The Richmond beer scene continues to bask in national acclaim, and though there have been some notable comings and goings in 2019, the growth of the industry in the River City doesn’t figure to slow anytime soon.
Among the developments in the past year:
• Bingo Beer Co. joined Scott’s Addition’s already bustling scene, opening a bier hall and arcade featuring plenty of house-made brews and fun game options. Strangeways Brewing also ventured into Scott’s Addition, opening its second area location on Leigh Street. Charlottesville's Starr Hill was expected to open its rooftop bar in Richmond in the neighborhood, too.
• The Veil’s second location — this one south of the river on Forest Hill Avenue — remains on track for a 2020 opening.
• Manchester’s beer scene is coming to life. Waynesboro’s Basic City Brewing set up shop in the old Twisted Ales Craft Brewing taproom near Legend Brewing Co., and Dogtown Brewing made its debut on Hull Street. Just down the road in the former Bank of Commerce & Trust building, Manastoh Brewing is slated to open in 2020.
• Shockoe Bottom added two options. ShipLock Brewing opened in late 2018 in the old 7 Hills Brewing Co. location, and an old Richmond name was revived as Richbrau Brewing Co. opened its doors on South 20th Street.
• Bryant’s Small Batch Cider, based in Nelson County, opened its Richmond tasting room in Jackson Ward in late 2018.
• The next frontier? There are plans for two breweries in Chester (Dancing Kilt and Molly’s Blind Dog), as well as a spot in Moseley (Hidden Wit Brewing).
• As for departures, Charlottesville’s Champion Brewing shuttered its downtown Richmond location after a nearly three-year run here, and plans for Safety Team Brewing fell through on North Side.
To help you keep up with the area’s ever-changing beer scene, here's information about breweries and cideries in the region — and even some notable beer bars. Cheers!
(Offerings can change frequently, and tasting room schedules can change with the seasons. Area code 804 unless noted otherwise.)
BREWERIES / BREWPUBS
Ammo Brewing: In German, gemutlichkeit describes a space or state of warmth, friendliness and good cheer. Opened in July 2016, Ammo Brewing uses that word to describe the patron experience in the taproom, located in the heart of downtown Petersburg. Ammo continues to brew a wide range of styles on its two-barrel system. The tasting room features a full food menu that runs till an hour before closing. Up to 16 brews are on tap, ranging from Whittentown Brown (a medium-weight dark American brown ale) to the Crater Hop Bomb (a boozy West Coast-inspired triple IPA that checks in at a whopping 210 IBU). (235 N. Market St. in Petersburg; 722-1667; ammobrewing.com)
The Answer Brewpub: An Bui started with beer bar and Vietnamese restaurant Mekong in 1995, and his neighboring brewery opened in September 2014. The Answer continues to offer a variety of in-house, local, national and international craft brews. After focusing on IPAs for much of its early existence, the in-house beers now include selections such as kellerbiers, farmhouse ales and wheat beers. In all, The Answer features 56 brews on tap, two bars, a live music stage and a new outdoor patio. (6008 W. Broad St.; 282-1248; theanswerbrewpub.com)
Ardent Craft Ales: Opened in June 2014 in Scott’s Addition, Ardent appeals to drinkers who appreciate craftsmanship, and it features one of the city’s best outdoor patio experiences. At any time, you’ll find a number of IPAs on the menu, including its rotational IPA, Highpoint Double IPA and a dry Brett IPA. The Honey Ginger, featuring fresh ginger and locally sourced honey in a deep-colored gold ale, remains a local favorite. Ardent offers small plates and snacks, and a rotating lineup of food trucks set up shop on property. (3200 W. Leigh St.; 359-1605; ardentcraftales.com)
Basic City Beer Co.: In September 2018, Waynesboro’s Basic City expanded to Richmond, settling in at the Manchester location that first hosted Blue Bee Cider and later was home to Twisted Ales Craft Brewing. Co-founders Bart, Chris and Joe Lanman opened the original Waynesboro location in 2016. The flagship 6th Lord IPA is on tap in Manchester, as are pilsner, lager and stout selections. While there, pass the time with a game of pingpong, or catch a football game on the projection screen. (212 W. Sixth St.; 447-4735; basiccitybeer.com)
