When I first moved to Richmond over 10 years ago I made it my personal quest to eat at every BBQ joint I could find. Naturally, I was excited once I found Extra Billy’s because they smoked meats and brewed beers.
When I first moved to Richmond over 10 years ago I made it my personal quest to eat at every BBQ joint I could find. Naturally, I was excited once I found Extra Billy’s because they smoked meats and brewed beers. My excitement quickly diminished upon tasting the beer. Across the board, the beer ranked either average or below average in quality.
Fast forward to early 2013 when the brewery brought on Brandon Tolbert: the beer improved in leaps and bounds. In fact, the beer improved so much that at the 2013 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup, Extra Billy’s received a gold medal for their “Citra Ass Down” IPA and a silver medal for their “Midlo” Pale Ale. Tolbert has been tapped to help An Bui at his new brewpub, The Answer, but, with any luck, the foundation has been laid at Extra Billy’s for good beer in the future.
Pint score: ★★★★★★
As you’d expect from a brewery, you have your choice of four (on our most recent visit one was sold out) house beers that cover most palates ranging from a pale ale to a brown ale. The best of the bunch being the previously mentioned “Citra Ass Down.” Surprisingly for a brewery, they also have eight guest taps. These guest taps are all quality craft beers with a focus on Virginia beers but also include a few out of state heavy hitters such as Oskar Blues Brewery.
One thing that struck me as odd was that growler fills are only done for the house beers, so if you see something on the guest taps that you want to take home you’re out of luck. A final note on the beers: if you see “Kong Krush” and like IPAs, I recommend that you get a growler. “Kong Krush” is a collaboration with An Bui and shouldn’t be missed.
Pint-sized score: ★★★★★
It’s a BBQ joint.
You’ll be surrounded by families, although on our last visit the bar was more crowded than the restaurant. There are massive booths that allow for kid-sprawl and piles of interesting decor to keep the eyes bouncing around. Since this is a full-service family restaurant there is a large kid’s menu that will keep most kids happy (unless that child happens to be a vegetarian). Another tremendous hit with the micro set is the miniature door that they can use when entering and exiting the restaurant. I don’t know why, but something about a pint-sized door really excites kids.
Lastly don’t forget to stop by the hostess stand on your way out for an Oreo cookie.