Capital Ale House

Capital Ale HouseCapital Ale House
Capital Ale HouseCapital Ale House
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

4024 Cox Rd
Ste A
Glen Allen, Virginia, 23060-6700
United States

(804) 780-2537 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 50 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by HopDerek:
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HopDerek from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of my favorite places in the Richmond area (or the surrounding 70 miles). With a long bar with an ice shelf overlooking the taps and refrigerators, plenty of seating, additional seating facing away from the bar, multiple bars, a patio, and a nice, dark, mellow lighting in the dining area, this place is definitely a great place to relax and enjoy a pint, two, a snack, or even dinner.

Being in a plaza there is ample free parking, though sometimes it's tough to get close to the restaurant. On our most recent visit we were greeted at the door where we gave our names, received a pager, and made our way to the bar to look over the massive beer book of the current draught offerings. It took us a good 10 minutes to go over all 75 choices, only to discover that our pager was going off, signaling our table was ready. Promptly seated, we ordered our first round and looked over the food menu.

While my first beer ordered came out wrong, the waitress was happy to give me a sample of what I ordered to compare, and upon determining it was incorrect brought me a fresh full glass of the proper drink, along with an apology from herself and the bartender. With a selection of some fantastic international beers as well as locals and other micros, it's understandable that this will happen accidentally. At least the mistaken beer was served the proper way the intended beer was to have been served.

The menu isn't as wide a variety as some places, but there is definitely something for everyone. If you want authentic German sausage, this is the place to go, as is such if you want some great steak. While the menu may not be as all encompassing as some places like The Cheesecake Factory, this place has some of the best of what you can get, and besides, you know you really came for the beer.

Some of the beers are somewhat expensive, but everything is fair in price and some of the stuff is actually inexpensive. Good to see them supporting local breweries as well as having 2 cask choices.

Definitely one of my favorite places, and I will absolutely return on my next trip to the Richmond area. Maybe I'll even prepare myself to really enjoy myself there and book a room at one of the hotels in the neighboring parking lot.

Apr 07, 2008
More User Reviews:
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

V: The overall vibe is not dissimilar to the Midlothian location: It's a big space, with a long bar, spacious seating, and a few TVs tuned to sports channels. The decor is nothing overly unique, but it's warm and inviting.

Q: As far as I can tell, they have decent quality control here, but they have such an extensive bottle list, it's hard to believe everything is fresh. Still, I've never had an off beer.

S: Our server was prompt and friendly, but I didn't quiz her on the beer menu. Very good service overall.

S: In general, they had a good selection, with a big draft and bottle list. On draft they had a lot of local brews (Hardywood, Ardent, Center of the Universe), national (Dogfish Head, Alpine, Firestone Walker), and some international (Delirium Tremens, St. Bernardus, Dupont). The draft list is too long to mention.

F: The food was pretty tasty - I had a Cuban sandwich, something I heartily recommend. Well done.

Jan 04, 2018
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VeganUndead from Virginia

3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

May 08, 2017
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beerrat from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 2.25

Jun 27, 2016
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beersapian from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of my favorite beer place in Richmond. Good selection of beers and decent bar food.

Apr 13, 2016
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alight from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been a customer here going back almost a decade. During a lot of those years, I lived away from Richmond, but would make it a point to show up here every time I came back into town. Now that I've moved back, I paid them a visit. I was sad to see they pulled the ice rail (despite how silly it was to begin with). I suppose the TVs were a nice addition, but the remodel of some of the back walls made it feel much more sterile and less cozy. My biggest problem here is that even with their huge selection of drafts and bottles, almost all of them are either gigantic stouts or super-intense IPAs. This made pairing with their otherwise good, but relatively (to their selection, at least) menu very difficult. I guess I could have had bottled Belgian dubbels with everything, but it would have been nice to see more than just hop bombs in the local section. While I suppose the buyer is trying to cater to the "gotta have the new hop monster IPA" clientele, it's sad that they forget to keep in mind pairings with their menu items. That disconnect is disappointing.

