woman at the register didn’t seem to know much about beer, but the person that orders the beer came in a bit later and chatted with me for a bit. Seemed like a nice guy and he was eager to help or maybe order a beer if I was deadset on getting it. No luck on the Westvleteren front, but maybe in the future. He encouraged me to come to the beer tastings on Wednesdays (I believe they are between five and seven).

Considering the relatively short distance between this and Carytown Wine and Beer, Carytown's not a bad place to go for your beer needs. If there were only something that could be done about the traffic and parking...

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Photo of TinusTime
3.85/5  rDev -7%

Located just down the street from Carytown Wine and Beer. Its a much smaller space and therefore the selection is not nearly as large as Carytown's is. The service is friendly although not really too terribly beer savvy. Decent selection of Belgians and things are well marked. I did see a couple of old labels on some beers, but they were beers that would hold up well. My only big complaint is the lack of six pack offerings. Most things are sold in singles, which while nice for trying new beers, doesnt work well if you know what you want. I would give it a shot however because they did have a few hidden gems. I would walk between here and Carytown Wine and Beer and price shop and compare.

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Photo of Stoo333
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

This is located on a very busy street packed with shops on both sides. If you can find a place to park in front of Carytown Wine and Beer, I suggest you stay parked there and walk to River City if its a busy Saturday...

A smaller selection compared to Carytown, but mostly singles which was nice. I picked up a few things I hadn't seen elsewhere--Belhaven's Wee Heavy comes to mind for one. They also had some Westmalle and Rochefort beers along with many Victory, Dogfish, Allagash, other Belgian style beers, and numerous other domestic craft brews.

Service was proactive and very friendly. I'll drop back by here for sure on the next Richmond beer run.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

This place had many great beers and all appeared to be well thought out. The cashier asked if I needed any assistance and the only unfortunate thing was I already had acquired most of the beers they had in stock. They did have a few odd beers that were not in the stash already, and a decent selection of imported beers. Their domestic selections equaled their imported, but in such a small space it would be hard to incorporate a larger beer selection.

I would definitely visit again, but mainly to see what new beers they had in stock since the majority of their offerings can be found elsewhere.

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Photo of philipt
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Due to some Saturday afternoon boredom, I decided to make a roadtrip to Richmond to check out their local shops.

River City Cellars was quite a neat little shop in a particularly crowded part of town. Expect to walk a little to get to and from the car and this shop. The shop itself is small, but a great atmosphere for purchasing wine and beer. The beer selection was small in quantity but had a very diverse and quality selection. I arrived at a good time too...they were pouring Unibroue Terrible samples (good beer). Exceptional service. The staff was very knowledgeable, and knew their beer, especially the Belgians. I would go back just for the service alone. This is what customer service should be.

Fantastic shop and experience.

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Photo of scottstrades
4/5  rDev -3.4%

As one reviewer already stated, Jermaine was their prior beer guy who unfortunately left for greener pastures at Capital Ale House. Bruce, their current beer guy, is a very nice person but is not really a beer fanatic as Jermaine was and it does show in their current selection. Jermaine had a great love and knowledge of beer and was open to suggestions. As I spend way too much time trying to find my next new import beer fix, I've had many imports that Jermaine had not had and told him about the better ones, some of which showed up on their shelves. Likewise, I would frequently find beers in there that I had never seen (though possibly heard of), so it was a very enjoyable experience. For about a 2-3 year period (99-02) no other store I've been to (and I've been to a lot) compared to River City Cellars' Belgian selection. Even the beer mecca Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits had a very lame Belgian selection compared to RCC. Jermaine wisely skipped the Chimay, Oval, and Duvel's in favor of the Belgian micros. I would say that RCC's Belgian selection during this period rivaled any in the country. While RCC's beer selection was not the widest that I’ve seen, it was one of the deepest (if that makes sense). He also had a very nice selection of uncommon English beers. Sadly, those peak days are gone.

That said, I have to say that RCC still has a very good selection of beers not readily found elsewhere. I also understand Julia's deliberate decision to reduce her stock of obscure beers. After all, your average beer person will likely not want to pay $13 for Blackbird's Pub Ale (a delicious Belgian beer made for an Italian pub). Also, they had a deep selection of the Trappist beers that sat around for a long time, which I'm sure tied up much needed funds. The staff is very friendly and helpful. RCC also has a nice cheese market. The prices are good and Bruce wisely kept many of Jermaine's beers on his "re-order" list. So, while they no longer have the killer deep beer selection that they had during their peak, they still have a very nice variety of uncommon beers and are well worth a visit for both beginners and connoisseurs.

RCC is and always has been a single bottle store (the beers are not sold in six packs).

BTW, Julia, Jermaine, and I think Peter all previously worked at the nearby Ellwood Thompson.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

What a gem! Nestled quietly amongst the shops in Careytown, River City Cellars boasts quite the selection of wines. But the back corner is devoted to a small, but quite impressive beer selection. Many hard-to-find offerings here and their Belgian selection is spectacular. As stated in a previous review, their singles prices are better than other Careytown stores. The gentleman I spoke with had a pretty good "beer savvy" and was quick to return my phone calls asking about some particular beers. I'll often stop by on my way home from work and see what's new in their stock. You should too.

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Photo of Darkale
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

My favorite hole-in-the-wall beer store, located in the heart of Carytown, in what used to be a boutique men's clothing store! Great wine selection. In the back is a single big 4-sided block of shelves and a big cooler. The block is about five feet tall, with about 5 or 6 shelves per side, full of beer. Great selection -- not in that you can find 3 dozen of each brand, but in that you can find stuff here that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Great German and Belgium selection, probably better than the American microbrewery selection (although they won my heart by having THREE bottles of Hop Rod Rye long after no one else did).

The large fellow with the pony tail is quite knowledgeable, energetic, and helpful, but of course is not always there. I don't get here as often as I would like, but I never leave disappointed. A gem for Carytown and Richmond.

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River City Cellars in Richmond, VA
Place rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 16 ratings
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