Exploring a new beer city and sampling its best brews — especially the rare or limited ones — doesn’t leave much time for anything else. No sweat. In order to make the most out of a trip to Richmond, check out one of its best beer stores and bottle shops. You won’t be seeing the inside of the brewery, but for those in a rush, beer to-go is sometimes the only option. Here’s a list of five to get you started.
3078 Stony Point Road | 804-320-4677
Although it’s about a 15-minute drive from downtown Richmond, Bottleworks is worth the trip thanks to a knowledgeable staff and extensive selection. Co-founded in July 2016 by Geoff Hunt and Barbara White, two former schoolteachers, the store aims to be a friendly, neighborhood bottle shop that brings in selections not commonly found in bigger grocery stores or beverage chains.
323 North Adams Street | 804-269-3982
If you’re in downtown Richmond, stop by Saison and have a beer from the well-curated bar menu, created by Beverage Director Justin Ayotte. When you’re done, head next door to Saison Market, which serves Southern fast casual like corn bread and fried chicken biscuits. They’ve also got an excellent selection of local beer, which line the walls in fridges and on racks.
Once Upon a Vine
4009 MacArthur Avenue | 804-726-9463
2817 Hathaway Road | 804-864-9463
With two locations — one northwest and one southwest of downtown Richmond — and a clever name, Once Upon a Vine sells over 1,100 different beers. They focus on customer service: “We want the customer to feel welcomed,” said Rob Kocher, Store Manager at the 4009 MacArthur Avenue location. On Friday nights, the store offers beer and wine tastings.
206 North Shields Avenue | 804-353-9880
Not exclusively a bottle shop, Shields Market is a small, neighborhood market in The Fan neighborhood of Richmond. In addition to over 300 different brands of craft beer, plus a selection of locally produced kombucha, wine, mead, and cider, the store sells a variety of groceries and prepared foods from Joe’s Inn, a nearby restaurant owned by the same family. It’s a place big enough to have what you need but small enough to be homey.
2306 Jefferson Avenue | (804) 716-7233
Clearly, the spirit of the neighborhood market is alive and well in Richmond. A one stop shop for groceries and tasty food, Union Market has a robust menu of local and regional partners including Annab’s Gluten Free, La Bella Vita Bakery, Lyon Bakery, and several nearby farms. Carnivores should take note of the French Dip, but the real reasons to visit Union Market are the three racks of local beer.