Breweries and Grub in Richmond, Virginia

The sudsy trail of breweries in Richmond, VA traces back 150 years. Today, Legend Brewing Company and Extra Billy’s BBQ brew their own beers and serve hearty food, too.

Legend Brewing Company opened in 1994, providing Richmonders with locally brewed beers and a roster of good times. Legend beers are drinkable, distinctive but mild, not extremely hoppy or strong.

Legend offers eight beers year-round and several seasonals, many available at restaurants and retailers throughout Virginia.

In Legend Brown Ale, the 100% barley malt dominates, and cool fermentation lends a rich flavor with low sweetness. Its full-bodied, nutty flavor has distinct coffee notes. It is mild enough to please many less adventurous palates.

Another local Legend favorite is the Golden IPA. This English-style IPA has little hop bitterness and plenty of sweet malt. The Pale Ale is hoppier, with the copper tones that start a hophead salivating, but still only a moderate bitterness, balanced by four specialty malts.

One of the most notable seasonals is spring’s Smoked Chocolate Stout. The smoky flavor fills the mouth first, with shades of summer BBQ joining the subtle taste of chocolate. Malt predominates, with light hopping for balance. Other seasonals are Hefeweizen, Maibock, Belgian Style Tripel, Oktoberfest, and E.S.B.

The food at Legend is pub grub: burgers, sandwiches, wurst and appropriate entrees.

Extra Billy’s Smokehouse and Brewery, serving Richmonders since 1985, smokes its own meat and brews its own beer at its Southside location. The brewery creates an American ale, red ale, and pilsner, plus two other rotating selections.

The American ale is light-bodied and malty, with a slight hop flavor hitting the palate. The pilsner is low on aroma but has a nice bite on the back of the tongue, a bit of bitterness, and a bubbly mouth feel. The hefeweizen is a mild, Americanized style wheat beer with clove-like phenols and banana esters at the end. The doppelbock is the most robust of these beers and the most potent. The 7.5 ABV presents itself in the aroma. The toasty brew presented a surprising coffee flavor forward with a bit of chocolate on the palate and a smooth, medium-body mouth feel.

Extra Billy’s house-smoked barbecued meat is served in true BBQ style: with so much flavor in the meat that the sauce is an unnecessary option.

Richmond offers many choices to thirsty beer fans, but Legend and Extra Billy’s present both beer brewed on premises and a hearty meal on the side.

Legend Brewing

321 West 7th Street Richmond, VA

Extra Billy’s Smokehouse & Brewery

1110 Alverser Drive, Midlothian, Closed Monday

5205 W. Broad St. (no brewery), Closed Sunday

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