BY JOHN SHERIDAN
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly dying for something new to do in Fredericksburg. The only options on the weekends are barhopping, the occasional mediocre local music venue or going somewhere other than Fredericksburg.
If you’re underage, I suppose you just “make your own fun,” as the RAs say. But for those of age, downtown just got a bit more exciting.
The Capital Ale House, a restaurant/alehouse chain, has set up shop on 917 Caroline St. where Chords used to be. This is the fourth restaurant in the chain, but it’s the first outside of Richmond.
It features a main barroom, two private dining rooms, a lounge (with leather couches, pool table and dart board in the back) and a beer cellar downstairs where they show off the goods at a proper 55 degrees.
Sure, it’s a restaurant, and a fine one at that. Depending on whether you go for lunch or later at night, entrees can run from about $8 for a burger to $30 for filet mignon. But more importantly, this is a beer lover’s haven.
The full-service bar snakes through the main barroom, complete with an inlayed freezer strip to keep your beverage frosty. Sixty-two selections of draught are available, as are 300 varieties of bottled brew. I was extremely pleased to see that they serve the Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, a rare brew that I crave. I saw what I like to see at a liquor bar as well: Stolichnaya, Maker’s Mark and even Drambuie—all the good stuff.
Downtown has a valuable resource now: more kinds of good beer than you can imagine. The beer menus on the bar are about eight pages of ales, lagers, porters, pilsners, etc., and for each beer they list the brewer, what state or city it’s from and the alcohol by volume.
The point is this: if you love drinking like I love drinking, this place has the beverage selection and clean aesthetic downtown has been missing.