Make a Date with the Richmond Beer Trail


Richmond Beer Trail

My husband wears a t-shirt that reads, “Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

If that’s true, Richmond is a blessed city.

Richmond was the first city to sell canned beer back in 1935. Today, there are over 20 craft breweries in the RVA and surrounding counties, and even Governor McAuliffe appreciates what the industry means to our state economy and tourism. He declared April 7, 2017, as National Beer Day, and my husband and I celebrated by visiting Triple Crossing’s Fulton location for pizza and brews. Lately, all our dates have taken us to spots on the Richmond Beer Trail.

The Richmond Beer Trail

Richmond Region Tourism sponsors the Richmond Beer Trail. Grab a brochure and map of 23 breweries at any participating establishment, and collect a stamp when you visit each one. Once you collect five stamps, you earn Richmond Beer Trail gear. If you’re already in love with the Beer Trail, you’re in good company. The program launched in November 2016, and 2,100 shirts and 3,000 hats have been awarded to stamp-collecting participants.

As someone who loves to support local business, food trucks, and craft brews, here is a roundup of my favorite beer-drinking spots (and our first five stamps on the Beer Trail guide):

  • Ardent Craft Ales has an inviting and relaxed space. We gathered friends to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday here. Their Saisons are exceptional, but especially the Brett Saison.
  • Isley Brewing Company is one of our favorite places to hang in Scott’s Addition. The staff is phenomenally friendly and knowledgeable, the beer is delicious, and they host Jenga tournaments. Hot summer nights demand you drink their Blueberry Plain Jane.
  • Legend Brewing Company has been around since 1994. You cannot beat the city views from their deck or the Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale. Legend is also a budget- and family-friendly option when kids eat free on Sundays. That’s when we take our family for lunch and then walk Potterfield Bridge.
  • Steam Bell Beer Works is located in our backyard in Midlothian. We take our kids here, too. They love the cornhole boards, food trucks, and live music. We love the Liege, their Belgian Tripel brew.
  • Triple Crossing Brewing has an amazing outdoor patio at their Fulton location with plenty of tables and shade. Inside features a pizza kitchen and arcade. If they put a skeeball machine back there, I may never leave. Falcon Smash, their flagship IPA, is my favorite!

Need beer-inspired date night ideas?

  • Stroll through Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, then stop at Final Gravity.
  • Take in a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game and enjoy a nightcap at Hardywood.
  • Find dinner and shopping in Carytown, and finish your evening at Garden Grove Brewing.

The craft beer scene continues to explode with the recent additions of Fine Creek Brewing in Powhatan, Väsen Brewing Company in Scott’s Addition, and expansion of Steam Bell Beer Works into the Fan. If the choices overwhelm you, let someone else guide the way by booking with Richmond Brewery Tours.

Richmond is certainly a city that loves to eat, drink, and be merry! That’s probably why I love it so much.

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Kate Fletcher was born and raised in Virginia and has been an RVA resident since 2002. Married since 2004, Kate and her husband, Gary, have three boys: Matthew (age 9), Wesley (age 6), and Henry (age 2). All three boys have autism, so the Fletcher family is very active in autism advocacy, awareness, acceptance, and research. They are members of the Autism Society of Central Virginia, and Kate periodically writes as a guest blogger for Autism Speaks. She also works full-time as a middle school history teacher in Chesterfield County and is pursuing National Board Certification. When not at school or shuttling her boys around town, Kate enjoys spending time outside, especially at Virginia State Parks and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, shopping, eating, and lots of coffee. Follow her personal blog at