Having said that, I still feel that this is a great location. With over 70 taps and a huge bottle selection, there will be something new and exciting for you to try, even if it clashes with your meal.

Feb 03, 2016
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vabeerguy from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Sat outside by the pond. Nice atmosphere. They carry a large selection of draft beer as well as bottled beer. I generally look for locally brewed beer and was not disappointed. Had a number of appetizers which were pretty good but they did not differ much from your standard bar food. I had been to Capital Ale House before sometimes just to eat and at other times to just fill a growler. I plan to visit them again.

Dec 14, 2015
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Iamjeff6 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Dec 09, 2015
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frankaboutbeer from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Jun 27, 2015
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gopens44 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Nov 13, 2014
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memphisjet from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

May 02, 2014
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garuda from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Feb 24, 2014
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clayrock81 from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I have been to the AH in midlo and have hit up the one in downtown Richmond a few times when I visit so ended up at this one as close to my in-law's hotel in GA. Not nearly as good as the one in Richmond. Maybe it's b/c I've had a lot more beers since my last stop at an AH, but the beer selection seems stagnant and not a lot of gems, and of course the rotating stuff for Oktoberfest was gone (some of, to be honest) when I ordered. As for the food it was mediocre at best. My fries app was good; the wings has wing hairs all over the place. Server was real nice and patient with the family so no complaints and food timing during a somewhat busy Sat night wasn't bad at all. If you have nothing else to do it's worth trying to get a seat at the bar for a beer and a game and some snacks.

Oct 06, 2013
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ebby82 from Virginia

3.18/5  rDev -26%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Atmosphere- I enjoyed my table by a man made duck pond, with the wind blowing, and an umbrella offering shade.

Quality- I believe they need to clean their lines. My friend commented that her beer had a weird after taste, and so did mine. In my experience, this is usually unclean lines or something like it. I wouldn't expect it from a place this serious about beer.

Service- Completely adequate

Selection- Excellent. Both draft and bottle selections are extensive.

Food- Very average pub fair, slightly cold fries, sub par sandwhich.

Value- Particularly for the beer, very reasonable, but the slight off taste leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Jun 13, 2012
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QuantumPint from Florida

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Without a doubt the best beer menu in the area. Prices aren't bad, either.

Food is above average, and who can compete with $2-burger Mondays?

Some of the wait staff is questionable. My server had very little knowledge of the beer menu and repeatedly tripped over himself with our orders. However, the actual bar staff couldn't be better. After having a couple beers at the table, my group decided to move to the bar. I had a lengthy conversation with the bartender about IPAs before I was introduced to Allagash's Hugh Malone. What a great time that was.

This place is one of few bars that lacks TVs, but you hardly miss them. This is perhaps the best bar in the West End.

Feb 09, 2012
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dtivp from Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped at the Capital Ale House on a recent trip to Richmond and was not dissappointed.
Very large establishment with a very nice atmosphere and well decorated. The beer selection was eceptional, numerous taps, a cask of the week and a very large bottle selection. the beer menu was a nice multi paged book, well organized. Very nice menu, I did have the giant pretzel appetizer and it was delicious. Didn't have any other food, however, it was a ful menu with some nice selections. Servers were friendly, knowledgible and attentive.
I had a very good experience and highly recommend a visit.

Update: I have visited the Capital Ale House a few
Times since my initial review. After my most recent visit on 10-24-11. I changed my rating on the service to exceptional. Hillary, our bartender for the night was one of the best beer servers that I have experienced. She was friendly, efficient, Had tremendous knowledge of the vast beer menu and I never had an empty glass.
She also offered great suggestions on various beer to try. So if you visit this establishment, be sure find a spot at the bar Where Hillary is working. Keep up the great job Hillary.

Oct 27, 2011
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engagechad from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I go to this place probably twice a month for their $1 burger mondays. The burgers are amazing and the beer selection is epic. They update the menu every week so that is helpful and they post the menu's online as well.

The service is great from everyone as they all seem to know a little about beer and the barkeeps themselves know their stuff. I was having a 60 minute IPA one day and I told the guy to recommend a beer, he gave me a small batch Breckenridge 471 and it was amazing.