Bingo Beer Co.: Opened in November 2018 and led by head brewer Ken Rayher (and restaurateur Jason Alley), Bingo mixes beer, food and games to provide a fun experience on the edge of Scott’s Addition. The flagship Bingo Lager is always on tap, as are several other offerings. Bingo’s focus is on delicious, crushable lagers, but you’ll also find IPAs, saisons, goses and witbiers on tap. While there, stop by the arcade for a game of skeeball or pingpong, or to try your hand at one of 12 vintage cabinet video games. (2900 W. Broad St.; 386-0290; bingorva.com)
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse : BJ’s opened in October 2014 just west of Short Pump Town Center. A family friendly, high-energy restaurant chain, BJ’s is a great spot to catch a football game on the weekend, and it features a 120-item menu that will please even the pickiest eater in the family. Oh, there’s house-made beer, too, including the A Tripel Around the World IPA, BJ’s Zany Zitrus Hazy IPA and BJ’s Casa de Cerveza lager. (12010 W. Broad St.; 298-2950; bjsrestaurants.com)
Blue Bee Cider: Now in the restored city stables in Scott’s Addition, Blue Bee has been serving naturally gluten-free ciders since late 2012, when it opened in Manchester. It relocated to Scott’s Addition in October 2016 and boasts a bottle shop, tasting room and patio. Named after one of Virginia’s native bees (the Blue Orchard Bee), this was the first Virginia cidery to make a hopped cider, and the style can be found in many of the small-batch ciders that it produces. Blue Bee features a cider club, where a quarterly fee entitles members to four cider shipments a year, and has its own urban orchard on site. (1320 Summit Ave.; 231-0280; bluebeecider.com)
Bryant’s Small Batch Cider: Jerry Thornton opened the original Bryant’s location in Nelson County before adding a location in Jackson Ward in November 2018. Bryant’s specializes in dry ciders made with no added sugars. All of Bryant’s ciders are produced in the family’s 400-acre farm in Nelson. Eight ciders are on tap in Richmond, including the popular Unicorn Fuel, which is made with rose hips and hibiscus. (308 N. Adams St.; bryantscider.com)
Buskey Cider: Founder Will Correll began fermenting cider in small batches in a Hampden-Sydney College dorm at age 22, and his experience shows at Buskey, which has been selling semisweet and drier ciders in draft and in cans since April 2016. Offering include reliable standards (such as the flagship RVA Cider) and creative variants (such as the Jalapeno Lime and the Salted Caramel). The Scott’s Addition taproom is dog-friendly and has plenty of tables you can sidle up to and play board games. A second location, Buskey Cider on the Bay, opened in Cape Charles in June 2018. (2910 W. Leigh St.; 355-0100; buskeycider.com)
Canon & Draw Brewing Co.: Canon & Draw is the Fan District’s lone craft brewery. The Cooper family, which founded Chesterfield County’s Steam Bell Beer Works in 2016, opened Canon & Draw in March 2018. Using a seven-barrel brewing system, C&D offers a wide variety of beers from hefeweizens to double IPAs — including River City Tap Water, a lightly citra dry-hopped American adjunct lager. (1529 W. Main St.; 353-0536; canonanddraw.beer)
Castleburg Brewery & Taproom: Opened in May 2016, Karl Homburg and Rhonda Groves’ brewery has settled in nicely in Richmond’s Commerce Park area. Using a two-barrel system, Castleburg brews a wide variety of offerings, from the crisp award-winning Castleburg Cream Ale to the exotic Murder Hole Mango Double IPA. An expanded event space allows for an array of entertainment options, including live music and viewing sports. Come here often? Ask about Castleburg’s "Knights of Malta" membership program. (1626 Ownby Lane; 353-1256; castleburgbrewery.com)
Center of the Universe Brewing Co.: Founded by former Major League Baseball pitcher Chris Ray and his brother Phil, COTU opened in November 2012 and continues to evolve — and its beers continue to gain acclaim. COTU's Bald Irishman (an Irish-style red ale) won gold at the 2018 World Beer Cup. Ray Ray’s (a pale ale) and Chin Music (a Vienna-style amber lager) are easy-drinking favorites, and hop heads will enjoy the flagship Pocahoptas (a West Coast-style IPA). A 2016 renovation provided a revamped taproom and events space. (11293 Air Park Road in Ashland; 368-0299; cotubrewing.com)
