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

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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by garuda:
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Rated by garuda from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Feb 24, 2014
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.09 by Boone757 from Virginia

Sep 03, 2021
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 3.56 by VeganUndead from Virginia

May 08, 2017
Rated: 4.06 by beerrat from Virginia

Jun 27, 2016
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Rated by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.25 by Iamjeff6 from Virginia

Dec 09, 2015
Rated: 3.99 by frankaboutbeer from Maryland

Jun 27, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by gopens44 from Virginia

Nov 13, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by memphisjet from Virginia

May 02, 2014
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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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
Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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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Reviewed by 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
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Reviewed by 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
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Reviewed by atsprings from North Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
After 2 visits to the downtown location, my sister and I decided to try this one after learning it has more taps, and especially since we would not have to deal with downtown parking on a weekday. The atmosphere was almost identical to the downtown location just with a little more space. The quality was great as far as I could tell, I imagine they must stay busy enough to have good turnover on the kegs. The service was great, even for a slow Thursday just after lunch. The selection was outstanding, just like downtown. You've got to love the discount on bottled beer-to-go. The food was just as good as I remember it being downtown. The prices were very reasonable, with great weekly sales such as $2-$3 dollar pints on Sunday and $1 1/2lb burgers on Monday.
Feb 22, 2008
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Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5
What a great place to have beer. I went late last year for the Kerstbier festival and tasted some rare beers from Bell's among other things.

While I didn't have anything to eat, I must say that it has a great atmosphere, with a lot of counter space at the bar and plenty of tables. The beer selection was extraordinary and you must ask to see the "secret list" which has a number of rare vintage beers that are reasonably priced for what you get.

I cannot think of another place that has this many quality taps, and I have been to a lot of beer bars around the country. If you cannot find anything on tap, the bottle selection is also vast, and you can purchase them to take out at a slight discount.

The only thing I can think of that was a negative about this place was that one of the servers was not fully up to speed on the special beers that were being served. I was seeking some of the Bell's and she had to check at the "upstairs" bar (I forgot to mention there are two bars). She came back and told me that they were out of stock. Fortunately, another patron asked the same question of another bartender so that saved the day for me. I also got a chance to spend some time with BA "brewno" - make sure you ask for him if you visit this location.
Jan 12, 2008
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Reviewed by Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Ah, one of our favorite places (among many) that we love to drop by at whenever we’re traveling up and down I-95. It’s easy enough to find, being located in the Innsbrook Shoppes, just northwest of Richmond in Glen Allen. Plenty of parking out front and it’s hard to miss that gigantic Capital Ale House façade out front. Inside, the place is massive. 3 bars, including the main one up front (which is very long), a side bar (that is smoke free) and then a patio bar. The main dining seating is up front and consists mostly of rather roomy booths. They are also other separate dining areas is other rooms. What I love is how spacious the layout is and how everything has its own separate area. Atmosphere is what I would call an approachable upscale. It definitely seems classier than the other location in downtown Richmond but you by no means have to dress up or anything like that.

Onto the beer. You know, once they throw down the 25 page beer menu (that’s almost updated daily) that this place means business. 77 beers on tap, 2 on cask, and a bottle selection of over 250. They also have a secret bottle list that they will break out if you ask, that has some of the rarer beers on it, usually at a more expensive price point (although I bought a bottle of Reaper Sleighor Double IPA off it earlier in the year for a decent price). The selection can be quite intimidating, when you first look at the menu, and is a tremendous mix of American craft, good imports, and even some local VA brews. Every beer I’ve had here has been fresh and tasty. Sunday is the day to come here as it’s American Craft Beer day. All beers are $2-3 between 10am-5pm. That probably helps offset the fact that they have no TVs for sports watching on Sundays.

They have a pretty large food menu here, with everything from sandwiches and salads to more upscale entrees, as well as both a more limited late night menu and Sunday brunch. Our favorite here is three types of Moulles they offer. I would call most prices fairly reasonable when compared to similar establishments. Our service here has always been good. The servers are always very courteous and classy and have a great knowledge of the beer menu.

This is a must stop if your in the Richmond area. It’s always a pleasure to patronize an establishment with such respect and appreciation for the beers that they serve there.
Dec 13, 2007
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Reviewed by alehole from Virginia

5/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Hands down, the best beer bar in Virginia.

A - Excellent. Smoking and non-smoking bars, including a patio bar. The ice rails that line the bars are great. Deep, semi-private booths.

Q - This just reflects my rating.

S - The service was great. Everyone knew the beer list thoroughly and if they couldn't answer my question, they went to someone who could. Good recommendations and kept me up to date on newly tapped items that weren't on the current 25 page beer list.

S - Did I say 25 page beer list? I did. 75 beers on tap + 2 cask engines. Over 375 bottled beers at any given time. Definite rating of 6. Oh yeah....and a secret list....

F - didn't try any food but it looked and smelled delicious....