Most of the other items on the menu seem reasonably priced and there is plenty of space, great environment. They hold tastings and other beer related events there regularly.

If you're in the Richmond area for business or something do check them out as this location is RIGHT off of I-64 and not too far off the beaten path if you're on i-95

Feb 20, 2011
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paulginva from Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

ATMOSPHERE: This beer bar consists of a large dining/drinking area, two bars (one l-o-n-g one and another shorter U-shaped bar) plus a good sized game room with darts and other attractions and, in good weather, a sizable patio dining/drinking area. There are no televisions in this establishment -- it is a beer bar pure and simple, not a sports bar. While there is background music, it is played a low enough volume that conversation is easy. Noon hour and evenings are generally crowded with walk in waits for a table in the 20 to 40 minute range. They do take reservations but they go fast. I called Monday noon for an evening reservation and there were none left.

QUALITY: High. This location has some kind of special just about every night. Mondays are $1.00 burger night; Tuesdays are "steal this glass" night; Wednesdays feature "Virginia Beer Wednesdays" from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. with all Virginia brewery draft beers at about half off; Saturdays are "American Microbrew Saturdays" from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a good selection of American draft beers at about half price; and Sundays after 9:00 p.m. are "Late Night Specials" with all appetizers under $10 sold for $1.99. The place is well-decorated, clean, and appeals to a largely young upscale crowd.

SERVICE: The wait staff is pleasant, knowledgeable and mostly attentive, though sometimes -- even during slow periods -- there can be a bit of a wait. When the place is busy, the staff is still high quality but the wait time for food can be somewhat long. I get the impression that the kitchen is fairly easily overwhelmed.

SELECTION: This location (there are four in the Richmond area) has roughly 60 beers on tap (the number varies slightly from week to week -- I've never seen fewer than 60 and have seen as many as 66). They have approximately 300 beers available in containers and sell beer to go at about 25% off the posted price. The beer menu runs to 17-18 pages generally and is updated weekly on Fridays. Too often when I order a particularly popular brew, I discover that they're out -- a minor annoyance, not one that is easily remedied, but with the large selection, it's not difficult to find an alternative.

FOOD: This is a bar, not a restaurant. The food tends to be bar-type food as a result. Burgers, particularly the lamb burger are good but not great; they have good fries and appetizers, and the rest of the menu is about what you would expect. The food is adequate (perhaps "average" would be a better word) and, as I said above, the kitchen seems like it gets overwhelmed sometimes. On dollar burger night, though, you often get your food at somewhere around the speed of light.

VALUE: Some of the food seems a bit overpriced but given the overhead that they must have because of their large beer inventory, I don't blame them for charging a bit more I guess and with the weekly specials, I have no reason to complain. The beer prices are fair -- there's no gouging with them at all.

OVERALL: I hang out here a lot. I do it for the beer, not for the food particularly. For someone who enjoys craft beers, this place is head and shoulders above any other bar in the Richmond area. Would I recommend it unreservedly? Well . . . if you're the kind of person who gets annoyed if the wait staff is occasionally a little long in coming, if the food isn't gourmet quality and prepared to your exacting personal requirements, or if you feel like going postal if they happen to be out of a particular brew, then you shouldn't come here -- and frankly, I'd be very happy personally if you stayed away. If, on the other hand, you're a fairly laid-back beer drinker who enjoys sampling a multiplicity of craft brews in pleasant surroundings, this is a place you'll enjoy.

Feb 07, 2011
TJBAIHWL from Virginia

2.38/5  rDev -44.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3

First, the good: Decent atmosphere. Clean, good seating, everything looks pretty good. Lots of hardwood, neon blue lights running along the edges of the booths. Mostly upscale-looking clientele. The real draw here is the daily specials. Monday is $1 Burgers, Tuesday is Steal The Glass Night, and Sundays are $1.99 appetizers. There are also plenty of events like tastings and whatnot. A great selection of beers on the menu, which brings me to...