Courthouse Creek Cider: Eric and Liza Cioffi came from California to open a farmhouse cidery in the heart of Goochland County. A fire on the farm property destroyed their home — but the business was spared, and the tasting room reopened in April 2017. The cidery features 4 acres of trees, with a variety of American, English and French cider apple trees. The cozy room features offerings from a rustic style of cider-making, including the Rustico, the Black Twig (a single-apple varietal) and the bourbon-barrel-aged Blackberry Lavender. The tasting room in Scott’s Addition features an outdoor patio and upstairs cider garden. (In Goochland (1581 Maidens Road; 556-1541) and Scott's Addition (3300 W. Broad St.; 543-3157); courthousecreek.com)
Dogtown Brewing Co.: Dogtown opened its brewery and restaurant in July 2019, adding some much-needed refreshment to the burgeoning Manchester neighborhood. Dogtown features inside seating along with a rooftop tap area offering views of the surrounding area. The brewery features a rotation of 20 small-batch beers brewed on site, including a German-style kölsch, an oyster stout, an ESB and a double IPA. For the non-imbibers, Dogtown offers house-made root beer and ginger ale. (1209 Hull St.; 724-2337; dogtownbrewingco.com)
Extra Billy's: At Extra Billy’s smokehouse-meets-brewery, the barbecue and the beer go hand in hand. Named after former Virginia Gov. William “Extra Billy” Smith, the brewery opened in 2000 and is the second-oldest brewery in the area (behind Legend). Though it established itself with IPAs and stouts, you’ll find the other usual suspects on tap: a pilsner, Belgian tripel, session and blonde ale. The flagship Citra Ass Down is an American IPA with grapefruit aromas. (1110 Alverser Drive in Midlothian; 379-8727; extrabillys.com)
Final Gravity Brewing Co.: Tony Ammendolia opened Original Gravity, the area’s premier homebrewing supply shop, in 2011 in Lakeside and realized a dream by opening a two-barrel nanobrewery next door in August 2015. Final Gravity added two five-barrel fermenters in 2018, allowing it to brew six batches per week and keep a dozen beers on tap. Built on IPAs and stouts, the brewery has expanded its offerings to include hoppy pilsners and goses, among other selections. The expanded tasting room features pinball machines and three steel-tip dartboards. (6118 Lakeside Ave.; 264-4808; oggravity.com)
Fine Creek Brewing Co.: Opened in May 2017, this farmhouse-style brewery won’t give you a flagship offering. Instead, Fine Creek chooses to rotate beers quickly for variety’s sake — the beer and food menus are updated weekly. Fine Creek brews with a three-barrel system and both a three- and seven-barrel fermenter, producing approximately 300 barrels per year. Offerings may vary from a grapefruit hefeweizen to a sour pale ale. Fine Creek’s Dry Hopped Brett Saison earned second place in the Best in Show category at the 2019 Virginia Craft Beer Cup. (2425 Robert E. Lee Road in Powhatan; 372-9786; finecreekbrewing.com)
Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery: At Garden Grove, grain and grape take equal billing. Located at the west end of Carytown, Garden Grove opened in early 2015 and has a three-barrel system that is always churning out something new. An aged oak wine barrel may first be used for fermenting wine and then used to barrel-age a craft beer. The beers tend to land on the low end of the bitterness scale – nothing higher than 62 IBU is on the menu. Garden Grove also works with local chefs to host taproom dinners, with Garden Grove’s offerings incorporated into the meals. (3445 W. Cary St.; 918-6158; gardengrovebrewing.com)
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery: One of Richmond’s most renowned breweries, Hardywood opened its original location in October 2011, followed by West Creek in April 2018. It continues to grow: There are plans for a restaurant inside West Creek, tapping the talents of Heritage chef and owner Joe Sparatta. And the beer? Hardywood's Gingerbread Stout and its barrel-aged variants continue to be among the area’s most sought-after winter offerings, and flagships such as the Pils, Singel and VIPA are popular staples. Hardywood’s offshoot brand, Suncrush, is a drinkable, beach-friendly alternative to the brewery’s other offerings. (In Scott's Addition (2408-2410 Ownby Lane; 420-2420) and West Creek (820 Sanctuary Trail Drive; 418-3548); hardywood.com)
Intermission Beer Co.: Entertainment is part of the setup at Intermission, founded in September 2017 by husband-and-wife team Justin and Courtney White, who met at TheatreVCU. Intermission features a wide variety of beers on tap — consider the Tropical Thunder IPA, Honey Hibiscus Saison or the Strawberry Blonde — and there’s almost always something else interesting brewing at the Virginia Center Commons location. From trivia nights, to books and brews, to open mic nights, Intermission can appeal to wide tastes. (10089-A Brook Road in Glen Allen; 585-0405; intermissionbeer.com)
