Birch & Barley / ChurchKey
Taps: 55 / Bottles: 500
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by atigerlife:
4.58/5 rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
One of the great beer bars that I have visited. Take the metal stairs on the left side of Birch & Barley and head upstairs. I was there on a Sunday afternoon, so it was rather mild. I'm sure it must get packed during more normal hours.
Rather dark interior. Nothing fancy to look at. About 20 seats at the bar with a number of booths against the wall. Not a huge place. 3 TV's behind the bar. Music was quite nice.
The star of the place is the beer selection. Behind the bar are the fridges with perhaps 500 choices of bottled beer. Perhaps 50 beers on tap. Most impressive, there were 5 cask ales. Not too many bars have that, which shows a real dedication to beer.
Menu was quite limited. I had a flatbread, which was quite tasty.
Bar tenders seemed very knowledgeable. I was quite impressed when a German couple sat down next to me and one of the bartenders spoke to them in German! Overall, the bartenders were not particularly attentive or friendly to me, especially considering that it was a rather slow period. But, they did their job.
I liked that you could get the tap/cask beers in 4 oz testers as well 7 ounces. Nice to have choices.
Overall, amazing place. Can't beat the beer selection. If I'm ever back in DC, I'll definitely be heading back over.
05-12-2014 02:52:38 | More by atigerlife
More User Reviews:
4.56/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
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.