What’s Good at Capital Ale House?

Since we went to the Capital Ale House for an office luncheon the best we could do was to stare in awe at the menu. And that was just for the beer.

The downtown location carries 53 beers on tap. That’s not a misprint. There’s a huge selection of ales, pilsners, stouts, porters and more with selections from around the world. In addition all Capital Ale House locations carry two cask-conditioned “real” ales as well as over 250 bottled beers. If you’re a beer fan, you’ll always find something new to try.

If you’ve got a bucket list, trying all the beers at Capital Ale House might be a challenge to undertake. But I’d recommend you start soon. And keep in mind that Wednesday is “Virginia Beer Day” where you can support, and try the beers from, local breweries.

Our lunch was at the original location in Downtown Richmond. Capital Ale House sits in a 108-year-old building. Enjoy the bar in the front room. Larger groups like ours can dine in the back. Seasonally enjoy the Beer Garden. And a separate lower level gaming area has four dart boards and other games. It’s a great place to join your co-workers or friends after work. Right on Main Street, the downtown location is close to the Capital, the Carpenter Center, Tredegar and Brown’s Island.

In addition to the Downtown location there are locations in Innsbrook, Midlothian and Fredericksburg. A new location will open soon in Harrisonburg.

While the beer selections are awesome, beer doesn’t fit into most office luncheons so let’s talk a little about the menu. If you want a fine dining experience, then perhaps Capital Ale House shouldn’t be your choice. But for casual, pub type dining, the food is great. Remember, this is a bar, an Ale House, not a restaurant. So expect a more traditional bar type menu.

Most folks around our table opted for a burger or sandwich and there are many choices. The Ale House Burger is standard fare. All burgers at the Capital Ale House are Certified Angus Beef and are cooked to order. Most burgers come with Belgian style frites served with flavored mayonnaise.

I opted for the soup of the day and a salad. The soup was white bean and ham. I asked for a cup but was told they only had “small” bowls. Truth be told, the bowl was far from small and most days I would’ve been happy to skip the salad. But I’m glad I didn’t. I chose the Apple and Bleu Salad, which is mixed greens, bleu cheese and spiced walnuts dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. It was an excellent choice.

If you do opt to go there for dinner there’s a good selection of steak and poultry as well as seafood and pasta. But, like I said, keep in mind this is a bar and their specialty is beer. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy the food selections. If you’re out for a good time with friends, and a few brews, you’ll be pleased with your choices. If you want a fine culinary experience, then perhaps after the brews, you head down to Shockoe Bottom for a different dining selection.

Capital Ale House doesn’t have a traditional happy hour. But each day of the week there are specific specials. In addition to Wednesday being Virginia Beer Day, you can enjoy Burger Night on Monday where select burgers are available for $2.00 with the purchase of a beverage. Tuesday is “Steal the Glass Night” beginning at 4:00 p.m. While supplies last you can order a beer from the featured brewery and take home the special glassware.

For a casual good food, good brews type of experience, Capital Ale House is a great choice.

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