Isley Brewing Co.: Opened in Scott’s Addition in October 2013, Isley recently added a back patio that seats about 40. Its most popular brew, the Choosy Mother peanut butter porter, is always on tap, along with Plain Jane (a Belgian white) and the Bribe (its flagship oatmeal porter). Some customers mix Choosy Mother with Isley's blueberry-infused take on Plain Jane to create a liquid PB&J. Choosy Mother is no longer available just in house: Isley began distributing cans to Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks. (1715 Summit Ave.; 716-2132; isleybrewingcompany.com)
Kindred Spirit Brewing: Located just off state Route 288 in Goochland County, Kindred Spirit opened in August 2016 and features a 2,500-square-foot family-friendly taproom. The live music, karaoke and comedy are nice complements to the beer menu, which includes up to 15 brews on tap. The options include hop-forward IPAs such as the Headspace and Spacehead, along with the West Coast Brown (an American brown ale) and the Hefeweizen. (12830 West Creek Parkway in Goochland; 708-0309; kindredspiritbrewing.com)
Legend Brewing Co.: A Richmond original, Legend opened way back in 1993 and continues to produce some of the area’s most beloved beers. Year-long offerings include the ubiquitous Legend Brown Ale and the Golden IPA (a traditional English IPA). Legend’s taproom in Manchester features one of the area’s best views of the James River as well as a restaurant that serves German-American pub fare, with its brews used for braising and battering. In August 2017, Legend opened a facility in Portsmouth. (321 W. Seventh St.; 232-3446; legendbrewing.com)
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery: The farmhouse brewery in Goochland opened in September 2013, and the farm-to-pint-glass experience is all around you on the 290-acre working farm. The hops, barley, herbs, spices and even the well water go into Lickinghole Creek’s beers. For urban drinkers, you can enjoy the beer downtown: Lickinghole Creek opened a Shockoe Bottom tasting room in August 2017. Hop heads can check out the Juicy IPA series, featuring a variety of hops and dry-hopping techniques. (In Goochland (4100 Knolls Point Drive; 554-5815) and Shockoe (1717 E. Franklin St.; 873-1610); lickingholecreek.com)
Midnight Brewery: Owner-brewer Trae Cairns left his IT job in 2011 to open Midnight in Goochland County's Rockville area, just off the Manakin exit on Interstate 64. Midnight has persevered ever since, continuing to provide fans with a solid variety of beers including the award-winning Not My Job (southern English brown ale), Rockville Red (Irish red ale) and Luputopia IPA. (2410 Granite Ridge Road in Rockville; 719-9150; midnightbrewery.com)
Origin Beer Lab: Origin, which opened in November 2016, is Center of the Universe’s experimental lab – COTU sought a facility where it could tweak, enhance and create new beers. Origin’s purpose is research and development, but adventurous drinkers can reap some of the benefits. Interesting beers such as the Blueberry Whip or Shandy with Blood Orange might be on tap. These brews won’t make it to the main facility, so be sure to stop by the tasting room for a try. (106 S. Railroad Ave. in Ashland; 299-2389; originbeerlab.com)
Richbrau Brewing Co.: Matthew Mullett, Brian McCauley and Hank Schmidt III combined forces to revive the Richbrau brand in the heart of Shockoe Bottom. The new taproom just opened in July 2019, and the ownership team hopes the third time can be a charm for the iconic name (a Richbrau brewpub operated from 1993 to 2010; it had revived the name of a local beer brand dating to the 1930s). Patrons will find new flagship offerings such as the Psychic Horse (an IPA with citra hops) and the Edgar (an imperial stout). Richbrau has room to grow, too, as its plans include a patio, rooftop deck and local distribution. (5 S. 20th St.; 621-4100; richbraubrewing.com)
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery: Tucked in Short Pump Town Center since June 2014, Rock Bottom offers a respite for weary shoppers. This corporate-owned establishment has locations around the country, but brewer Tanner Chamberlin develops beers special to Richmond. Eleven taps are dedicated to Rock Bottom’s small-batch beers, and four others feature suds from other area breweries. Mainstays include Donzerly Lite (a light kölsch), the Sweet Magnolia (a malty brown ale) and the sessionable Haze Daze IPA. For a high-ABV specialty, try the Rye the Heck Not? (a small-batch IPA utilizing rye malt and Belgian yeast). (11800 W. Broad St.; 237-1684; rockbottom.com)
