It’s no secret that craft beer and local breweries have exploded across the United States. However, you may be surprised to find out that Richmond, Virginia has made itself into a craft beer paradise with over 40 breweries in the area, many within walking distance of each other. While the shear number of options may be enticing on its own, Richmond breweries are also consistently recognized as some of the best in the country. All hop-heads should plan on visiting this beer mecca at some point!
Top 10 Breweries in Richmond
Having lived in Richmond for years and spent too many nights, weekends, and dollars on Richmond beers, we have cut to the chase and provided a list of our favorite Richmond breweries, ranked in order.
1. Triple Crossing
Location: the main brewery is located in Fulton, a smaller tasting room is located downtown
Triple Crossing produces the best juicy IPAs in the area, and likely some of the best in the country. Their flagship IPA, Falcon Smash, is consistently a hit and their rotating selections of other IPAs never disappoint. Expect bold hops, layers of citrus, and pillowy mouthfeel throughout their lineup of IPAs. Recently, their Triangles series focused on hop-specific brews, highlighting the different flavors and characteristics of specific hop varietals. For example, Mosaic Triangles was crafted to highlight Mosaic hopes, Citra Triangles highlighted Citra hops…I think you get the point. When many IPAs are a mashed-up blend of different hops, it’s an interesting experience to sample brews focused on one varietal and taste the subtle differences between each.
Triple Crossing also has a large list of less-hoppy beers with top-notch German-style pilsners, lagers, and ales, as well as a consistent stable of stouts. House made pizzas and other shareable bites are available at both locations. We love Triple Crossing for its world class, straight forward IPAs and accessible price point (Triple Crossing is, on average, cheaper than either Veil or Vasen).
2. The Veil
Location: Scott’s Addition and Forest Hill
The Veil is truly a one of a kind beer experience. With new releases every week, ranging from triple dry-hopped IPAs, open-fermented lagers packed with tart funkiness, fruited goses that are basically alcoholic smoothies, and dark stouts teeming with notes of bourbon, vanilla, coffee or whiskey, I swear the team at Veil is more mad scientist than brewmaster. At the Veil, you will be able to try beers that you never could have imagined – combinations of fruit, hops, yeasts, funk, and fermentation methods that must have been concocted in a secret lab.
The Veil is consistently included in all sorts of publications and national awards and it’s common for people to drive hours just to pick up a case of beer. Now, the Veil even offers shipping of their beloved cans to select states. The location in Scott’s Addition is the OG, while Forest Hill opened in 2020 and features significantly more indoor space.
Location: Scott’s Addition
A relative newcomer to the Richmond beer scene, Vasen has quickly earned its reputation as one of the best breweries in Richmond. Focused on creating unique brews using experimental techniques and ingredients, Vasen produces an extensive and ever-evolving list of IPAs, stouts, Belgian-inspired ales, German-based lagers, and tart, fruited goses.
The Vasen name harkens back to the owners Scandinavian heritage and that history comes through in the beer. More so, Vasen is founded upon a belief in outdoor adventure and is committed to sustainability.
Location: Shockoe Bottom
History is an important part of Richmond culture, and Richbrau highlights the deep history of the city through beer. The name Richbrau is a reference to a popular beer produced in Richmond through the middle decades of the 20th century and the tap room is located in one of the most historic areas of the city. In addition, the name of each brew served at Richbrau includes a cheeky reference to a little-known or overlooked aspect of the city’s long history.
While we have enjoyed almost all beers we’ve had at Richbrau, be sure to try the Phsycic Horse (IPA) and check out the rotating flavor on their 13 o’clock stout. They take their base stout and pump it through a randall filled with a different ingredients to impart additional flavor into the beer. Past flavors include carrot cake, cinnamon rolls, peach cobbler, peppermint brownies, and waffles, syrup, and bacon.
5. Basic City
With an original location in Waynesboro, Virginia, Basic City is a welcome, if often over-looked, addition to the Richmond beer scene. Located in an old industrial warehouse, Basic City serves up an eclectic mix of brews while also providing a large projector TV and plenty of arcade games for entertainment. We think Basic City is one of Richmond’s best kept secrets as it rarely draws a large crowd despite serving up better beer than more popular locations.
Location: Scott’s Addition
Ardent Craft Ales is a popular spot in Scott’s Addition that is known for its large outdoor beer garden and consistently putting out solid beers. They recently added an in-house food menu that pairs well with the lineup of beer on draft. Top choices are the IPA X, Sweet Potato and Sage Saison, and Ardent Pilsner. Grab a table outside, order a sandwich and enjoy a few cold ones!
7. Final Gravity
Tucked away in the Lakeside neighborhood at the end of a nondescript strip mall (if you’re in the mood for antique shopping, stop into RVA antiques), Final Gravity is easy to overlook. But missing out on this brewery would be a mistake. With a home brew supply store next door, Final Gravity is a true beer aficionado’s type of place, where you a more likely to hear a server and customer talking about hop varietal and yeast strains, than sports, politics, or the weather.
Final Gravity is known for their IPAs (winning gold medals in the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup three of the last four years) but always has options for those not in the mood for hop bombs.
8. Starr Hill
Location: Scott’s Addition
In all honesty, Starr Hill would probably be higher on the list if it weren’t for the fact they aren’t really a Richmond brewery. Sure, the Richmond tap room, complete with an epic rooftop patio, is one of the best places to get a beer in the city, but we have to at least acknowledge Starr Hill’s Charlottesville roots. That being said, Starr Hill is a Virginia craft beer institution. Their core lineup of brews has something for everyone, while rotating selections offer opportunities to experiment with something new.
Location: Scott’s Addition
Isley is on the list for one reason: peanut butter and jelly beer. Back in simpler times (as in before 2020 or so), Isley was primarily known for two flagship beers – Choosy Mother, a peanut butter porter, and Blueberry Plain Jane, a blueberry-flavored Belgian Wit. Both brews were tasty on their own, but it was a well-known secret to ask the server for a PB&J, which is a combination of the two into one magnificent flavor explosion. For years, the PB&J was not listed on the menu. To order it, you had to be “in the know” and it was always a fun to tell an out-of-town friend to ask for the PB&J and see their response. I suppose due to increased popularity, the PB&J has made its way to the primary draft list, although I, for one, miss the exclusivity of times passed.
Location: Just east of Scott’s Addition
Hardywood is one of the most popular breweries in Richmond and helped kickstart the influx of craft breweries across the city. For that fact alone, they deserve a stop on your Richmond beer excursion, as almost none of the aforementioned breweries would exist without Hardywood. That being said, their beer has been surpassed by their predecessors.
The insanely popular Gingerbread Stout, which is released for each Christmas season, deserves every ounce of praise it receives (and it receives a lot of praise). The Hardywood Singel is another popular choice for those looking for a light, refreshing Belgian Style Blonde Ale.
Have you been to any of these Richmond breweries? Let us know what you think of our lineup in the comments section below.