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Birch & Barley / ChurchKey

Not Rated.
Birch & Barley / ChurchKeyBirch & Barley / ChurchKey
BA SCORE
99
world-class

179 Ratings
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 10.86%
Taps: 55
Bottles: 500
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1337 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005-3610
United States
phone: (202) 567-2576

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @churchkeydc

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: drabmuh on 10-27-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by HardTarget:
Photo of HardTarget
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%

Above the restaurant, up a steep stair, a shotgun barroom with windows at the front and bathrooms in the back. Long bar fills 2/3rds of the room with a great mix of booth, table, bar chairs. Mostly wood, seats aren't the most comfortable, the large crowd that gathered were middle upper class young and lively.

Quality Everything sampled was clean and excellent.

Service: Fantastic. Both servers we encountered were very knowledgeable and obviously loved beer. Friendly, took great care of us even after the place got very busy, we never sat without a beer or water. I really was impressed that the menu (which is impressive for several reasons) listed serving temperatures.

Selection. The night I visited they were just putting out at least 30 English kegs and casks adding to the 30 or more other taps present for an event. The bottle list is a phone directory. I recognized almost nothing. What I did, I recognized as high quality choices. This is graduate school for beer drinkers.

Food: What I had was good (the fried mac and cheese) but not great. The servings, like the beer sizes were small, which is fine as the price reflected that. Very good for bar food, but I wouldn't recommend going in hungry.

HardTarget, Feb 22, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of MMarkMelly
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Great Place for Suds & Buds

MMarkMelly, Thursday at 09:51 PM
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5/5  rDev +10.9%

bellbw, Sep 10, 2014
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4.2/5  rDev -6.9%

DrJay, Sep 06, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.9%

Monteiro, Sep 02, 2014
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5/5  rDev +10.9%

kevintaraross, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of DavidHume
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

DavidHume, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of srletend
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Awesome selection, attentive and knowledgeable staff.

srletend, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Dreizhen
4.24/5  rDev -6%

Dreizhen, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

mattmarka1, Aug 27, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

bigred89, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Slatetank, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of TNeedles
5/5  rDev +10.9%

TNeedles, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of DJBabs
5/5  rDev +10.9%

DJBabs, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of reebtaerG
5/5  rDev +10.9%

reebtaerG, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of dexterk1
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%

dexterk1, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev -11.3%

A superb beer selection is what you'll find here, as well as some good food with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. That's a good formula for me.

I had the bratburger, which came with fries, and was comped some green beans that were probably the highlight of the meal. Well, except for when the bartender (I was sitting at the bar) gave me a small pour of Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier to complement the brat. It was a match made in heaven. The juicy, smoked flavors of the brat paired with the campfire, smoked ham flavor of the beer was a brilliant combo. Kudos to the bar guy for that.

And kudos to ChurchKey for the enviable tap selection. There was recently a sort of tap takeover by an Italian brewing outfit, Brewfist, so many of their brews were on tap. I wasn't crazy about any of them but they do some wild brews that were worth at least trying. Also available were some relatively local breweries like Union and 3 Star Brewing which are doing some good things and had beers I enjoyed. The real beer geek in me thanks Churchkey for having Cuvee Delphine by De Struise brewers on tap. That's a beer I'd be hard-pressed to find, or even be on the lookout for, anywhere else.

Overall, this place offers a fine-dining experience (complete with a very dim-lit ambiance) and craft beer galore. You can kill two birds with one stone. Woohoo.

ONovoMexicano, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of HookemHoos
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

HookemHoos, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Finley020
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Finley020, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Shootpassbeerme
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Shootpassbeerme, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Minnesota_beer_guy, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of clayrock81
4.16/5  rDev -7.8%

This might not be the greatest beer bar I have been to or drinking time/experience I've ever had but as I review this place it might just be after all. The draft and bottle list is impressive and the four oz sample you can get for any draft is great. I would say that the four ounce samples are pricey but then again this is DC so that might be norm for area. The setup is great too (I went in afternoon so no idea if crowding is problem at night) - plenty of bar seats and booths, TVs turned to ESPN channels (pleased me), low lighting and music so you don't have to shout and the vie is more relaxed. Perhaps only complaint is it seemed to take a while for our food which didn't bother me. As for beer selection I still stand by my first sentence that it's not the greatest beer bar b/c they do get stuff from everywhere and stuff I can't find anywhere else with exception of Philly. A must go for anybody hitting DC.

clayrock81, Jul 25, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

philerman, Jul 25, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

freimuth, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of WicksCherrycoke
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%

Yes, this should be your first stop in DC (I'm local). The beers are the point here but reviewed separately. Regarding the place itself, the bar at CK makes it easy to spend long hours sampling their enormous selection of drafts and bottle reserves; substantial/expansive bar, well spaced and padded bar stools w/ armrests, attentive/knowledgeable bar staff, B&B chef make great bar food and pairings. I appreciate the seclusion and the throwback lounge vibe (although some may not); i.e. bar is up a long stairwell with a rather dark interior, no outside views from bar-some window seating is available.

About half of CK has excellent TV viewing (from bar, booths/tables) and staff is good about tuning in your game but don't expect sound, you're here to drink, so are the people behind and around you.

Draft and bottle menus well organized (profile, style, product and servicing details), easy to review and select. Although I have not made it through the 555 lineup, the published selection of drafts and bottles appears to be accurate and up to date only because I have been coming here for about 4 years I have not encountered any instance where something was out or unavailable (and I have tried).

The 55 daily drafts can be sampled (4 oz.) but if you want to dent the 500 bottle lineup bring a friend (or make one).

A phenomenal place..

WicksCherrycoke, Jul 22, 2014
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Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
99 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.