Author Topic: Beercation to Richmond VA  (Read 1468 times)

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Beercation to Richmond VA
« on: February 07, 2015, 11:14:08 PM »
My wife and I are traveling to Richmond, Virginia next week for a few days, and I understand they have a pretty good beer scene there. Of course, on the Internet all the breweries/brewpubs look wonderful, so I was wondering if any one from that area, or who has been to the area, could give me a heads-up on what I should definitely check out and what I can afford to, or should, miss.

We're very excited and looking forward to this short beercation and would like to make the most of it, so anything you could tell us would be appreciated. Thanks!
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline heavydeadlifts

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 03:27:24 AM »
I live in RVA and yes, the craft beer scene is huge.

My favorite is Isley Brewery, they have an amazing peanut butter oatmeal porter. They don't typically get super crowded and it is a friendly atmosphere.

Strangeways is a great one, they always have a huge selection of unique brews.

Hardywood was originally my favorite. However their huge success with their gingerbread stout has made them a destination for everyone in RVA and they are always very crowded, I would suggest going there on a Sunday.

Legends brewery had been in RVA for ages and had a great atmosphere with great beer.

Ardent is a newer one that I would try to hit. They have a good atmosphere and great beers.

Triple crossing is another local brewery I've heard is decent, however I have never been.

Every bar/restaurant has several taps and a long bottle list of craft beer. If you want to visit a restaurant that has the largest selection of many great beers I would go to Capital Ale House. But like I said, every restaurant has tons of beer. Check out the website trinkin.com before you make a selection, they have updated tap/beer lists for almost every place in RVA.
Batch Sparging Bottle Dreggggg Harvesting Son-ova Biznatch Raging Against the Machine

https://itun.es/us/PN5dq?i=269457903

Offline heavydeadlifts

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 03:30:32 AM »
Also if you want to drive about 30ish minutes north, Center Of The Universe brewery is great.

And a 30 minute drive west will get you to Lickinghole Creek which is one of my favorites as well.
Batch Sparging Bottle Dreggggg Harvesting Son-ova Biznatch Raging Against the Machine

https://itun.es/us/PN5dq?i=269457903

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 01:20:12 PM »
Also if you want to drive about 30ish minutes north, Center Of The Universe brewery is great.

And a 30 minute drive west will get you to Lickinghole Creek which is one of my favorites as well.
I live in RVA and yes, the craft beer scene is huge.

My favorite is Isley Brewery, they have an amazing peanut butter oatmeal porter. They don't typically get super crowded and it is a friendly atmosphere.

Strangeways is a great one, they always have a huge selection of unique brews.

Hardywood was originally my favorite. However their huge success with their gingerbread stout has made them a destination for everyone in RVA and they are always very crowded, I would suggest going there on a Sunday.

Legends brewery had been in RVA for ages and had a great atmosphere with great beer.

Ardent is a newer one that I would try to hit. They have a good atmosphere and great beers.

Triple crossing is another local brewery I've heard is decent, however I have never been.

Every bar/restaurant has several taps and a long bottle list of craft beer. If you want to visit a restaurant that has the largest selection of many great beers I would go to Capital Ale House. But like I said, every restaurant has tons of beer. Check out the website trinkin.com before you make a selection, they have updated tap/beer lists for almost every place in RVA.

Thanks, guys! Awesome stuff. I'm going to print out this list and go to the website.

Funny you mention Lickinghole Creek, when we were looking as stuff online, my wife was a little put off by the name. I do have to admit it's fun to say.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1870
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 01:44:10 PM »
The best beer selection on tap is Mekong. CAH has several locations and large numbers of drafts, but I prefer Mekong.
http://www.craftbeer.com/news/craftbeer-com-news/craftbeer-coms-2014-great-american-beer-bars-results

Hardywood is certainly worth a visit.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 10:10:14 PM »
The best beer selection on tap is Mekong. CAH has several locations and large numbers of drafts, but I prefer Mekong.
http://www.craftbeer.com/news/craftbeer-com-news/craftbeer-coms-2014-great-american-beer-bars-results

Hardywood is certainly worth a visit.

Thanks, man. I'll check it out.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline iamgruit

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Gose Head and Take a Brau! Winchester, Virginia
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2015, 03:25:23 PM »
Capital Ale House is definitely a good stop. Check their website out from time to time, they have a few area locations and sometimes they have a special tapping or a steal the pint night featuring a local brewery.

Strangeways does some interesting brews. Some nice sours and fruit beers.

Always a fan of Legend's Oyster Stout - I have only seen it bottled though.

Speaking of oysters, if you're a seafood fan, about 45 minutes east in Williamsburg Captain George's Seafood is some great eating. And you can always hit up Alewerks Brewing while you're in town as well. Love their Washington Porter and the Coffeehouse Stout.
Matt

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 02:17:14 AM »
Capital Ale House is definitely a good stop. Check their website out from time to time, they have a few area locations and sometimes they have a special tapping or a steal the pint night featuring a local brewery.

Strangeways does some interesting brews. Some nice sours and fruit beers.

Always a fan of Legend's Oyster Stout - I have only seen it bottled though.

Speaking of oysters, if you're a seafood fan, about 45 minutes east in Williamsburg Captain George's Seafood is some great eating. And you can always hit up Alewerks Brewing while you're in town as well. Love their Washington Porter and the Coffeehouse Stout.

Good Stuff. Capital Ale House has come up on a couple of posts here and Strangeways sounds like my kind of place. Thanks, Matt.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1870
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 03:40:28 PM »
CAH is good, but their selection never seems to get me excited. The best thing on the menu is Mussels. Depending upon which location you frequent will determine the vibe of the place.

If someone gave me the choice of going to only one and the options were CAH or Mekong I would go to Mekong every single time...YMMV.