The Bad: The great selection of beers on the menu? Out of 7 beers I ordered, 2 were in stock. Water, which I ordered before anything else and asked for several more times throughout the meal, never came. As with the other Capital Alehouse locations, there's a huge wait between finishing a drink and getting the next one. I can't speak for the service at the bar, but every time I've been there to eat, the service has been sub par at best. The food is decent. Nothing spectacular, especially for the price.

Jan 09, 2011
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SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I have never been to this location so I was excited to try this place out. I am generally happy with Capitol Ale House so hopefully, I will not be disappointed.

Arrived for lunch at 1130am on a Wednesday. Place was pretty empty yet service was lacking and unattentive. The only time I saw a server was to get my order, bring my order, and bring my check. Not acceptable.

The beer selection here is unbeatable. There were approximately 60 drafts and all looked pretty great. One I was really interested in but unable to try was the Blue Grass Jefferson REserve Oak Aged Stout. It seemed like my type of beer, and it was local.

I chose the smokehouse burger and it was quite delicious. Although the burger was great, the fries seemed frozen and werent anything special. Actually, they taste and look like the fries from Burger King.

The food was good and the beer selection was great. Service was lacking, but the beer makes up for just about everything.

Sep 28, 2010
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FenwaySquid from Florida

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Located in the middle of a shopping center, this place is a welcome oasis for beer lovers.

Atmosphere is more upscale than a sports bar. In fact, no TV's that I saw in the main area. I visited during the afternoon so it was rather quiet. They had an outdoor patio area (with bar) as well, but being that today was cool, cloudy, and windy it was unpccupied.

The only bad thing I can say about the service is the bartended was working between both bars in the main room, so when I first walked in the bar was unmanned and I had to wait a minute or two for someone to take my order. Whatever, it wasn't crowded and the bartended was quite courteous and attentive.

Selection was unbelievable. The beer menu was thicker than the food menu, and had lots of information about the different styles and brews available. The selection is what would get me to return.

Food was okay. All I had was some potato soup (pretty good) and the wings (so-so). Nothing spectacular, but then again I didn't order a main course either.

Value was good. Wings were a bit pricey but the beer price was good.

Nov 14, 2009
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apbarwood from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've been to this place a few times since moving to VA and I have to say that they have one of the best selections of any bar I've been to. They have tons of great stuff on tap and even more in the bottle from every style and region across the world. It seems that if it's available in the state of Virginia, this place has it. On top of that, their selection of vintage beers is phenomenal and reasonably priced. Their beer menu is great to, if not daunting. But it's good for beer pros and novices alike as it gives lots of details on styles and each particular beer. My only real issue is that they always seem to be out of stuff. It certainly makes sense, given the enormous inventory that they have, that they would have a hard time keeping things in stock and in date but it's still irritating. The multiple bars only exacerbates the situation. On one occasion I ordered a beer, the waitress went and checked the other bar and came back only to tell me they didn't have it. Then it happened again and again. I had to make four orders before I could get a beer that I wanted and it takes the waitresses forever to navigate the place and find out if the beer is in. By the time I got my drink my friends had almost finished the first round. The vintage beers are a nice touch but again, don't tell me on the menu that you have a vintage Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout only to burst my bubble when you tell me it's not in stock. That being said, I can't think of a place locally that has quite the selection this place does even when they are out of a bunch of it. They just need to update their menus or work on a system to expedite the ordering process or something.

Aug 17, 2009
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Gavage from Nevada

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Walked in around 5:00 on a Friday afternoon and only a handful of patrons were inside, most local workers getting together for a pint or two. We grabbed a seat at the large straight bar inside, not the square on by the front window. Both bars areas can seat quite a nice amount of people. There are plenty of tables for diners and and outside dining area for those who like the heat in the summer. The taps are nicely arranged in two rows behind the bar. Refridgerators are filled on both sides of the tap area allowing a nice visible view of the offerings.

Beerwise there was a nice selection that included some locals like Legend Brewing and Blue & Grey. Victory, Stoudts, Stone, Yeungling, Duck Rabbit, and a few Belgian beers too. A booklet contains a well organized list to assit you. The sad news was that about 4 beers we asked for were out. One wasn't pouring well. Two beers I wanted for takeout were not available. I know a place with this selection can't have everything, but the chances of me picking the only few that were out seem slim to me. The beers I did have were fresh.