I would definitely go back to the CAH. Beats the fuck out of Applebee's....
Oct 30, 2007
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Reviewed by ghostmech007 from Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
This is hands down the Mecca of beer geeks in the Southern Virginia area. Hard to find but once you are there you never want to leave. I visited it for their Annual Beer Geek Week.

Top notch designing and atmosphere. Very modern but with plenty of space and lots and lots of bar space. Three different bars: a main bar, a side bar(smoke-free), and a deck bar. A game room, with darts and video games. Everything is well separated from each other. Deep booths. Tables are spaced out. And the rooms are well separated.

On to the beer. Oh is there beer. 200+ bottles, over 75 taps, and two casks. Amazing. You can choose up two five beers you want to sample for free and then it's a dollar for every sample. And you get I think a 4oz sample pint. The selection is insane. From Weihenstaphaner to Allagash, Sierra Nevada to Hofbraü, La Caracole-Troublette to Chimay. And even more than that! And they are the freshest beers you can try to get anywhere. And in the cask was Legend Brewery's Imperial Brown Ale, and it was perfect.

The service was impeccable. Perfect. The bartenders and servers know everything about the beers. I mean it was just insane. There must of been at least 70 people on staff at the time and they were all over the place.

The food was good but a little to small a portion to really give the price. I had the Würst Platter, which is knackwurst and bratwurst served with red cabbage and German potato salad. Good but 10 bucks?

I had to pay a cover of five bucks at the door then I had to pay 7 dollars for a 20oz imperial pint per beer. You could also get the smaller 14oz pint but only save two bucks. The place was packed when I was there also. I got to sit and a good table in the bar area my friends and I had lots of fun, but my friends were complaining about where the girls were, but that is the only thing I didn't like about my trip there. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Oct 01, 2007
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Reviewed by dcteas17 from Missouri

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
The best place I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying a beer.

They have a fairly diverse food menu with some quality choices at reasonable prices, including some more typical "bar fare" (try the excellent German pretzel with a beer).

But really, what you come for is the drink menu. Over 25 pages in length and printed on copy paper since it changes frequently, it's quite daunting. 77 beers on tap, including a few "real ales" in cask and hand pumped. Over 200 in bottles. Frankly, it's hard to narrow anything down. Your best bet is to pick a style and then choose among that. Once you've tried one, move onto another style. I could spend all day trying beer after beer, if it weren't for the alcohol's effects.

Sunday is American Micro Day - American microbrews on tap are $2-3 a pint, which is maybe about half of what they have on tap, and a good deal. Wednesday is "steal the glass night" - take home a glass for a select beer if you order it, but they often run out quickly, and it's more of a gimmick than anything else.

Service is good - not great. Some servers really know their beer and are eager to share the passion, and others seem a bit clueless and slower. On a busy night order your next beer before you finish the one you're drinking.

Despite a couple of minor flaws, this place is heaven on Earth. Or at least, heaven in Virginia. A must visit (or the downtown location) for any beer lover in the area, and a full bar, good food, and decent winelist ensure even friends who don't enjoy beer will have a good time.
Aug 11, 2007
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Reviewed by rgctlc from South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
I visited the Glen Allen location on Sunday, November 19 after a backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park. I had never been here before but judging from all the positive reviews and the info on their website, I was looking forward to a great liquid lunch after being in the mountains all week. I was not disappointed. The main bar area was very clean, although a little on the dark side. Also, since it was Sunday I was hoping to have a little NFL with my lunch, but, alas, no TVs in the main bar area. Aside from those nits, it was all upside. It was American Microbrew Sunday- which means $2 or $3 pints. I had a Green Flash IPA, Brooklyn Winter Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Victory Storm King- all for $2 a pint!!! Bingo!!! If I didn't have to drive back to Myrtle Beach I would've stayed there all day. For lunch I had a house salad with house-made bleu cheese dressing and the soup of the day- which was cream of squash. The soup was a tan color, creamy and velvetty(sp?) and tasted like autumn on a spoon. Niiice. My bill for 4 awesome beers and delicious soup and salad came to $15.74 tax included. It was worth twice that much- and on any day other than Sunday, it would have been twice that much! Bottom line- I will go here any time I'm in the Richmond area. This place is not to be missed- esp.Sunday!
Nov 28, 2006
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Reviewed by WeisGuy from New York