This is a photo I found on the web from almost a year ago which if you zoom in should demonstrate just how good their draft list is and why they have won best beer bar multiple times. Put it another way, their rating on BA is 100% with over 100 ratings.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l0R4gDpMUoE/U12xvlae4HI/AAAAAAAADrA/c9DWaVqbdkw/s1600/IMG_0630.JPG
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2015, 01:04:23 AM »
Yeah, those taps look good, not to mention the dude in the picture looks like he is really enjoying himself. Is that you?

Thanks, Mekong is on the list.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1870
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 02:31:39 PM »
Not me, just a photo I could find. Often he will have a stellar sour draft list. The Pho is great too, but if Vietnamese isn't your cuisine, there is always beer. ;)
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 12:07:55 AM »
Yeah, from what I can make out from the picture, the tap list looks great. And the wife and I love Vietnamese cuisine. It looks like a definite stop on the itinerary. Thanks.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline chumley

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 970
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 12:05:35 AM »
I went to a conference there 5-6 years ago, and there was a great British pub.  Had several killer Brit beers on tap, including Chiswick bitter.

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 11:50:36 PM »
I went to a conference there 5-6 years ago, and there was a great British pub.  Had several killer Brit beers on tap, including Chiswick bitter.

Sounds good! Thanks, Chumley.

I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning. I'll report back when I get home.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline Frankenbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 669
  • South Shore Brew Club, SE Massachusetts
    • View Profile
Re: Beercation to Richmond VA
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2015, 01:28:00 AM »
Just got back from Richmond, and it was fantastic!

First, thank you to everyone who chimed in on this thread. Your help and guidance was invaluable and really made this trip easy and excellent. I already felt when we got there that I was an expert on the scene. I went to at least one of the places that you all had recommended, and we found one to add the list ourselves.

From the airport, we went directly to the Capital Ale House for lunch. It was quiet, nice and comfortable. I struck out on my first order as they were out of Bells Two Hearted Ale. I had never had it; they don't sell it in MA. So, I had a Green Flash Symposium, which was awesome. My wife had a couple of Kolsches, one from Blue Mountain, which she was dissapointed with, and a Killer Kolsch from Champion Brewery, which she liked. She said that neither of them were as good as mine. God love her!

Dinner at Mekong. Really got a kick out of this place. Vietnamese restaurant with a killer tap list; not to be prejudiced in any way, but the two things just don't seem to go together, except that they do. My wife had the Lindeman's Peach Lambic, which she liked, and I had a pair of saisons, one from Goose Island and one from Firestone. Oh, and the food was terrific.

Next day we went to Charlottesville to see Monticello, and we stumbled across an excellent brewpub which no one had mentioned, probably because we asked about Richmond and Monticello is an hour away. South St. is an awesome brewpub with beer that was among the best of the trip and food that is better than anyplace we ate. I had the mac and cheese and the wife had a black bean burger. I started with a Red Belgian Tripel that was heavenly, and brought the meal to a close with an Imperial Red IPA on nitrogen, hop bomb with the latest American hops and a creamy mouthfeel that you can only get with nitro. The wife had her third kolsch of the trip, and, according to her, the best, though not as good as mine; this is why I married her. This place was a real find, excellent!

That night we stopped at a little place called The Cask. Good tap list, nice relaxed atmosphere, but not a real stand out other than that. I had a pint of SN Hop Hunter, which was good.

For dinner we went to Penny Lane Pub. I think this was the one you were talking about, Chumley. Totally British, all Beatles, and had the cuisine to match. I had a Fuller's London Pride along with the Cottage pie. Very British, tut, tut, and cheerio, and very nice. Some great obscure pictures of the fab four. I'd recommend this place, too.

Third day we found ourselves opening Strangeways Brewing's taproom at noon. This place had some exceptional, slightly off kilter beers that took some solid beer styles and raised the bar on them. I started off with their Woodbooger, which is a Belgian Brown that was malty and funky, tasted Belgian and a little bretty, nice. Next, I waded in to one of their more off-beat offerings, Coffee in Bed, a Pecan Dubbel. The pecan was a bit overwhelming in the aroma, but blended nicely in the flavor, a real treat. The wife had a Raspberry Albino, which is a Belgian Wit with Raspberry. She liked it a lot. She followed it up with a Still Life with Peaches which was a saison, with brett and peaches. I don't know which one surprised me, my wife who liked it or the beer which must have been so good as to make her like something which seemed to me to be kind of out of her league.

Later that afternoon, we took a drive out to the Center of the Universe. They have a nice atmosphere, a comfortable little tap room with a variety of seats and reading material and games as well as chips and dips. I had the ScotchTown Scotch ale, and the wife had her fourth kolsch of the trip, still searching for one to beat mine. Well, according to her, COTU's Killer Kolsch wasn't it. So, It seems that I'm still on top of the battle of the kolsches.

Last stop on the trip was for a late dinner at Legends Brewery. The place was packed and the waitstaff was hopping. The live band was playing the Dead, the Beatles, The Band, and the like. The beer menu is very generic: Pale ale, Pilsner, Lager, etc. I had a Hopfest, which was a solid IPA, and the wife had the lager, which she enjoyed. The food was good: I warmed up with a chili and followed it with a gyro. The wife had another burger. The atmosphere here was the best. Everyone, and there were lots of people there, was having a good time. This was a nice place to end the trip.

So, overall, the beercation was a huge success, largely due to the input from you, my fellow AHA bloggers. Probably the biggest surprise for me was how huge the beer scene is in Richmond. I had always thought of Asheville, NC as the beer city, but now I think that Richmond is bigger and better. The selection is certainly more diverse and eclectic, and the quality is top notch. Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 01:08:19 PM by Frankenbrew »
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'