Birch & Barley / ChurchKey
Taps: 55 / Bottles: 500
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by HardTarget:
4.88/5 rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Above the restaurant, up a steep stair, a shotgun barroom with windows at the front and bathrooms in the back. Long bar fills 2/3rds of the room with a great mix of booth, table, bar chairs. Mostly wood, seats aren't the most comfortable, the large crowd that gathered were middle upper class young and lively.
Quality Everything sampled was clean and excellent.
Service: Fantastic. Both servers we encountered were very knowledgeable and obviously loved beer. Friendly, took great care of us even after the place got very busy, we never sat without a beer or water. I really was impressed that the menu (which is impressive for several reasons) listed serving temperatures.
Selection. The night I visited they were just putting out at least 30 English kegs and casks adding to the 30 or more other taps present for an event. The bottle list is a phone directory. I recognized almost nothing. What I did, I recognized as high quality choices. This is graduate school for beer drinkers.
Food: What I had was good (the fried mac and cheese) but not great. The servings, like the beer sizes were small, which is fine as the price reflected that. Very good for bar food, but I wouldn't recommend going in hungry.
02-22-2014 15:42:50 | More by HardTarget
More User Reviews:
4.56/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
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..
07-22-2014 19:45:40 | More by WicksCherrycoke
Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
99 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.