ShipLock Brewing Co.: The restaurant group that oversees Southern Railway Taphouse opened ShipLock in December 2018 in the former home of 7 Hills Brewing in Shockoe Slip. The in-house brews feature a German influence. Along with German staples such as a pilsner, keller bier, helles lager and weiss bier, ShipLock brews porters and IPAs. The brewery also offers an extensive wine list and cocktail menu as well as food. (115 S. 15th St.; 303-5786; shiplockbrewing.com)
Steam Bell Beer Works: Opened in June 2016, this Chesterfield County brewpub focuses on classic Belgian-style beers. In January 2018, Steam Bell added 3,000 square feet of production space to boost volume. It also purchased a canning line to help widen its Virginia distribution. Mainstays at the microbrewery, named for the steam bell that shapes wooden barrels, include the Farmer’s Daughter (a farmhouse ale) and the Sauce Boss (a golden ale with cranberry and vanilla). The Tiramisu Stout is a collaboration with Sergio’s pizza and Italian restaurant in Midlothian. (1717 Oak Lake Blvd. in Midlothian; 728-1876; steambell.beer)
Stone Brewing: Stone has operated a facility in Fulton since March 2016, though the California-based brewery’s impact here goes beyond beer. The Stone’s Throwdown in RVA music festival has become a late-summer mainstay on Brown’s Island. The Stone Company Store includes a tasting room where you can fill your growler and purchase bottles (brewed in Richmond and in Escondido, Calif.). Stone offers taproom pours as large as 16 ounces and as small as 4 ounces, so you can try many offerings on one trip. Tours of the brewhouse, production line and packing area are available. (4300 Williamsburg Ave.; 489-5902; stonebrewing.com)
Strangeways Brewing: Beyond its Dabney Road spot, Strangeways joined the crowded Scott’s Addition scene in May 2019: It shares an outpost on West Leigh Street with Smohk (whose barbecue can be ordered through the taproom). Strangeways focuses on Belgian and German styles and mixes them with intriguing ingredients, offering adventure when visiting the Laboratory (as in, the taproom). The brewery is also big on wild beers and sours, and the Woodbooger (a Belgian-style brown ale) can be found on taps and in cans across the region. Strangeways opened a location in Fredericksburg in 2017. (2277-A Dabney Road (303-4336) and 3110 W. Leigh St. (358-2049); strangewaysbrewing.com)
Tabol Brewing Co.: One of the new entries to the scene, small-batch brewery Tabol opened in February 2019 in Battery Park. Its beer leans to the more rustic side: Tabol uses local yeasts and microbiota found around the area to create wild, funky and/or sour beers that are fermented and conditioned in various barrels, puncheons and foeders. Selections include Greftado (a tart, wild blended ale made completely from alternative grains) and Tabol Biere (the brewery’s tart, locally foraged wild ale). (704 Dawn St.; 303-5528; tabolbrewing.com)
Three Notch’d Brewing Co.: Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d (named for a Colonial-era road in Virginia) added an outpost in Scott’s Addition in October 2016. The appropriately named RVA Collab House works with Richmond-area restaurants, breweries, artists, businesses and more on creating craft beer. The Collab House uses a 3.5-barrel brew system, and a dozen taps feature flagship brews from Charlottesville along with a rotating list of locally produced beers, mostly community collaborations. New beers are released on Fridays. (2930 W. Broad St.; 269-4857; threenotchdbrewing.com)
Trapezium Brewing Co.: This Old Towne Petersburg brewery, which opened in June 2016, was named for the iconic Trapezium House, located a few blocks west of the brewery’s taproom and 30-barrel production facility. It cranks out variety for its 20-tap setup, from a fresh, hoppy honey wheat to a fruity tangerine saison. Trapezium’s four core beers are distributed throughout central Virginia. The brewery, which also offers brick-oven Neapolitan pizzas, looks to expand deep into central Virginia: Camp Trapezium, a brewery and restaurant situated in an old mill, is slated to open in Amherst late in 2019. (423 Third St. in Petersburg; 477-8703; trapeziumbrewing.com)
