Taps: 22 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by porknwhiskey:
4.8/5 rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Had to work in Norfolk for a few days and did a search for "beer bars" in town. I knew when I checked out their list I was going to have to spend some time there. When I arrived the staff / owners were extremely friendly and engaged me to find out my likes. After that it was a non stop string of suggestions (sours mostly because damn I love 'em) that all hit home. Their list is pretty euro-centric but they also had some american craft beers. Lots of Belgian and Italian selections including a number of sours the night I was in. I picked up a few bottles before I left of extremely hard to find beers. Definitely one of my favorite beer bars. They had a light food menu but it appears there's always a food truck right outside, which the night I was there also rocked. I highly recommend making a detour to go here.
10-08-2012 22:39:06 | More by porknwhiskey
More User Reviews:
4.19/5 rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Really great spot. They have some amazing exclusives on draft, and they obviously have ridiculous connections. The ambiance is great, and I wish I lived around here so I could hang out here more often.
The staff was a little awkward. When we asked why they served so much Belgian/German beer - which is fine!!!! We just wanted to know their inspiration - they said ’to be different’. Interesting, because we all know the first generation of US craft beer bars were heavily Belgian/German. Is this the first ’retro’ craft beer bar? (Or was I too dense/drunk to take a joke? Probably.) I also felt a familiar vibe from the management - a vibe I’ve experienced before - when someone has a bar they obviously know is good, but competition in the area is so limited they become a little ostentatious. Meh. They were so damn nice I honestly didn’t care.
Go here. It’s a special place.
11-24-2013 23:12:29 | More by Fluffheady
3.98/5 rDev -15%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
The Birch is a bit of a dive, and for that reason it will never have mass appeal, but it's a great place to expand your beer horizons.
Off the beaten path, this place is never over-crowded, yet word of mouth and reputation have guaranteed that it's never empty. The wooden decor and bar are a throwback, almost reminding me of a saloon in the old western movies. Also true to the old saloon, it's dimly lit and a little grungy.
The selection of beers on tap is excellent (I think about 20), and they're constantly being rotated -- it's not just American microbrews, but also some very unusual foreign styles. If trying new and diverse on-tap beers appeals to you, you've come to the right place. The bottle selection is good, but I've certainly seen better (and they seem to have trouble keeping them all in stock).
The waitstaff are friendly and decently knowledgeable, although I'd recommend talking with the owner if you have specific or detailed questions. Service is hit-or-miss -- sometimes I've been well looked after, but other times a well-meaning but overworked bartender/server can take 30 minutes to "make the rounds" among the customers (a long time to wait when your glass runs dry or when you're ready to pay and leave).
I have been disappointed in the food: it's a mix of average bar-food and tiny cheese plates, and it's really overpriced for the amount you get (but this is a BEER bar; nobody comes here for the food).
The price for the beer vs the amount you get is also high -- it's a great place to come and try new stuff on tap, to be sure, but $5+ for an 8-ounce "half pour" ($8-10 for the full pour) is pretty steep by any standard. I'd put The Birch in the "special occasion" category, for when I want to meet a friend to taste something new and unique.
11-14-2013 11:17:17 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
4.78/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is a new spot for me. I've been a few times but I am truly impressed. Ben and Malia are so nice, and they really know their stuff when it comes to awesome beers and food pairings. The progressive grilled cheese menu and cheese boards were an unexpected but pleasant change to the usual bar fare forced upon patrons at nearly every other watering hole (this was a very welcome surprise). The constantly evolving "on tap" menu ensures that you will never get bored with stagnate offerings or the tire old "mill hunk" brews. Special events including, "43 Hours of Sour" and "Raise a Glass to Find a Cure" present an even greater range of phenomenal beer to choose from. The Birch is warm and cozy, yet very efficient as a business. The atmosphere has a laid back fluidity about it-familiar without being overbearing. It may seem pricey to a novice but to someone who knows what they are looking for, you definitely get your money's worth. It is a small yet knowledgable team of beer and food lovers. I hold this establishment in the highest regard, it is a haunt I will enjoy for a very long time.
10-16-2013 02:28:43 | More by JJStout83
5/5 rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is the best craft beer bar I have ever been too. Unbelievable selection both draft and bottles. If you are any where near the hampton roads area and you love craft beer, do your self a favor and go and check them out. You will not be disappointed.
09-09-2013 02:42:04 | More by timc13
4.81/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5 | $$
There really isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said about The Birch. So rather than writing a thesis on its merits, here is a quick summary of The Birch:
This is THE place for anyone who cares about and loves beer. Always a class-act selection of B. United imports, as well as a few local and USA craft brews to round out its usual offerings. Excellent cheese plates and as of recent, they also offer goat cheese truffles, making this an incredible place for a night cap.
There are no burgers here, no Bud Lite, and I very much love this place for that exact reason. Ambiance is always chill, and it is a premiere spot to take your sweetie and/or someone you are trying to impress who also happens to have good taste. Even if the person doesn't have good taste, they'll know they should and what that is once they leave here.
Service is excellent. Ben is fabulous, Malia seems to do a fine job of keeping emails and social networking sites up-to-date, and Mary will works her ass off anytime we are there. We are so happy The Birch has been successful so far. If you are in Norfolk, please go to The Birch.
07-12-2013 22:17:18 | More by Zraly
The Birch in Norfolk, VA
100 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.