Richmond is beer country in Virginia. The city has more than 30 breweries, including some that are the oldest in the state. Many of them are located in Scott’s Addition, a formerly industrial area that’s now the place to hop from brewery to brewery. Choose one that specializes in sours, IPAs, or head to the one that makes an award-winning porter with natural peanut butter. There’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re a beer pro or simply curious about the craft beer scene.
Scott’s Addition staple Vasen Brewing has an equally spacious interior and outdoor seating and was welcomed to the neighborhood in 2017. The 17,000-square-foot space is a great destination for sour ales and has a special focus on sustainability. They work with Virginia producers to create a limited footprint, all while serving some of the best beers that can be enjoyed onsite or even delivered locally to doorsteps. Try the Norse Double IPA or a saison while chowing down on one of the local food pop-ups like birria tacos from TBT El Gallo.
Veil Brewing has a location in Norfolk, less than two hours away, but the Richmond location is the original. The new releases consistently draw crowds and there’s a focus on hoppy beers and IPAs. The interior has the industrial feel that Scott’s Addition is known for, and patrons can enjoy brews on site or take them to go. The place can get a bit crowded, but lines but lines move quickly and the wait is worth it.
Starr Hill is the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia and has locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg, but the 2019 addition to Richmond’s Scott’s Addition added a great rooftop scene to the neighborhood. The patio and rooftop bar is a part of the 8,500 square feet of space. Sip on year-round favorite sours (passion fruit, raspberry, etc) or try seasonal picks that rotate about every two months. The taproom exclusives have beautiful can art designed by Starr Hill staff. They don’t serve food here, but you’ll likely find a food truck parked outside on the weekend.
The peanut butter porter should be the first drink you order at Isley Brewing's microbrewery in Scott’s Addition. The Choosy Mother drink was even voted the best in Richmond. As you probably guessed, it has peanut butter, and a creamy, smooth taste. Whether you choose to sip indoors or out, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere that’s free of pretension. There are even fun trivia nights that test your knowledge on everything from Schitt’s Creek to Mean Girls.
Hardywood describes itself as being on a mission to “brew with a purpose.” The space was founded in 2011 and is a top visit for any beer lover in RVA. Tours are available by appointment, and the family and pet-friendly outdoor space also has bocce ball and cornhole, as well as occasional live music. It’s hard to go wrong with pretty much anything on tap, but it’s the Richmond lager and seasonal gingerbread stout that are favorites.
Legend Brewing Co.
Legend Brewery has been a staple since 1994 and it’s the city’s oldest operating craft brewery. They produce lagers and ales that are served on their premises as well as to other restaurants in the city and state. The Brown Ale, with hints of mahogany and caramel, is their most popular beer. Enjoy this at the Manchester location or take it to go. The burgers are also pretty good.
There are quite a few ways to get your Triple Crossing fix. In addition to the two Richmond locations, there’s another opening in the works, and they offer shipping options in select states. The original downtown location has an airy outdoor space where leashed pets are welcome and ordering a pizza is a must. Wash it all down with one of the dozen-plus beers on draft, including a few dark lagers or the popular Falcon Smash IPA.
Some breweries have basic to subpar food to simply hold you over, but The Answer has great food and drinks on tap. The owner is a part of the Mekong family, and you’ll find salt-and-pepper tofu, wings, crispy egg rolls, and more on the menu. And the drinks are great as well. You can’t go wrong with one of the sours or stouts, or just try a flight to sample a little bit of everything.
Stone Brewing is one of the largest craft brewers in the United States, so naturally they also have a location in Richmond. In addition to the California outposts, the Richmond space is a massive 200,000 square feet. Try the Scorpion Bowl or the Fear Movie Lions for tropical and citrusy notes. The East End destination also has keg and growler refills so you can safely take the party home.
Ardent Craft Ales
Ardent is another must-visit destination that’s located in Scott’s Addition. The taproom and beer garden has ample indoor seating. There’s even convenient pickup and delivery service. Sip on a farmhouse ale or the Stronger Than Hate, a stout where 100 percent of the proceeds supports social justice. And you’ll want to wash one of the drinks down with a hearty sandwich.