Food wise the place was decent and hit the spot with some nice sandwiches and appetizers. Service was spotty, and my sandwich came out two minutes after my appetizer.

Definitely a nice place to stop in Glen Allen, as there is probably not anything else in the area. To go beer are sold at 25% off listed price which isn't bad.

Jul 27, 2009
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ArrogantDeadGuy from Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

You have to go on Sundays during football season, you will have the place to yourself! Great selection of beers; draft, bottle, cask, etc. The food is good but often slow, just like the service. On a couple of occassions the food has come out cold after taking forever. The service is better at the bar but you have to contend with smokers. The value is great and they offer a discount on their menu beers "to go". The place is dim and comfortable with usually one or two very knowledgable bar tenders working even the slowest shifts.

May 27, 2009
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asabreed from New York

3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

My girlfriend and I went into the CAH today for lunch, at around 2:00, and it was pretty much dead. I had only been to the downtown spot a few times, which I enjoyed, but we were in the area shopping, so I wanted to grab some lunch and have a beer or two.

We got off to a fairly bad start since there were hardly any people in there, and we had to wait to be seated. Not a big deal, though, and I was fine when the host came to seat us. Once he did seat us, however, he decided, somehow, to sit us by the only other occupied table in the entire section. Not only that, but they were businessmen, and behind my seat was a large black bag, and instead of inconveniencing the customer, I asked the host if we could be at the table just beyond the one where he wanted to seat us. For some reason he was an ass about it, for a lack of a better way to put it. Not a good way to treat your customers, pal.

When I asked our server what IPAs she recommended, she said the Legacy Hoptimus Prime and the Weyerbacher Simcoe. I like both choices, so I chose a 22 oz. glass off the latter, which was pretty good, as the Simcoe is.

My girlfriend had a burger, and I had the smokehouse chicken (their blackened chicken version of the burger). The food was decent, but nothing beyond "bar food," really. Not only that, but if you say you're serving Pommes Frittes, can you just call them french fries instead? If they're going to be the latter, just say it, without dressing it up needlessly. Not only that, but my girlfriend's medium burger was clearly medium-rare, with way too much pink inside. It was still good, and it was nothing to send back, but I know most chefs wouldn't let their food go out if it wasn't to the customer's specifications. Needless to say, I've had better food, especially at a place like the Commercial Tap House in The Fan, which has a small menu, but really makes their food as good as it can be considering the size and the atmosphere.

Our server also didn't come back to check on us the whole time we were there. Granted, I had a beer. My girlfriend had a diet coke. And we had our food. That said, I did want a water, but I couldn't get one because she didn't even pass us in our section while we were there.

Yes, there's a great selection of beer. Tons of styles. Tons of bottles. And many many drafts all over the entire establishment, not just at the main bar. But most of the beers you can get in the better beer stores in Richmond, and when I, personally, go to a place that touts their beer, I want to try different beers -- those that aren't too exorbitant in price -- and there were some, but I wish there were more. Again, granted, it's not my favorite beer season, which is winter, when I've heard they have all kinds of stuff. Still, it's a great selection, but far from perfect.

The atmosphere is nice, with a long bar with nice stools when you first walk in, and nice enclosed sections, cozy lighting, and quality wood-furnished furniture and the like. I haven't been there when it's crowded, but it was cozy and mellow when we were there, which was enjoyable on a Saturday.

The beer prices DO seem a bit cheaper than the CAH downtown. I'm not sure if that's my imagination, but if that's the case, that works for me; I'd rather have cheaper beer here than pay $10 for 10 oz. of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, or whatever the price used to be that blew my mind at the downtown CAH a year ago.

Would I go back to this establishment? Probably not. Would it be worth it if you haven't had a ton of beers that you can -- for the most part -- easily get in Richmond, are looking for somewhat decent bar food, and are shopping in Short Pump? Probably.

May 03, 2008
Capital Ale House in Glen Allen, VA
Place rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 50 ratings