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Made the stop in Richmond to hit up CAH and Once Upon a Vine, and I was not disappointed. One thing that appealed to me right away, as was mentioned by previous reviewers, was the non-smoking areas available. My gf and I sat in a nicely secluded booth and looked for sometime through the extensive beer menu. There are 77 taps, I believe, and very few of those were of beers I would not love to drink/try. They also have a very extensive bottle list. Brews we enjoyed included Troeg's Nugget Nectar, cask-conditioned Storm King (an entirely different and great brew on cask), Arrogant Bastard, Bear Republic Racer 5, Rogue Old-Crustacean, SN Celebration, Victory Golden Monkey, and a bottle of Thirsty Dog Siberian Nights to go. Yes, it was a great afternoon. Service was great and refills were quick. We only had an appetizer, the Mexicali wings, and those were great. Prices might be a little on the high side, but not terrible.
Nov 25, 2006
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Reviewed by Bouncingsoul1682 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
I kept getting hints about this place from the guy I buy my beers from and I so I decided to check it out last night. Reminded me of the Flying Saucer bars in Nashville and NC, but the one thing that I found to be especially pleasing was the distinction between the non-smoking and smoking bars. They had 77 beers on tap the night I was there and the tap beer was the reason I went because I have a place to find all my abstract bottles. My first tasting was a Victory Storm King, served up from a conditioned cask. Absolutely amazing! Second serving was St. Bernadus Abt 12 which was equally as delicious straight from the tap.

I spoke extensively with the bar keep and he alerted me to upcoming events from brewery's like Stone and that all America brewed beers are between $2-$3 on Sundays. Worthwhile to check out, apparently this location is better stocked than the downtown location, plus you don't have to deal with all the college kids.
Oct 15, 2006
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Reviewed by gosurfobx from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Visited the place on a sat. night. Was not crowded at all. The beer list is amazing. About 60 beers on tap and 200 or so in bottles. For most of the beers the prices are resonable but some are priced quite high, especially some of the belgians priced at double the price for a bottle as one would pay in a store. They also have some very hard to find beers, one of which only had two kegs exported to the US this year. The food there quite good as well with many of the menu items coming from Germany, UK, and the US. This place is worth a trip if your ever in Richmond.
Jun 07, 2006
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Reviewed by nriech from Virginia

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
This is the place to go for the best selection in the Richmond area. Great area to sit outside and eat in a courtyard or comfortable booths inside. There is also a back room with a fireplace thats good for parties. The staff is knowledeable and good on giving suggestions for beer newbies.

The beer has always been fresh, never had a bad one yet. The selection is overwhelming. It must take me 10 minutes just to look over the beer menu before I start narrowing down my choices and getting them in order. The one problem which I'm sure is a huge logistics problem is the temperature of the beers. They are all the same. Order a barleywine and get ready to warm it between your hands for a while.

The food is decent but not something I would seek out if it were not for the beer selection. The appetizers have gone downhill in the last few years along with the salads. Even the main courses have gone up in price without a relative increase in quality or quantity. I suggest going for the burgers, but not on $1 burger night where they are all cooked well done.
May 22, 2006
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Reviewed by Lnedrive14 from Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
I am going to make this short and sweet. This is my absolute favorite place to drink. Good food, nice place, nice servers, and 75 beers on tap. What could be bad? Nothing. Well, almost nothing. The selection is extensive, but there is very little "interesting" stuff. It is basically the easiest 200 beers that come to mind. Don't get me wrong, you will have no problem finding something great to drink, but don't come in with expectations of something rare, because you will probably be disappointed.

Recommendation: Go there on a cool summer night and sit outside next to the stream and drink beers through the stillness of the beautiful Virginia summer air. It will be a night to remember (or forget, if you drink enough).
Oct 21, 2005
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Reviewed by tjthresh from Indiana

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Not really digging the atmosphere. To yuppie for me.

The quality of the beer was top notch. I bet I tried 8 brews when I was there, and each seemed to be at the peak of freshness.

Service was okay. I had to wait on them a few times, and there were three bartenders. I don't feel I should have to wait long with that many people behind the bar.

Beer selction was as good as it gets. Most popular beers for coast to coast and most places in between. Plus great imports.

Food was real good. The steamed mussels, and frittes (french fries served with mayo) where very good.

I think you pay alot extra for the yuppie environment.
May 08, 2005
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Reviewed by foamer from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
This is a classier joint than the downtown CAH. Stained wood booths accented with glass bricks illuminated in a cool blue light really give off this impression. Not too busy on a Wednesday night at around 8PM, and it got less and less busy as time wore on.

The service was prompt and efficient and our waitress would come back regularly to check up on us to make sure we were doing alright. She didn't seem to mind that we were her only table by the end of the evening.

The selection is better than the downtown location. I counted 63 beers on draught, and in total I stopped counting after 250. There were a couple of beers that they didn't have, but I won't mark them down for it because if anything it made my difficult choices easier. That evening I had a Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale, Dogfish Head 90 Min IPA, Victory St. Victorious Dopplebock, Old Rasputin RIS, and finished off with a Storm King. All fresh and very very tasty.

The food was quite good as well. I had a very nice burger with sauteed mushrooms, spinach and melted havarti I believe, and the fries were served with an herbed mayonnaise. And the chocolate cake paired with the Old Rasputin was nigh on orgasmic.

It's hard to tell which CAH to go to. I think if you want a classy dinner and some great beer then probably go here, but if you just want some pints, go to the downtown one. Then again, the selection is different at each place, so why not do what I did and go one location one night, and the other the next.
Apr 01, 2005
Capital Ale House in Glen Allen, VA
Place rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 51 ratings