My favorite travel experiences are the ones that mix interesting history and delicious food. Usually, my wife Molly and I plan out most all of our stops on our trips. But every now and then we go off-script and discover something unexpected. That was the case with Trapezium Brewing Co., a brewhouse and taproom with a brick pizza oven, all in the heart of historic Petersburg, Va.
We went to Petersburg to trace a few American Civil War steps my great-great-great grandfather took more than 150 years ago. Private Joseph Tessenear’s captain, Lawson Harrill, wrote in a 1910 memoir that brothers Joe and Jack Tessenear were killed in May 1864 at the battle of Ware Bottom Church north of Petersburg. (Though that account conflicts with some others I’ve read and been told.) I wanted to visit the very small battlefield park and explore some of the much-larger footprint of the Petersburg National Battlefield in the same trip.
The Petersburg area has plenty of restaurant options, but nothing totally rose above the rest as we scouted places to eat while planning our trip. On the night we checked into our Airbnb after a day walking battlefields, we noticed Trapezium Brewing and decided that pizza sounded great. By the way, even if you aren’t a beer fan, take note that brewery’s often serve great food! So don’t count such places out without at least checking out their menus and atmospheres!
We walked about a dozen blocks from our Airbnb to Trapezium and were impressed by its ambiance, a large old brick building in a city full of them, with tons of outside seating shaded by individual umbrellas. Inside, we were just as impressed.
Trapezium serves some amazing pizza! We ordered a couple of pizzas from the menu that night to combine a mixture of sweet and savory flavors. (Specifically, we tried a chicken, spinach, tomato, Feta and white sauce pizza, as well as one with red sauce, prosciutto, fig, Feta and honey drizzle.) The crusts were crispy with that charred brick-oven taste. All of the vegetables were fresh, and the meats and cheeses were excellent!
Now, as we referenced above, we’re not really drinkers. But, as foodies often interested in trying specialties to share our discoveries with others, we’re willing to sample all kinds of menus–for the right price. It helps people like us that Trapezium offers affordable beer flights that allow you to sample small glasses of four craft beers for about $10. It also helps that our server was incredibly helpful in suggesting menu items for us to try. The beer menu is subject to change from time to time, but the flavors we picked were incredibly refreshing. For people who aren’t beer drinkers, we were impressed and quite pleased!
After eating, we walked through downtown Petersburg back to our Airbnb. On a historic-structures display in town, we noticed a trapezoid-shaped house called Trapezium. It was the same house that appears as a graphic in the logo for the brewery! I was so interested in the connection that I looked up the house that night and realized it was right around the corner from where we were staying! I learned a little more about the house, too. Legend has it that the builder of the house had it constructed without any right angles, inside and outside, because he was told that such a design would ward off evil spirits. As I so often do, I stayed up late that night reading about interesting history, both about the house and about connections between Petersburg and famous writer Edgar Allan Poe.
The next morning when we prepared to check out of our place, we walked around the corner to the Trapezium House and checked out all of the interesting design features from the street. It’s a private house, so you can’t currently visit inside. But it’s incredibly unique and definitely a highlight of Petersburg.
If you find yourself in historic Petersburg in the heart of Virginia, check out both Trapezium Brewing Co. and the namesake house. It was an unexpected highlight of our trip!