Happy 10th Capital Ale House!

It’s hard to believe it has been 10 short years since Capital Ale House first opened their doors in downtown Richmond. In those 10 years, Capital has extended its reach by adding locations in Midlothian,  Innsbrook, and as well as distant Fredericksburg.

Never ones to think small, Cap Ale has big plans on the agenda. We’re talking year long big. First, how do you feel about a special beer? How about 12 of them? Well, that’s what they’ve done. Capital Ale House has contracted with 12 breweries for special anniversary beers to be tapped each month.

The first brewery to contribute a beer to this celebration will be Starr Hill Brewing with their “Doppelbock, an extra-strong dark lager with a massive caramel aroma and a gentle toasty bittersweet finish”. Before you groan and ask why Starr Hill, consider that Starr Hill for a long time had their own music hall in Charlottesville. I will openly admit that I have not been the biggest fan of Starr Hill’s beers, but a recent visit to the brewery has me changing my mind. After receiving a six pack of dopplebock for Christmas, I said I needed to try more of the style.  So I guess I will be starting with their Doppelbock and hope you will give Starr Hill a second try. I think you will be surprised.

The tapping will begin at 6pm at the Downtown location. Read more at the Facebook event page.

Oh and that’s not all! Apparently, there will be a second special beer from Starr Hill tonight as well.  According to this tweet from the brewery, their All Access Wee Heavy will also be on tap.

So what else done Capital Ale have planned for this milestone year.  Wait and see!

Remember it all starts at 6pm!

623 E Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219-2405

Capital Ale Starts Year with Dogfish Heads and Randalls

Welcome dear readers to 2012.  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season.  It took me a bit longer to recover from all the drinking celebrating than I thought it would. I thought I’d have another week before any cool beer events would show up in the calendar.  Capital Ale House has proven me wrong with events exclusively at their Downtown and Innsbrook locations.

Downtown Dogfish Head Tapping

The Dogfish Head Tapping event started New Years Day and continues until Saturday, Jan 7th. Namaste, Theobroma, Midas Touch, and My Antonia were tapped in the last two days.  There’s a good chance you may still be able to get some of these today.  Here’s what you can expect for the rest of the week.  Tappings will start at 4pm Tues – Fri and 7pm Sat

Tuesday January 3rd
Palo Santo Marron
Chicory Stout

Wednesday January 4th
Chateau Jiahu

Thursday January 5th
Black & Blue

Friday January 6th
Burton Baton
120 Minute

Saturday January 7th
Miles Davis Bitch’s Brew

Innsbrook Single Randall Nights

Starting 5pm this and every other Friday in January, the Innsbrook location will be running a much beloved IPA through a randall of hops as an experimentation in taste. Hopheads this is an event for you.  Go out and experience it for yourself and make sure to give your feedback. Capital Ale has carefully selected the hops paired with each beer and wants you to judge on how well they work.  Servers or bartenders will have comment sheets so you can tell them what you think.

January 6th: Bear Republic Racer 5 run through Chinook hops
January 13th: Founders Centennial run through Columbus hops
January 20th: Stone IPA run through Fuggle hops
January 27th: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA run through Nugget hops

If anyone had a resolution of cutting down on beer, I predict you will be breaking it this week. I’m sure there is a lot of other stuff you can resolve to change.

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Your Beer Geek

Here it is the day before Christmas Eve and you have yet to find that perfect gift for the beer geek in your life. Don’t worry I have a few suggestions from around town.

Hardywood Schwag

I don’t think anyone would disagree that Hardywood is the hottest thing to hit the Richmond beer scene in quite awhile.  There is virtually no way you could get it wrong by choosing something they have to offer in their tasting room. If you want them to love you forever, get them the ever sexy black stainless insulated growler.  Designed by Hydroflask, this growler boasts the claims of being able to keep beer carbonated for up to a week and cold for 24 hours.

These cedar coasters caught my attention at Hardywood’s last party. This would be a perfect gift for someone who has every beer glass in the world.

Hardywood’s tasting room is open 2-5pm Dec. 23rd. Take a look other gift options offered by Hardywood.

