Shiplock Brewery is now open in Shockoe Bottom with craft beer, full menu and $2 flights in Jan.
December 20, 2018
If drinking craft beer in Richmond after 9 p.m. while eating something other than standard bar fare is on the short list of your New Year's resolutions, you're in luck.
Shiplock Brewery opened earlier this month at 115 S. 15th St., the newest venue from the restaurant group that oversees the neighboring Southern Railway Taphouse, plus District 5 on Main Street in the Fan District and Great American Ranch in Midlothian. A hybrid atmosphere that's both brew pub and restaurant, General Manager Branden Otto said Shiplock brings something new to Shockoe Bottom, a space for those who love craft beer but also want an extensive menu both day and late night.
In-house brews with a German influence (11 so far, with more debuting in January) plus house-made sodas (root beer and orange cream) are on tap, along with a full cocktail bar. The menu, created by Chef Ed Blase, features hearty chicken tacos and giant soft pretzels, specialty pizzas and burgers, but also a few surprises that have become customer favorites already, Otto said. The Salmon BLT is popular, featuring fontina cheese melted on grilled salmon with bacon, lettuce and tomato, as well as a foot-long hot dog piled high with the works.
Oh, and to kick off 2019 with a bang, Shiplock will offer $2 flights throughout the month of January, starting Jan. 2. (Flights are normally $10 - pass it on.)
Located across from the Canal Walk, the space is sophisticated yet rustic, with an entire wall of garage doors that'll open once the weather turns warm. Concrete floors, sleek tiles behind the bar and wooden accents on the walls play into the nautical theme. The brewery's name comes from its proximity to Richmond's Great Shiplock Park, part of the historic Kanawha Canal lock system along the James River.
The first few weeks proved insightful, Otto said, in that management is learning the ways of Richmond's craft beer scene. For example, they're making changes soon to their hours so they open earlier on the weekends - noon rather than 3 p.m. - and will add lunch and brunch in the new year.
"People have been showing up earlier than 3 trying to get in," he said. "There's a brewery crowd that does do a lot of things earlier, especially on the weekends."
On the other hand, Shiplock will remain open later that other breweries around town, something he said will appeal to a 25-and-up demographic that's not interested in the party scene at their neighbor around the corner, Southern Railway Taphouse, but aren't ready to call it a night by 10 p.m.
"We wanted to to brew our own beer and bring that to (Shockoe Bottom)," he said, "but we wanted to also cater to a different crowd that wasn't just the brewery crowd."
For now, Shiplock is currently open 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 11 p.m. Sundays.
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