The latest brewery in Richmond, Virginia, Dogtown Brewing Co., officially opens today. I stopped by the soft opening event, Dogtown Beer and Tacos Festival, last weekend as well as the full dry run friends and family event last night and got the scoop on Dogtown Brewing Co. for you.
The brewery is the latest addition to Michael and Laura Hild’s selection of businesses on Hull Street in Manchester. As with the other restaurants, lots of renovation work has gone into the building. The inside features a spacious bar, warm wood tones, booths and tables, plus a hidden mezzanine game room with shuffleboard and pool.
Besides the beer, the biggest draw at Dogtown is the rooftop bar with stunning 360-degree views of Richmond. From one side you can see all the way to Maymont’s Carillon Tower. From another direction you get the city skyline. And from yet another side, you can watch Hull Street stretch into the distance. The roof features a big, covered bar surrounded by fans, making it easier to hang outside in Richmond’s humidity. Additionally, there are tables, benches, and even a little side nook with couches and upholstered chairs. At night, bulb lights add to the atmosphere.
Dogtown Brewing Co. Beer
Brewmaster Ben Spencer has opened with an impressive selection to choose from. There are currently eight beers on tap plus a root beer with four more beers and a ginger ale coming soon.
Of course, I always like to start with a flight. The FETCH! German-style Kolsch is light and seems to be a crowd and staff favorite. I like my beers with a bit more body, so I would choose the Manchester Standard Virginia Pale Ale for my everyday sipper. Another solid choice, The Bulldog Barleywine was dryer and much more balanced than some of the barleywines I’ve tasted. It was dangerously drinkable given the high ABV.
The Tummyscratcher New England IPA also impressed me. I found the typical grassy and citrus notes you’d expect from an IPA, but I also got some juicy tropical flavors that added complexity and nuance.
Don’t like beer? Don’t worry. Dogtown Brewing Co. also keeps one cider on tap, a few wines, kombucha and their house-made root beer and coming-soon ginger ale.
Dogtown Brewing Co. Menu
No surprise, Dogtown’s menu features food that pairs well with beer. There are snacks, Anderson’s Neck oysters, soups and salads, pupusas, hot dogs and sausages, and a menu section simply called “meats.”
Just to help my readers out, I tried a wide selection of menu items. My favorite dish, to my surprise, was the Bratwurst. The selection of sausages and hot dogs comes from small farms across the country and the Brat was packed with complex spices. It was served on a classic bun with a side of house-made kraut, Pin-Money pickles made next-door at Hot Diggity Donuts and spicy mustard.
The half pound angus burger was equally impressive. A generous scoop of house-made pimento cheese plus brown sugar bacon tops meat cooked to a perfect medium. It’s all served on a brioche bun. I’m usually not a fan of sweet bacon, but the thinly sliced brown sugar bacon provided a perfect complement to the salty pimento cheese.
The cheese on the charcuterie board comes from local Truckle Cheesemongers. The soft pretzel with beer cheese comes with your choice of four different mustards. The Smothered Tots are a tasty take on a bar food classic topped with beer cheese, bacon, roasted red peppers and Sriracha sour cream.
Don’t eat meat? The menu also features a Beyond Veggie Burger and Beyond Sausage.
Events at Dogtown Brewing Co.
As with the Hild’s other restaurant The Butterbean Market & Cafe, Dogtown Brewing Co. already has a full schedule of events planned. Up first on August 27 is the Dogtown Beer & Sausage Fest followed by Dogtoberfest October 12-13.
Getting to Dogtown Brewing Co.
Dogtown Brewing Co. is open Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is also parking right behind the brewery or in overflow lots at 1124 Bainbridge Street and 1200 Hull Street.