St Bernadus Giftset

Without a doubt, St Bernadus’ Abt 12 is one of my favorite Belgian beers that I have ever had.  If I don’t get this for Christmas, I may have to go get it for myself.  I have only seen this one at Ellwood Thompson and Wine & Beer Westpark but you can also check Once Upon A Vine South as well.


This is strictly for your homebrewer. Penzeys Spices in Carytown has a great collection of spices that any intrepid homebrewer would love to get their hands on.  A few spices that come to mind are coriander, cardamom, crystallized ginger, star anise, cinnamon and a variety of peppercorns.  The sky is limit here.

Beer Marinades

Does your beer geek love to cook? I just saw these marinades at Whole Foods Short Pump just the other day.  The stout marinade uses Heavy Seas Peg Leg.

Gift Cards

They may be cliche but it is a fact that they are an all around great option when the person you are buying for does not have a predictable palate.  I recommend starting at least $25.  This will allow them to get a variety of beers from Once Upon a Vine South or Wine & Beer Westpark.  If you are buying for a homebrewer, look for certificates from either The Weekend Brewer or Original Gravity.

I am going to take some time off to enjoy Christmas and New Years.  I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday season.  I will be back fresh in the new year.


My Vote for Hardywood’s Next Brew

This tweet from Capital Ale House just reminded me that attendees at the Hardywood cocoa/coffee stout tasting will get to choose their next brew.

This is just another classic example of Hardywood’s focus on local ingredients and the community.  I cannot attend so I will cast my vote right now. Drum roll please….Belgian Raspberry Stout! What?! What do you mean it’s not one of the choices?  Ok, fine. Here’s the full info out of Taste the Local:

To follow up Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery will be doing a cocoa/coffee stout. Help them choose which locally roasted coffee will be used in the beer on Wednesday at Capital Ale House Richmond. 6:30pm. Three firkins will be available to sample and vote on your favorite. The winning roast goes in the next brew!

Coffee roasts are from Black Hand Coffee Company, Lamplighter, and Blanchard’s. I do not really have a preference over any of the coffee roasters except maybe Blanchards because I know some of the people that work there.  So head to Capital Ale House Downtown at 6:30  to cast your vote.

A Tale of Two Dogfish Tap Takeovers

Tonight is like something out of a Charles Dicken’s story.  Thankfully, it’s not the one this time of year is known for.  Richmond will have two Dogfish Head tap takeovers Monday night at Commercial Taphouse and The Blue Goat.  Commercial and Blue Goat will share three beers in common:

60 Minute IPA
Palo Santo Marron
My Antonia

In addition, Blue Goat will have:

Midas Touch

Similarly, Commercial Taphouse will boast three additional beers:

90 Minute IPA
Hellhound on My Ale
Immort Ale

Now the choice is yours.  Head over to either location for some great Dogfish Head beers.

Commercial Taphouse & Grill
111 N Robinson St
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 359-6544

The Blue Goat
5710 Grove Ave.
Richmond VA, 23226
(804) 288-8875

It’s International Growler Day!

Have you hugged your growler today? Maybe, it’s time you should.  The Wikipedia entry for growler lists it as a type of beer bottle among other possibilities, which is partly true but mostly inaccurate. Wikipedia gives more insight into the history behind the name:

The term likely dates back to the late 19th century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small galvanized pail. Often the inside of the pail would be coated with lard to decrease foam and allow for slightly more beer to be in the pail. It is claimed the sound that the CO2 made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl.

A growler is not simply a bottle you chose to fill with beer. Deciding which beer to fill your growler with can be an intimate affair.  Maybe you’re going to a party. Do you bring the new exotic brew you just tasted for the first time?  Or do you go with an old favorite you hadn’t seen in awhile?  What if you go somewhere that has 50 taps to choose from? It may take you a few hours just to fill the one growler you brought with you?  If you find trying to pick out beer to put in your growler to be a chore then you’re doing it wrong.  Simply put filling your growler should be fun.  Here are a few places that you can go have your fun today.

Tarrant’s Cafe 11am — 12am

Capital Ale House 11am — 1:30am

Whole Foods Short Pump 8am — 10pm

Hardywood Park 2pm — 5pm