Triple Crossing Brewing Co.: Jeremy Wirtes, Scott Jones and Adam Worcester opened Triple Crossing’s Foushee Street location in 2014, and the brewery added a 30,000-square foot production facility in Fulton in January 2017 (that location also features a large tasting room and outdoor area). Triple Crossing’s flagship Falcon Smash IPA can be found on taps throughout Richmond, but visit the brewery to experience its rotating list of juicy double IPAs and adventurous sours and goses. The Fulton site features a pizza kitchen, which produces pies sold at both locations. (In downtown (113 S. Foushee St.) and Fulton (5203 Hatcher St.); 495-1955; triplecrossingbeer.com)
Vasen Brewing Co.: Dating to July 2017 and operating out of the Handcraft Building – an old glass factory built in 1946 that features large windows and high ceilings – Vasen serves a mix of funky farmhouse ales, pale ales, wheat beers and sours. A quality-control lab is on site, so you know the selections are fresh. The specialty at Vasen is sessionable beers and sours, though the brewery also offers IPAs and Belgian quads that are higher on the ABV spectrum. (3331 W. Moore St.; 588-5678; vasenbrewing.com)
The Veil Brewing Co.: Firmly established in Scott’s Addition since April 2016 – and renowned far beyond Richmond – Veil is expanding. A second location off Forest Hill Avenue is slated to open in 2020, and a tasting room in Norfolk was expected to open in fall 2019. Veil’s specialties are double and triple IPAs, but there's also a strong lineup of stouts – and usually a lower-alcohol gose or Mexican lager are available on tap. Get in line early on Tuesday for can releases, which have become events. (1301 Roseneath Road; theveilbrewing.com)
NOTABLE BEER BARS
Capital Ale House: With three locations (downtown, Innsbrook and Midlothian), Capital Ale House is a go-to for imbibers (and has a large food menu). The Midlothian location has 100 beers on tap. At the downtown location, which is adjacent to the Richmond Music Hall, there are more than 140 bottles offered, enough to suit any palate. (Three locations; 780-2537; capitalalehouse.com)
The Cask: Located south of Cary Street in the Fan, Cask offers a robust selection of local and international beers on its expansive menu. It also features growler fills of any of its tap selections and a notable selection of bottled beers for on- or off-site consumption. Cask also has wine and a diverse food selection, with anything from German sausages and sauerkraut to Billy Pie pizzas and a selection of sandwiches. (206 S. Robinson St.; 355-2402; thecaskrva.com)
Commercial Taphouse: This Fan institution reopened under new management in late 2016, and it features a solid mix of local, regional and national beer offerings on its 16 taps. There’s also an appetizer and sandwich menu, including falafel, enchiladas and an Asian-style barbecue jackfruit sandwich. (109 N. Robinson St.; 359-6658; commercialtaphouse.com)
The Hof Garden: Located in the historic Hofheimer Building (once home to a rug company) in Scott’s Addition, the Hof Garden’s rooftop – featuring drafts, cocktails and pizza – is usually hopping when the weather is great. There’s a taproom downstairs, too, which offers a lineup of German lagers and pilsners. And with about a dozen TV screens, it's a great place to catch a game. (2818 W. Broad St.; 342-0012; thehofgarden.com)
Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint: Jack Brown’s, which has several other locations in Virginia and North Carolina, describes itself as a burger joint with a passion for craft beer. Its “Notch” club can introduce you to new suds (and some nice perks after drinking 100 different beers, such as discounts and trips to nearby breweries). And on the burger side, the restaurant prides itself on all-natural Wagyu beef. (5810 Grove Ave.; 285-1758; jackbrownsjoint.com/richmond)
Mekong: Mekong gained renown as one of the nation’s best beer bars, and for good reason: With 56 brews on tap (plus more than 200 in bottles), it's no problem to quench a thirst – and to pair a brew with Mekong's traditional Vietnamese cuisine. An Bui’s sister spot, The Answer Brewpub, is next door. (6004 W. Broad St.; 288-8929; mekongisforbeerlovers.com)
Thirsty Joe’s Draft House: Adjacent to Zzaam! in Carytown, Thirsty Joe’s lets you choose your own adventure when it comes to craft beer. Check in, grab a card and pour away. In the self-service draft room, choose from more than 20 beers, ciders and even wines. Each beverage has a per-ounce price, and the card records how many ounces you pour. Thirsty Joe’s also has a selection of bar food on the menu. (3300 W. Cary St.; rvadrafts.com)