Birch & Barley / ChurchKey
Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by atigerlife:
4.58/5 rDev +1.6%
One of the great beer bars that I have visited. Take the metal stairs on the left side of Birch & Barley and head upstairs. I was there on a Sunday afternoon, so it was rather mild. I'm sure it must get packed during more normal hours.
Rather dark interior. Nothing fancy to look at. About 20 seats at the bar with a number of booths against the wall. Not a huge place. 3 TV's behind the bar. Music was quite nice.
The star of the place is the beer selection. Behind the bar are the fridges with perhaps 500 choices of bottled beer. Perhaps 50 beers on tap. Most impressive, there were 5 cask ales. Not too many bars have that, which shows a real dedication to beer.
Menu was quite limited. I had a flatbread, which was quite tasty.
Bar tenders seemed very knowledgeable. I was quite impressed when a German couple sat down next to me and one of the bartenders spoke to them in German! Overall, the bartenders were not particularly attentive or friendly to me, especially considering that it was a rather slow period. But, they did their job.
I liked that you could get the tap/cask beers in 4 oz testers as well 7 ounces. Nice to have choices.
Overall, amazing place. Can't beat the beer selection. If I'm ever back in DC, I'll definitely be heading back over.
05-12-2014 02:52:38 | More by atigerlife
More User Reviews:
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.
08-17-2014 20:08:18 | More by ONovoMexicano
Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
99 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.